Reviewed by: Jeff James
“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.