Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Movie Review

 

On the Russian border, super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a terrorist arms deal in order to steal a plane carrying nuclear torpedoes before a British launched missile hits the site. One “techno terrorist” involved in the deal, Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), is working with media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathon Pryce), whose plan is to start World War III in order to profit off of the headlines it would provide.

 

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The villainous plot is bonkers, don’t get me wrong. And Jonathon Pryce’s performance is exceedingly over-the-top. But it’s a good over-the-top. It is a fun wackiness. He’s the person to watch in this film, and it is hard to ignore him.

 

Brosnan plays Bond a bit too tongue-in-cheek, but there is some fun to be found in his performance. When he trades quips with tech-expert Q (Desmond Llewelyn) about his unique new car (more on this later), we see Brosnan having a genuine good time with the role, as opposed to Connery or Moore at the end of their runs. His performance in this film may be his strongest and most well-rounded of his four films as the spy.

 

On the South end of the acting spectrum we get Bond girl Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher). Her ham-fisted delivery ruins scenes between Brosnan and herself. Michelle Yeoh, the other Bond girl, fares better, but the acting overall doesn’t succeed much beyond Brosnan and Pryce.

 

The action in this film is solid. A car chase scene involving a literal backseat driver and a remote control is fresh, if not a bit confined. The motorcycle chase later on is less effective, mainly due to corny dialogue that is interspersed throughout, but strong editing in these sequence make these scenes far better than some of the lazier scenes from the earlier films, which appear unfortunately dated.

 

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The Post-Script

For what it is, Tomorrow Never Dies is a good time. It has clunky moments and its overall plot line is absurd, but the delightfully over-the-top performance from Jonathon Pryce is enough to enjoy the camp.

 

Tomorrow Never Dies: C

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Tomorrow Never Dies is currently available on Amazon Video here.

 

  • Tomorrow Never Dies: C
  • GoldenEye: A-
  • License to Kill: B+
  • The Living Daylights: B+
  • A View to a Kill: D+
  • Octopussy: C-
  • For Your Eyes Only: C
  • Moonraker: D
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: B-
  • The Man With the Golden Gun: C+
  • Live and Let Die: C+
  • Diamonds Are Forever: C-
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: B+
  • Casino Royale (1967): D+
  • You Only Live Twice: C+
  • Thunderball: C-
  • Goldfinger: A-
  • From Russia With Love: A-
  • Dr. No: B

 

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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