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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brosnan excels in otherwise routine techno-thriller
If there is an example of star charisma pulling a movie through, then it is here, in Brosnan's second Bond outing where he appears effortlessly cool and comfortable in the role. Every time he is on screen, the film works. The director (Roger Spottiswoode) is new to Bond movies, and yet he manages to pull off something that looks just like a Bond movie should - harking...
Published on 22 Jan. 2008 by Mr. Stephen Kennedy

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars classical Bond
This could possibly be a flagship in newer Bond films: action saturated more than packed, with the due amount of suspence and rhythm, with spectacular stunts and gadgets, beautiful women and two (plus a third minor one) bigger than life villains.

The plot is the usual, indifferent pretext: a media mogul, duly crazed, wants absolute power and is efficiently...
Published on 30 April 2009 by Furio

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brosnan excels in otherwise routine techno-thriller, 22 Jan. 2008
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
If there is an example of star charisma pulling a movie through, then it is here, in Brosnan's second Bond outing where he appears effortlessly cool and comfortable in the role. Every time he is on screen, the film works. The director (Roger Spottiswoode) is new to Bond movies, and yet he manages to pull off something that looks just like a Bond movie should - harking back to the Moore era, with quips and the odd comedy moment to add levity to the proceedings.
After a standout opening sequence where Bond infiltrates an arms bazaar on a mountain top before reducing most of the materials on display to scrap, the plot revolves around a media baron out to achieve global media domination. It's a neat updated twist on the megalomaniac idea. To do this, he is engineering a war between Britain and China in order to breach the Chinese media market - this means Bond has to work with a Chinese agent (who coincidentally happens to be a beautiful woman..) to stop the madman before WW III erupts. You know, business as usual for a Bond movie.
One of the standout elements of the movie, is David Arnold's terrific score (with the exception of the main theme tune) - finally, someone has taken on John Barry's mantle, and taken the Bond themes and not just run with them but given them new life, livening them up for a new generation - fantastic stuff. Other ingredients which hit exactly the right note are Judi Dench as M, Teri Hatcher as the (rather short-lived) Bond girl, Michelle Yeoh's spunky Chinese agent and the remote control car chase.
There are however some real problems with the movie. One or two of the action scenes are a little too orchestrated... the helicopter trying to slice up Bond with its blades must have looked great on paper, but fails to convince. And then the old Bond movie dilemma - when the bad guy is not good, the movie falls flat. Jonathan Pryce is never really menacing - He doesn't even look as menacing as the real Rupert Murdoch! He just looks like an actor spouting menacing lines.. and speaking of lines, the script veers from some real witty quips (Admiral Roebuck: `With all due respect, M, I think you don't have the balls for this job.' M: `Maybe. But the advantage is, I don't have to think with them all the time.'), to some real clunkers that fall flat on delivery (`There's no news like bad news ` - how long did it take to come up with that classic??).
The great thing about Bond movies is how they walk the tightrope of cliché to deliver the same old Bond film ingredients, but with inventiveness. With the Bike chase, the car chase, the quirky and interesting secondary characters, that is exactly what this movie does - for the first half. Then, the second half falls into the trap of just being Bond running about killing people, waving a machine gun around instead of killing carefully and with precision the way he ought to, trying hard to kill a guy with grey hair and glasses. It's as much action as we have seen in a Bond finale in a long time, but it does not really thrill.
That aside, if you can try and ignore the ubiquitous product placement, then the cocktail of Brosnan excelling in a role he seems destined to play, David Arnold's exciting score, and Michelle Yeoh matching Bond bullet for bullet and kick for kick rather than be the dull women on the sideline, makes this worth a watch.

