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Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Budget 110 million. Opening dates: UK December 12, 1997; US December 19, 1997
World Box Office $335.3 million 
Originally written 
Saturday, April 14, 2007

While most viewers find the first Brosnan Bond film to be the best and the remaining ones consistently worse, I find it all to be quite the opposite. I had a lot of problems with Goldeneye and it's my belief that some of those problems were fixed in Tomorrow Never Dies.  While Tomorrow Never Dies seems more like a Bond film, it still has its large amount of faults but it's quite possibly one of the best Bond films in terms of action sequences, and that's no joke.

Bond is sent to investigate the disappearance of a British naval ship carrying nuclear missiles. There is evidence showing that the disappearance and possible destruction of the vessel was at the hands of the Chinese, who claim that the British vessel was in Chinese waters. While the British claim they were no where near Chinese waters it appears the two countries are about to settle their dispute in war. Bond is given 48 hours to find out what's really going on and who is behind this scheme to start World War III.

It doesn't take Bond long to figure out who might be behind it all. Quite soon after the incident the man who seems to be providing all the breaking news is media mogul Elliot Carver. Carver is about to unveil his new worldwide news broadcasting venture, does it happen to be a large coincidence that this implementation happens to be coinciding with the latest groundbreaking event and he's the first one to report on it? Obviously not because Bond soon discovers an agent from the Chinese secret service on Carver's trail as well. It all starts to become quite clear that Carver is not only reporting the news but creating it! Bond teams up with his Chinese counterpart in hopes of stopping Carver before he takes his war games to the final stage and initiates another World War. 

Surprisingly I found myself thoroughly enjoying this film. I'll admit the plot was incredibly bad, the Bond girls substantially mediocre and the villains laughable but the action was simply fantastic! This film has quite possibly the best action sequences of almost any of the Bond's!  Argue about believability all you want, the fact is the Bond films have always been about over stimulating and pushing the boundaries when it comes to action so don't attempt to rationalize it all, just enjoy. The action scenes I enjoyed the most were the car chase scene in the parking garage and the motorcycle chase on the rooftops of the Chinese ghetto. Bond controlling his car from the backseat on his cell phone while the villains are chasing him and pelting the vehicle with a barrage of bullets is classic Bond with all the stops pulled out. The motorcycle chase with Bond handcuffed to the Chinese agent while being chased by a helicopter was highly entertaining as well. Both action sequences were something rather new to the series and offer some of the best entertainment of the film.

In the end, Tomorrow Never Dies is a mediocre film when it comes to acting, and storyline but its faults are quite substantially made up by some great action sequences. This definitely isn't the best Bond film and realistically not even in the top ten, but it offers something past films have often lacked... really good action.  


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