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3/18/12

TOMORROW NEVER DIES - REVIEW


The second in the series of Pierce Brosnan Bond flicks, Tomorrow Never Dies had to follow Goldeneye. Not an easy task at all but looking back, what's the verdict?

It's still great.

I mean, I've always loved Tomorrow Never Dies. Sure it wasn't quite as sexy or brutal as its predecessor but it had a compelling plot, a fun villain, lots of cool set pieces and a Brosnan on good form. Here was a classy, modern Bond film which retained the melodramatic/OTT feel of early outings whilst adding some nifty new toys and countless more corny one-liners.

Just the way I like 'em.

After a thrilling opening action sequence, we get our surreal opening titles to the sound of a surprisingly good Sheryl Crow song and we know we're in good hands. For me, it's one of the most underrated James Bond films out there: it does everything right and has all the ingredients that make a good 007 outing. The bike chase is fantastic, the cast is a lot of fun and there are no invisible cars to speak of... yet.

The story, you could say, is more relevant today than ever! I mean, you've got a dodgy, megalomaniac media mogul involved in some shady international scandal... ring any bells? Jonathan Pryce plays hammy-but-great villain Elliot Carver, a guy for whom setting up a third world war isn't so much a big deal as it is a great headline. Michelle Yeoh is our Bond girl and assists 007 in order to prove that the UK and China aren't actually going to blow each other up. Which would totally suck. Watch out for an extended cameo by Teri Hatcher (as Carver's wife Paris) and one of the very last appearances of Desmond Llewelyn's always welcome Q.

What prevents Tomorrow Never Dies from truly standing out, I suppose, is its lack of, what I like to call, "crazy shit". Everyone remembers Goldeneye mostly for that badass tank scene and although TND boasts a touchscreen phone remote controlled BMW and a thrilling chase through the busy streets of Saigon one would have liked at least one defining crazy-ass moment. I'm not saying a killer satellite or a crocodile submarine but, you know, something a bit out there.

On the whole, Tomorrow Never Dies is a terrific Bond outing: a good, safe all-rounder. Pierce Brosnan proves himself to be a more than capable 007 and he is given fine support by a strong supporting cast. A neat (occasionally cheesy) script, brilliant action sequences and good, thankfully not distracting, special effects also help make this a thrilling ride from start to finish.

Come to think of it, might have to revisit GOLDENeye... and The Man With The GOLDEN Gun. Big thank you to Sarah Jayne Callow (follow on Twitter @sarahjcallow) for the reminder and for guessing that the only two 007 movies in my possession currently, indeed, are Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day... which I guess I'll have to re-watch also.

*remembers the Madonna cameo*

Ughnnn...

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