As per the other Brosnan releases, there is a gaping hole in the extras where we might expect a retrospective documentary, however that quibble aside there are plenty of other extras, with two commentaries, storyboards, deleted scenes ( none of which are memorable) and a couple of fluff pieces about `the making of' that offer no insight into the genesis of story or movie in general. Good, but not quite `ultimate'. Picture and sound are perfect, as we have come to expect in this remastered series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars classical Bond, 30 April 2009
Furio (Genova - Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tomorrow Never Dies [DVD] (DVD)
This could possibly be a flagship in newer Bond films: action saturated more than packed, with the due amount of suspence and rhythm, with spectacular stunts and gadgets, beautiful women and two (plus a third minor one) bigger than life villains.

The plot is the usual, indifferent pretext: a media mogul, duly crazed, wants absolute power and is efficiently portrayed by a Jonathan Pryce who seems to be having tons of fun.
The comparative novelty is that the enemy power is not Russia but China, but this is little change: the only consequence of import is that one of the two female leads is beautiful -and quite athletic- Michelle Yeoh who, for once, is nearly as deadly as Bond himself in the role of a Chinese secret service colonel. She makes the most of her role (not well served by a superficial script) and is beautiful to look at: no one could legitimately ask for more.

The other female lead is the aristocratic beauty of Teri Hatcher, a former lover of 007. Hers is perhaps the only well rounded character: her love for Bond seems genuine and once in a while James seems to return her affection. She's a competent actress and the filming director makes the most not only of a flawless body but also of her sensitive face.

This not a masterpiece for sure, but fans will hardly find anything wrong in a film that begins with a breathtaking opening sequence and runs to its end without skipping a single beat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Bondfest, 7 Aug. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
Tomorrow Never Dies (DVD).

DVD Info.
Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Running time 114 minutes
Digitally Remastered Edition
Uncut on DVD for the first time.

The original UK release received various cuts to scenes of violence & martial arts weaponry & to reduce the impact of sound effects, in order to receive a more box-office-friendly 12 certificate. Further cuts were made to the video/DVD release to retain this rating, These edits were restored for the Ultimate Edition DVD release in the UK, which was consequently upgraded to a 15 certificate.

Box Office.
Budget $110 million
Box office gross $333,011,068

Pierce Brosnan - James Bond
Jonathan Pryce - Elliot Carver
Michelle Yeoh - Wai Lin
Teri Hatcher - Paris Carver
Ricky Jay - Henry Gupta
Götz Otto - Stamper
Joe Don Baker - Jack Wade
Vincent Schiavelli - Dr. Kaufman
Judi Dench - M
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Samantha Bond - Miss Moneypenny
Colin Salmon - Chief of Staff Charles Robinson
Geoffrey Palmer - Admiral Roebuck
Julian Fellowes - Minister of Defence

