'Tomorrow Never Dies' revisited
With 'Quantum of Solace' due to hit our screens soon, we take a daily look back at the 21 official Bond films. Day 18: ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997, Roger Spotiswoode)Villain: Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver
At stake: The oft-rescheduled WWIIICandy: Teri HatcherGizmo: A new gun – the Walther P99Theme song: ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ by Sheryl CrowQuote: ‘Let the mayhem begin.’Everything starts so well. Bond snooping around an arms bazaar in the bleak, snowy wastes of Russia while his sweaty-palmed superiors squabble for jurisdiction in a distant cosy control centre gives one confidence that the gritty espionage the made ‘GoldenEye’ so worthwhile has been retained and even expanded on.It doesn’t last. In fact almost every successful aspect of the previous film has been ditched in favour of a totally anonymous blockbuster that already looks more dated than any other Bond.A timely plot concerning media mogul Elliot Carver’s machinations toward a World War to which he would have exclusive broadcasting rights is wasted and a tired attempt to ring some emotion out of Bond’s relationship with Carver’s wife goes exactly nowhere.Admittedly, there’s an excellent motorbike sequence through and above the streets of Bangkok and a superb close-quarters car chase around a multi-storey car park, but other than those furious five minutes it’s a film that you forget even as you’re watching it.The many attempts at humour are particularly poor. The scintillating badinage amounts to a discontinuous white noise of baffling non sequiturs worthy of a Beckett play and the one-liners wouldn’t be out of place in a pre-watershed BBC sitcom.Jonathan Pryce deserves a mention for trying to animate proceedings with his pantomime reading of the role of Carver. Teri Hatcher, as his wife, seems as bored as the rest of us and appears to be struggling to resist a desire to dart a knowing, apologetic glance to camera.For those who fret over such matters, 'Tomorrow Never Dies' does at least stand out as the point at which product placement got the better of 007.James Bond will return in… ‘The World Is Not Enough’Read our original 'Tomorrow Never Dies' review
Author: Adam Lee Davies
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