1131. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

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6.4 Preposterous
  • Acting 6.7
  • Directing 6.4
  • Story 6.0
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Running Time: 119 mins


Tomorrow Never Dies is a British film and the eighteenth in the James Bond series. After a military confrontation between Britain and China, MI6 discovers that a diabolical media mogul is attempting to engineer a global disaster that he will be able to exclusively report.

James Bond films are often ridiculous, but this is really taking the mickey now. Full of massive action that seems like it belongs in a Michael Bay movie, a totally uninteresting story and one of the most boring Bond villains you’ve ever seen, Tomorrow Never Dies is not a good film.

However, there are some saving graces that still make it just watchable. Pierce Brosnan, for example, is as brilliant as ever, and always a joy to see on screen, whilst Michelle Yeoh as the Bond girl is also pretty lively and entertaining.

There are also some callbacks to the Bonds of old, mostly in the brief appearance of the Aston Martin DB5, but also going back to submarine nuclear warfare, and Bond’s expertise in the naval field, which is also good to see.

But apart from that, this is a pretty unsatisfying and disappointing part of Bond history, and what makes it most irritating and frustrating is its lack of a good sense of fun, despite its preposterous plot.

We’ve seen over the years that 007 can make a ridiculously unbelievable plot work as an entertaining watch if it doesn’t take itself too seriously, in cases like Moonraker and Thunderball, but this, as a try-hard modern action film, goes totally the wrong way in that regard.

The action is brash and loud, and goes on for far too long without any respite for a few good quips, whilst the plot itself tries hard to be an impressive thriller where the end of the world is nigh, but you never feel that really tension and sense of danger either. As a result, the fact that this film takes itself so seriously and has such a high opinion of itself is rendered pointless, because there’s no intelligence or drama to come from it.

Finally, the villain here is so boring. Although you firstly don’t have an idea of who is the true villain, providing a tiny bit of mystery for about ten minutes, you end up discovering that it’s this guy who runs a news channel.

Gone are the days, apparently, when a madman could think up a diabolical plan just because he thought it was a good idea and could run the world with his brainwashed minions. Now, it’s a guy who has to have a clear financial plan, and has no drastic ambitions on world dominations, but wants to take over the media! Thrilling.

In the end, Tomorrow Never Dies is a big disappointment as far as James Bond goes, and although there are some things that bring a little joy to it, it’s neither a fun nor exciting enough film to ever care about, and that’s why it gets a 6.4 from me.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com