1)Ricky Jay, who plays Henry Gupta is also an acclaimed magician who holds a world record for the fastest throwing playing cards. The producers initially wanted a scene where he threw playing cards at Bond. They set up the scene to block, Ricky was 50 or 75 feet away and was asked to hit Pierce Brosnan in the face. Ricky warned them it wasn't a good idea, safety wise. After they convinced him to do it, he agreed & hit pierce right above the eyes. To his disappointment, for one reason or another, they never asked him to repeat it on film. Gupta is shown throwing cards in the DVD deleted scenes.
2)Teri Hatcher says that she accepted her role in this movie to fulfill her then husband's lifelong dream of being married to a Bond girl. As it turned out, her scenes had to be filmed quickly because of an unexpected pregnancy. She later expressed her dissatisfaction with the part, saying it was "an artificial kind of character to be playing that you don't get any special satisfaction from it".
3)David Arnold was chosen to compose the score on the personal recommendation of John Barry.
4)Martin Campbell declined the chance to direct again, not wanting to make two James Bond films in a row. Campbell would do the same in 2006 after the success of Casino Royale (2006).
5)A love scene between 007 and Paris Carver was dropped from the film, as Teri Hatcher was pregnant at the time, whilst the film was in production.
6)Anthony Hopkins was cast as Elliott Carver & joined the production, but walked after three days because it was so chaotic & there was no completed shooting script; due to the pressure on Eon Productions to finish the film on time, with new pages of the screenplay were being delivered every morning.
7)Though it has long been part of the James Bond character's reputation in story & dialogue, this is the first instance in the EON Productions official series where James Bond has an on-screen relationship with a leading Bond Girl who is actually known to be married to another man.
8)This is the first James Bond movie in the official series to have a running time under two hours since Diamonds Are Forever (1971). The next film to run under 120 minutes would be Quantum of Solace (2008).
9)One of the main reasons why John Barry turned down the opportunity to score another Bond film was because the producing team insisted that he not have anything to do with the title song which had already been assigned to Sheryl Crow. Barry was indignant at this stipulation, given his track record with Bond songs that are then echoed in the accompanying score. The gig then passed to David Arnold who was equally unhappy about having a song imposed on him. Arnold's solution was to write a new song for the end credits - "Surrender" performed by k.d. lang - which thematically crops up throughout the score.
10)15 BMW 750's were destroyed in the making of the film.
11)500 extras were used for Elliott Carver's launch party where Bond reconnects with Paris.
13)Natasha Henstridge was in the running to play the lead Bond girl at one point.
14)First EON Productions James Bond movie to be presented by the "Albert R. Broccoli's Eon Productions" credit.
15)Elliott Carver's newspaper factory is actually the printing presses of London's Daily Telegraph & Evening Standard.
16)The end credits song "Surrender" Composer David Arnold wanted this song to be used in the opening credits (the lyrics prominently feature the title 'Tomorrow Never Dies') but the producers preferred Sheryl Crow over k.d. lang. However, Arnold did incorporate the song instrumentally throughout his score.
17)Gerard Butler: makes an appearance as "Leading Seaman - HMS Devonshire."
18)Geoffrey Palmer: appears in the pre-credits scene as an Admiral aside Judi Dench's M character, Palmer & Dench starred together on As Time Goes By (1992).

Plot Synopsis.
At a terrorist arms bazaar somewhere on the Russian border, MI6 has sent James Bond into the field to survey trades & purchases by the terrorists. One terrorist identified as Henry Gupta, has purchased an American GPS encoder. Upon viewing the evidence of these transactions taking place Admiral Roebuck orders a missile strike upon the position, however, it is later discovered that the terrorists have a Soviet nuclear torpedo setup on a plane. Bond, using diversionary tactics, steals the plane with the torpedo and escapes as does Gupta with the GPS encoder.

The encoder is later used by evil media mogul Elliot Carver, as an attempt to start a war between the People's Republic of China & the United Kingdom as an exclusive marketing device to launch his new worldwide television network. The encoder is used to send a British frigate, the HMS Devonshire, off course in the South China sea where Carver's own stealth ship, based on a Navy concept ship, the USS Sea Shadow, sinks it while also shooting down a Chinese fighter plane sent out to investigate the stray warship. When the survivors of the sunken frigate are found to have been killed using Chinese ammunition, a Royal Navy taskforce is sent to the region.

As tensions between the two countries mount, Bond is sent by M to investigate Carver after MI6 identifies a spurious signal sent from one of Carver's communications satellites at the time the warship was sunk. During the investigation, Bond seduces Carver's wife, his old flame Paris Carver, as a result of which her husband orders her death. Meanwhile, Bond is both rivaled and assisted in his mission to stop Carver by the Chinese secret agent Wai Lin hom are captured by Carvers men but eventually escape there captors & give chase through the busy streets & rooftops of Saigon.

The two search several areas large enough for Carver to hide his stealth craft and get lucky on the last cove. The board the boat and plan to plant explosive charges to disrupt it's radar cover and make it visible to the British fleet. Lin is captured and Bond sneaks inside. Carver reveals his ultimate plan; he will launch one of the stolen British missiles into China, provoking a war with new conflict will be covered by his media group and he will bid for exclusive rights to media coverage in China when his secret partner General Chang takes control of the Chinese government & miraculously ends the conflict.

