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Movie Review

Tomorrow Never Dies

Reviewed by: Jeff James

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
119 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Gotz Otto, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn, Samantha Bond, Joe Don Baker / Director: Roger Spottiswoode / Released by: MGM/UA

“Tomorrow Never Dies” was perhaps the greatest “007” picture to come since… gosh, it’s been a while! It'll grip you from the very beginning; high-octane techno-action, catchy music, fast scenery, and lots of explosions. If you’re faint of heart, do not see this film.

As an avid 007 fan, I’ve been waiting for a picture worthy of it’s name. In other words, it would be nice to see a movie true to Ian Fleming’s vision of the master spy who weaves his way in and out of danger with nothing but fun gadgets and witty retort. He’s suave, he’s dangerous, and he’s world class. That’s the Bond we’ve been waiting for and Pierce Brosnan certainly fills his suit wonderfully. The spy of the 60’s has made the jump to the 90’s with much success.

The movie begins with a spectacular stunt show that was surprisingly realistic (unlike the previous “Goldeneye” with Bond free-falling into a diving plane). you’ll grip the armrest a few times. The first thing you should notice is the background music.* Since (“Goldeneye”), John Barry, the true “007” composer, was replaced by Eric Sera (“Fifth Element”). But on “Tomorrow”, David Arnold (“Independence Day”, “Terminator 2”) is secured to jazz up the movie with true-to-form spy music. It works on this one. Really, you can’t help but to notice it. Roger Spottiswoode (“Shoot to Kill”, “Air America”) is director. He does a spectacular job and I hope he does the next one.

* Correction: “Terminator 2” was scored by Brad Fiedel, the same composer who scored the original “Terminator” movie. David Arnold’s filmography includes “Stargate”, “Independence Day”, and the main theme from “The Visitor” (a TV series). He’s also slated to score the upcoming “Godzilla” movie, but he wasn’t even working in America yet (still studying in England) when “T2” was released. -Chris Myers

“M” is still the same lady. She actually does quite well. “Q” is still around reading his que cards off the camera. He has a few good lines. The gadgets are pretty cool as usual; some are a little “too” convenient but nonetheless, it’s a Bond film, what did you expect. The BMW is actually USED! I was so disappointed with the last film (he drove it once, to a plane). This baby’s chalk full of missiles, tire spikes, tear gas, bulletproof this-and-that. Oh yeah, and it’s got a remote control.

I believe that the producers decided to answer all the fan mail with this movie; all the “I want to see this …” and “show us more …” and “let Bond do this ….” It’s every James Bond fan’s wish come true. And—that’s why it seemed a little too packed full of stuff. It was good, but it was almost too rich. The script could have used a few more touch up's. Oh well. It was great eye candy!

The actors were superb. There was no ditzy blonde being dragged around. There was no cheesy villain with some ill-ordained maniacal scheme that would never happen in the real world. They were all top-notch. Teri Hatcher plays an emotional bit part. Michelle Yeoh (“Supercop” with Jackie Chan) has the coveted Bond girl role with a twist—Bond’s unintended partner. She brings a fresh, new presence to the Bond franchise. Something I really liked. Jonathan Pryce is brilliant as a corrupt communications mogul (ala Ted Turner).

From a Christian perspective, this movie is rightfully rated as “PG-13”. As with many Bond films, the opening credits once again show the silhouettes of partially-nude dancing women; Bond also, as expected, is forever a playboy as it is implied that he has sex with at least one or two women (outside of marriage, of course). Further, there is some partial nudity shots of a womans undergarments, as well as bed scenes with strategically placed sheets (covering up most skin). Sexual innuendo is also present, but no more than a few instances. The language is pretty clean when compared with most films of this genre (a smattering of “hells” and “damns”, as well as a few instinces of taking the Lord’s name in vain). While there was intense violence, it was not gory or wanton—but certainly a factor to consider before running out to see this one. I was suprised at the “overall” cleanliness of this Bond flick—something I hadn’t been expecting. Though I enjoyed “Tomorrow Never Dies” and would recommend it to any 007 fan, keep in mind that “Tomorrow” is rated “PG-13” due to the intense sequences of action violence, sexuality and innuendo. Though the entertainment factor is through the roof, there is nothing glorifying to God in this latest of 007 installments.