Bond is able to take Henry Gupta hostage; Carver kills Gupta openly after the tech-expert tells his boss that the preparations are complete. However, a grenade planted by Bond with a small triggering device goes off, causing a huge explosion. The boat, now visible to radar, is attacked by the British navy.

Carver orders Mr. Stamper to go ahead with the missile launch. With the boat disintegrating around them, Bond fights through several of Carver's henchmen and corners the villain. Bond activates the sea drill hanging nearby and forces Carver into its path killing him. Stamper has chained Lin and dangles her over the indoor pool; when she passes Bond some detonation fuses to sabotage the missile, Stamper drops her in the water.

Bond and Stamper fight briefly and Bond traps the thug's ankle under the missile. With Stamper holding him in front of the missile's engines, he hopes that Bond will burn and die with him. Bond is able to cut the straps on his pack and he plunges into the water just as the missile launches and the detonators destroy it and Stamper. Under water, he rescues Lin, breathing air into her lungs with a kiss. The two surface just as the stealth boat sinks. They are later picked up by the British Navy while sharing a romantic moment in a lifeboat.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a fast paced action packed 18th Jame Bond adventure that delivers some of the series best action sequences from the spectacular opening credits to a unique car chase plus a excellent escape which leads to a dramatic bike chase sequence & finally a explosive climax on Carvers stealth craft.

Pierce Brosnan is completely settled in the role as 007 now & gives a superb performance here showcasing great leading man qualities & delivers in the films many hi-tec action sequences yet also delivers charm, wit & emotion revealing a certain vulnerability when meeting up with an old flame Paris Carver.

Jonathan Pryce oozes menace & self centred arrogance as Elliott Carver & is completely insane in wanting to start World War 3 for his newspapers own popularity gains, while Götz Otto as Stamper is a excellent henchmen & gives Bond a run for his money which climaxes with a good fight sequence on Carvers stealth boat.

Michelle Yeoh is superb as Chinese agent Wai Lin who is no damsel in distress Bond girl as Yeoh features on par with Pierce Brosnan's Bond in the films many action scenes & even choreographed all her own fight scenes which are impressive to say the least as Yeoh makes the most kick ass Bond girl to date.

Teri Hatcher has a small but important role as Paris Carver who had a past relationship with Bond which gives the movie a believable romance & fuels 007's motivations to takedown Carver who later has his wife executed without hesitation, Hatcher is a stunningly beautiful woman & pulls off her role with great aplomb.

Judi Dench is excellent as 'M' & her putdown of Admiral Roebuck is a gem, Dench adds gravitas to the part & is completely believable as head of M16.

Composer David Arnold creates an up tempo Bond score that makes us completely forget Eric Serras awful Goldeneye score as Arnold comes very close here to achieving the heights of the many wonderful John Barry scores of yesteryear as Arnold injects a modern & thunderous brassy arrangement into his score of the movie which adds great atmosphere & authentic Bondian feel to the movie.

The action is skilfully directed by Roger Spottiswoode & has a certain freshness to them which are sharply edited & snappy paced, it's just a shame we couldn't have had a bit more breathing space between scenes as the action never stops to allow the story to breathe but this is my only gripe of the movie.

Overall, Tomorrow Never Dies is one of Brosnan's best Bond movies & delivers a Bond film on a even grander scale, everything here is bigger, badder & louder than Goldeneye & proves yet again when it comes to action & adventure nobody does it better than James Bond.

Timelord Rating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tomorrow Never Dies...And Neither Does The Bond Franchise, 24 Dec. 2011
The 90's Guy (North Devon, England) - See all my reviews
I love watching a Bond movie from time to time, and I'm particularly interested in the Pierce Brosnan era. My favourite 007 outing is Goldeneye which was not only a great movie but also a great Nintendo 64 video game that followed a couple years later. That said I think Tomorrow Never Dies is a good movie as well, even if the film critics were not so fond of it.

A British Navy ship and a couple of Chinese migs have been attacked out in the South China seas. Both Britain and China are blaming each other for trying to pick a fight with the other nation, and the incident threatens to ignite World War III. But what really started the fight were a bunch of bad guys controlling a stealth boat. MI6 believes that the mastermind behind the attack is media baron, Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who has orchestrated the incident in a bid to boost ratings for his news business, the Carver Media Group. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent in to investigate Carver and stop him. Hold on, let me get this straight. A news guy has started a fight between two countries because he wants a few more people watching his news programmes?...Oooo-kay.

Brosnan made his 2nd appearance as 007 in TND, once again bringing his excellent portrayal of the Martini-swigging secret agent: emotionally vulnerable at times but mainly super cool. I'm not so sure about Jonathan Pryce who plays the main villain, Elliot Carver. Based on his lines and the tone of his voice he sounds OK; but appearance wise he's just not convincing, and he doesn't have any standout features about him, like metal teeth or a deadly bowler hat. I don't think he can even throw a proper punch. Fortunately Bond villain respect is kept intact thanks to Gotz Otto who plays Mr. Stamper, a hard-as-nails bad guy with bleached hair, strong German accent and a strong physique. He's a true villain you can be proud to hate.

Judi Dench made her 2nd appearance as M, a now seemingly iconic role that no one can picture her not being in. Desmond Llewelyn made his 2nd to last appearance as the useful but frustrated gadget designer, Q. As for the Bond girls? Well the Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher looks stunning in her role as Elliot Carver's wife, Paris Carver; and Michelle Yeoh who plays Wai Lin?...Ah who cares what else she's done! She looks good as well, and she can throw a mean kick.

TND is a little light on the gadgets compared to most other Bond movies. The only gadget really worth talking about is the mobile phone. But there are plenty of great action scenes, including a crazy car chase through a German parking lot. There are plenty of one-liners from Mr. Bond as well, some of which are cheesy but most of them actually sound cool. The pick of the bunch is when Bond punches a guard over a railing and into a newspaper printing machine, after which he says "They'll print anything these days."

I have the Ultimate Edition of TND which comes on two discs. Disc 1 is the actual movie while disc 2 has all the extras. They include some deleted scenes; a James Bond theme tune remix; the full version of the TND theme by Sheryl Crow; some pictures of the actors in the movie and much more. There's plenty for the diehard Bond fans to feast upon.

The plot is a little silly, and Carver isn't the most convincing villain ever to grace the Bond universe, but Tomorrow Never Dies is mostly very good. Definitely one for the hardcore Bond fans, although casual movie watchers shouldn't be afraid to take a look at this either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brosnan's worst Bond, 8 Dec. 2007
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
The history of the latter Bond films is one of false dawns, with sporadic good or near-great Bond films promptly followed by horribly disappointing ones. OHMSS was followed by the lazy Diamonds Are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me by Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only by Octopussy, and sadly Pierce Brosnan's enjoyable Bond debut GoldenEye remained true to form in being followed by another clunker. Tomorrow Never Dies was a famously troubled shoot, with a constantly rewritten unfinished script the most visible of its many problems. It's that classic `inbetween good Bonds' film that just feels like its treading water while they recharge their creative batteries for the next one. The premise may sound absurd - Jonathan Pryce's media mogul tries to start a war in Asia to boost circulation and viewing figures in return for local TV concessions - but it's a scam that William Randolph Hearst pulled for real in the Spanish-American War with his infamous telegram to a reporter "You supply the pictures and I'll supply the war." True, he didn't use a Stealth Ship or a guided drill-torpedo to do it, but the film almost pulls it off as a framework for a Bond movie. The problem is that, aside from David Arnold's excellent score, not much else really works.