Viewer Comments
I thought this movie was great! I love it when a PG-13 movie comes along and I don’t have to look away (even though this wasn’t one of them) and still love it if it is a movie that I can just look away, or at a different part of the screen, and still get to see the movie. Tomorrow Never Dies was one of the best bond movies ever (I have seen most of them (some edited))and for sure WAY better than Goldeneye. I do wish that they had not put any nudity in, however slight or quick it was (I don’t know if it was slight or quick, I’m just guessing from the other comments) and they didn’t need to make the CG girl in the dancing girl scene be so realistic though. I recommend this movie to anyone over 12.
—Brendan Hansen, age 13
This was not the best Bond movie. The criminal was corny. Michelle Yeoh was good in the Bond film but in my opinion she performed better with Jackie Chan. I agree with others when stating that they should not take young kids to see this movie. It is definitely NOT a family movie. Not only was the sense with Bond and the women risqu, but the seen where Bond and sidekick agent Michelle Yeoh crashed through the roof of a Chinese brothel was really shocking. This latest Bond film was okay but could have been a whole lot better.
—JT, age 32
The film afforded me a good opportunity to talk to my teenage son about successm what it is and what it is not. How some people go to the extreme to be succesful, cheating, stealing, lieing, even killing, ala our TV guru. I could even point out that although these pragmatic ways of being successful, may seem to work for a while, in the end only God makes the man.
—Jeff Salomon
I found this to be one of the best made in the 007 series in a good while. The script was fast-moving, with lots of exciting action and surprises. I also agree that Pierce Brosnan is a very capable James Bond. The characters also had a surprising amount of depth for an action film. Michelle Yeoh, in particular, was very good. Unfortunately, there is a lot of non-gory violence and some questionable moral messages, but this film is still much better for Christians than many I have seen. Overall, I would recommend it.
—Kevin J. Burk, age 26
Finally, a worthy successor to Seann Connery! We have waited long enough, and now we have a real 007. Several people have commented on how the action was overdone. It was overdone, but I prefer to think of the surplus as compensation for the past mediocrity. This movie is definitely an “edge of your seat” thriller. My wife and I loved it. However, the scene where Bond is in bed with his “language teacher” really pushed us to the edge. Of course, they are careful what they show, but we definitely thought it was too much. How do we as Christians reconcile our desire to see movies with what we believe about morality? I don’t know. I was embarrassed by the scene (and the opening credits), but I thought otherwise it was a great movie. Go see this movie forewarned, and definitely leave the kids at home. Or decide that you don’t need to see it because of the sexuality and rest comfortably, knowing you made a good decision. This one is right on the line.
—Thomas Quinlen, age 23
My wife and I went to see the new Bond film. We both thought it was a pretty good film for the Bond series. Brosnan does play a very good James Bond. It’s hard to live up to the Connery series though. The film has several seductive and violent scenes which is to be expected from Bond films. The language was pretty clean except for a few lines they could have done without. One thing that shocked me the most was that there were so many parents taking young children to see this movie. This movie is not for children, only for adults. One father who sat behind us had to keep his daughter occupied during a few adult scenes of the movie. If you plan on going to see the movie please leave your kids at home.
—Mark Snoke, age 29
I have to agree with most of what the reviewer said. Rating it purely on a “James Bond genre scale,” I think this movie is the best since the Sean Connery portrayals of the 60’s (i.e., “Dr. No.” “The Man with the Golden Gun,” etc.). No disappointments from that perspective. Pierce Brosnan “is” 007! On the flip side—it was almost over-done with action scenes. I left the theatre feeling almost literally physically exhausted! Unfortunately, it can’t be over emphasized that this episode “pushed the envelope” to the limit on the sex/nudity scale. (Where is the “line” between PG-13 and R ratings now anyway?). Alas, Hollywood’s misguided idea of what makes a movie marketable to its audience these days, ultimately resulted in “Tomorrow Never Dies” being delivered as “damaged goods.”
—Matt Topper, age 35
TOMORROW NEVER DIES was great! I had another popcorn munching good time. Pierce Brosnan was clearly at ease this time. Michelle Yeoh deserves her own set of super spy movies as she did a great job on this one. Nothing offended about the content except for the stupid bad guy having his wife killed. That wasn’t cool. Great holiday entertainment for teens and up. I had a blast!
—Chris Utley, age 25