Pryce isn't exactly a threatening supervillain and his henchmen are a rather bland bunch with the exception of Vincent Schiavelli's master assassin, who opts for broad overacting rather than menace. It may be an inspired idea to cast Michelle Yeoh as the leading lady, but with only one brief fight it seems rather pointless hiring one of the best action stars in the world if she doesn't get to do much. Worse, the action scenes are distinctly hit-and-miss. The pretitle sequence is terrific and the remote-controlled car chase one of the more enjoyable gadget showcases, but somehow the motorbike vs. helicopter chase through the streets and rooftops of Saigon never works nearly as well as it should: the footage is good but there's something almost haphazard about the editing that robs it of much of its potential. The film's big finale is little short of disastrous. Reputedly intended to be on a larger scale but scaled down because the effects shots wouldn't be ready in time for the film's opening date, there's literally nothing at stake by this point - with WW3 safely averted, all that's left for a somewhat bored Bond to do is walk around a badly designed and unappealingly photographed set shooting extras like he was in a bad video game before killing an old man with glasses.

Throw in lazy plotting and some of the worst dialogue in the series history and even the few promising ideas thrown up along the way tend to get lost in the hurry to get something releasable in the can. While Die Another Day is most Bond fans' choice for Brosnan's worst Bond, that at least threw up some good ideas in the first half - this feels like a film where no-one had a decent idea between them but were contractually obliged to deliver a movie in time for Christmas anyway. Horribly disappointing.

There's not a great deal of in the way of new extras to justify an upgrade if you have the previous special edition - aside from the extras carried over from that, there's a featurette on Moby's Bond theme remix, some redundant clips from the movie and some weak deleted scenes. Among them is an extended briefing scene in M's car where everyone is drinking cocktails that is so clumsily executed (every shot ends with them raising a glass to their lips) that it looks like an outtake from the old Thunderbirds TV series, so the film could clearly have been even worse, but that's scant consolation. As per all of the Brosnan Bond DVDs, there's no proper making of documentary either, just the odd puff-piece from its first release. One for the Bond completists only, really.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars could do better...., 17 Nov. 2006
Mr. K (Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
There are a host of reviews about this film so will focus on the digital mastering. I found the DTS sound to be a worthwhile edition. It brings alive the feature better than the 'special edition' however I was not as impressed with the picture quality. Some mosaic was often present and the colours were not as sharp as could have been. This film isn't old therefore I would have expected the picture to be a lot crisper if it actually had been digitally remastered, I really couldn't tell the difference between the 'special edition' one and this. I presume for instance Dr. No will look cleaner?

The film itself is very good and features the best Bond car chase. The title pages are rather long winded though and you'd just wish the film would get going.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tomorrow Never Dies, 2006 double disc Ultimate Edition - Bond gets media savvy when up against a very 21st century villain, 7 Jan. 2011
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
For his eighteenth big screen adventure, superspy James Bond is pitted against a very modern type of villain in Jonathan Pryce's media mogul. It is a film that nicely reflects the modern age, and will probably not feel too dated for some time to come.

The film rehashes the old plot of evil megalomaniac trying to start World War Three, as used so often in the Connery and Moore years, but this time there is a twist - the megalomaniac just wants the war to boost the ratings for his newspapers and TV news channels! Jonathan Pryce provides us with a villain that bears a strange resemblance to a certain Australian media baron. He overacts hugely, and is very entertaining.

Bond has to team up with the delightful Chinese agent Michelle Yeoh, and there is a clear chemistry between Brosnan and Yeoh that really lifts the film.

There is a crackling script, full of energy and pace. With some funny one liners there is a fair bit of humour, but it never seems out of place or overdone. The stunts are seriously impressive, and well filmed, making this an enjoyable ride. Added into which is a decent strong plot with a few twists and turns. It does just what it sets out to do and delivers 2hours of sheer entertainment.

The picture has been restored and it looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.

As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself.

This is an excellent release, and does the film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good action with enough fun and excitement to cover its flaws, 3 Sept. 2010
This is a strangely mixed bag. It's a blend of terrific action and some truly memorable characters and sly topicality, pasted over stereotypes, some odd model work, and a fairly poor main villain.
Brosnan is great as usual, and the film opens with great kinetic energy as he thwarts a massive black-market arms bazaar in a fantastically paced action sequence. We're then onto the movie proper as a British Navy destroyer gets violently hassled by Chinese fighter jets, and then a mystery ship gets involved to stir havoc, under the orders of media mogul Elliot Carver, played by Jonathan Pryce.
Bond is sent to stir up some trouble with Carver via his ex, now Carver's wife, Paris who is played by 'Desperate Housewives' star Teri Hatcher. Brosnan plays Bond with nice hints of reserved vulnerability in his meetings with old-flame Paris, and Hatcher is just good enough to be up to the job, and highly glamorous with it.
The action is very good, including a great car chase and some standout motorbike stunts. Michelle Yeoh makes for a good sidekick for Bond as well, and continues the new trend of Bond action-women that Famke Janssen started in Goldeneye (although this time the action girl's not out to crush Bond with her thighs - well, not kill him anyway...).
The script also has some unexpectedly good scenes of threatening dialogue and tension, although they aren't all carried off flawlessly. A threatened interrogation/execution is a strange mixture of comedy and brutal violence.
Gotz Otto is great as Carver's massive blonde enforcer, his imposing and very threatening charisma making up for his struggles with the dialogue through his heavy accent, and he plays it for full 'evil henchman' credit.
However, where the movie falls down is in some slightly unconvincing work on the 'Stealth ship', which looked a touch daft to me at the time, and which in some of its scenes looks a bit 'modelly'. However, the US navy is now testing the 'X' ship which looks a lot like this, so clearly the design has merit.
Jonathan Pryce however, despite revelling in giving a very energetic performance of delicious evil, comes across as far too wimpy to be a credible bad guy, his news mogul even pulling off a 'chop-socky' style mockery of martial arts to Michelle Yeoh's face when it's been made abundantly clear he's a coward and she could rip his head off if she had her hands free.
His casting as the bad guy - or maybe just his character - is so misjudged that Bond's fight scenes with him feel more like the popular muscly kid in school bullying the weak skinny kid, and the script dearly needed him to have a bit more clout.
It's also clear from the novelisation of this movie (much like in the novel of 'Licence to Kill') that some great character-enhancing information from the script was stripped out which would have improved it (Otto's enforcer Stamper likes to make snuff films that Carver watches for kicks, and has a rare condition that means he gets a kick from his own pain). It's clear that this latter trait was maybe snipped as it's a little too close to Robert Carlyle's 'feels no pain' bad guy in the next movie 'The World is not Enough', but it's a shame these details were removed, as Stamper is a great but thinly-sketched character without them.
As a result, 'Tomorrow Never Dies' feels like a fun but messy ride. For every great moment, there's a slightly messy not-quite-perfect moment as well. However, taken as a whole, it's still a great deal of energetic fun, and its good traits paper over the weaknesses well enough for you to feel enjoyably entertained by it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bond Meets The Media, 8 April 2009
Andrew Kerr (Scotland) - See all my reviews
Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth film in the James Bond saga, and is the second film where Pierce Brosnan stars as the famous spy for MI6.

Released in 1997 and directed by Roger Spottiswoode, the film also stars Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Vincent Schiavelli, and Judi Dench who once again plays M.

In Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond investigates the apparent sinking of a British Warship by the Chinese air force. The events of which, makes relations between Britain and China take a turn for the worst, and has the potential to start a third world war. However behind the scenes and manipulating both sides is a media tycoon called Elliot Carver. In his mind the Chinese are the only thing standing between his network (Carver Media Group) having a total global empire of communications with the power to reach every single person on the planet.

Naturally it wouldn't be a Bond film without the explosions, nice cars, car chases, gadgets and girls, and the action packed Tomorrow Never Dies provides all on a silver platter.

I've always liked Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, he seems very fitting and suited for the role, and comes across as a more serious and composed secret agent. Teaming Bond up with the Chinese spy Wai Li (played by Michelle Yeoh) was a great idea, as the pair work well together as allies.

The film is packed with explosive action scenes, all of which are entertaining and have been produced to a high standard. There are some great scenes throughout the film, such as the wall walking scene, and not to forget some great one-liners. "We have no interest in seeing World War Three, unless we start it." And not to forget Bonds line after throwing a man in to a printing press machine - "They'll print anything these days." All of which adds a much needed element of comedy to the film, something I think would enhance any Bond film and as such is a welcome addition.

Sadly after saying all that, I'm left with a film that's a bit disappointing.

Tomorrow Never Dies jumps about a lot and a degree of attention is required from the viewer to keep up with everything that is going on. Even so the plot and script come across as weak at times especially towards the end.

The main problem is that the film eventually leads to a show down on Elliot Carver's (very science fiction like) stealth boat. All things considered, and with everything we had seen on the screen up until that point, I was looking for something a bit more explosive and gripping.

I'm not exactly sure about the motives behind Carver's plan to start a war. Is it because China has refused broadcast rights, is it something just to feed his megalomaniac ego, or because he wants his network to have exclusive and complete coverage of any conflict. Whatever the reason, to me anyway it seems like a slightly far-fetched motive and not quite as convincing as seen in previous Bond films.

I've never been a fan of the opening credits in many James Bond films, as I feel that they go on for far too long, and it's the same in the case of this film.

Despite its problems, the great special effects and good acting makes for an overall entertaining and enjoyable film. While it's not the greatest Bond film of all time (it wouldn't even make it in to my top three,) it is still worthy of the James Bond title.

I have always came across mixed reviews about this film both from Bond film fans and non-fans alike, and while it has its problems I don't think it's as bad as some would have you believe. At the very least it deserves to be watched, and at the end of the day is perhaps one of those films that your better making up your own mind about.

(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Brosnan in exciting but not best Bond, 29 Oct. 2008
James Bond (Brosnan) investigates a TV media man who is linked to a possible war brewing in the Chinese sea between the Chinese and British.

Pierce Brosnan reprises his role as the famous British agent after a great start in the critically acclaimed Goldeneye. Expectation was high and Brosnan doesn't disappoint as once again he dons the suit and tie as James Bond in another classic action thriller, if not the strongest in the series.

With a fantastic opening surrounding the criminals in the weapon market, Tomorrow Never Dies sets the tone for a high octane adventure and the hero enters, delivering another great opening line, punching a smoker and giving viewers that wonderful pun that only Bond can do.

Unlike many Bond films, the villain is revealed almost instantly and the film centres around Bond trying to unravel the case and find out what media man Elliot Carver is up to.

As good an actor as Jonathan Pryce is, there is hardly any doubt that his character Carver is one of the worst villains of all time. Unscary, too relaxed and easy to watch the Newspaper man does simply have that ruthlessness to create that essence of evil that has created so many good Bond villains in the past. Blofeld with his cat, Goldfinger with his laser and so on. Carver with his newspapers simply does not match up and the film falls short because of him.

Teri Hatcher is very good as Bond's former lover but Michelle Yeoh is disappointing as Chinese agent Wai Lin. Yeoh's kicking action as the agent is good and fun to watch but the character does not contain that exciting and different prospect that other Bond girls have had and the ending feels almost completely clichéd because of it.

Despite that faults in supporting characters the plot with it's terrific action sequences make for a gripping watch. From driving a car with a remote control to driving a motorbike over a helicopter, this film has created some astonishing and memorable moments in the action genre. The remote control car is an ultimate fantasy and is action packed adrenaline not to mention humorous at points as well.

The plot is consistently intriguing with its issues on foreign pride and war, not to mention the different cultures between the Chinese and British government.

Tomorrow never dies fills Bond fans dreams with top notch action sequences and an entertaining and issue driven plot.

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Tomorrow Never Dies [Blu-ray] [1997]
Tomorrow Never Dies [Blu-ray] [1997] by Roger Spottiswoode (Blu-ray - 2013)
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