Tomorrow Never Dies plunges Bond even deeper into the digital age. Making for a distinctively modern affair. Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth film in the long running franchise, and is also not based on any book by Ian Fleming. The title is a play on the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The production had to be rushed due to the newfound success GoldenEye sparked. It was the first Bond film made after the death of the franchise’s long standing producer Albert R. Broccoli. His daughter Barbara Broccoli would take over for him from then on. It was also the only Pierce Brosnan Bond film not to open #1 at the box-office. Since they were foolish enough to open the same day as Titanic.
The Mission: Stop media mogul from inciting war between Western and Chinese forces via broadcast
Gadgets & Vehicles: Remote Controlled BMW 750iL (equipped with concealed compartment, security system, reinforced chassis, tear gas, rocket launcher, caltrops dispenser, re-inflating tires, and cable cutter), Cigarette Lighter Grenade, Ericsson Mobile Phone, Walther P99
Bond Girls: Wai Lin, Paris Carver, Inga Bergstrom
Bond Villains: Elliot Carver, Richard Stamper, Dr. Kaufman, Henry Gupta, General Chang, Captain Scott
Analysis: With the ultra techno 90’s on full display, Tomorrow Never Dies chooses to make its villain a modern media mogul (a first in the franchise). Elliot Carver is the owner of a near global television news broadcast. Since China won’t allow his broadcast, he uses his outlet to ignite a war between China and the United Kingdom. That’s right, James Bond essentially fights the news. As farfected as it might seem, Carver’s plan might be the most realistic of any Bond villain scheme. His henchman Stamper is notable for being fond of torture. In keeping with the motif, the opening credits sequence is entirely digital. With microchips and cyber technology placed around naked women. Sheryl Crow performs the main theme. It was nominated for a Golden Globe, but it’s not one I’d easily remember. After receiving a Danish lesson from a lovely professor, Bond is assigned to investigate Carver. Which leads him to former flame and current wife of the mogul, Paris Carver. While furious at first, she can’t resist Bond’s charm. Teri Hatcher was 3 months pregnant at the time and she regretted doing the role even though it was small. Brosnan wasn’t overly fond of working with her, but he was fond of Michelle Yeoh. She plays Chinese Intelligence agent Wai Lin. Who agrees to work alongside 007 due to their shared mission. Similar to The Spy Who Loved Me. She became the first Chinese lead Bond girl and is considered to be one of the best Bond girls of all time. Wai Lin was so popular that she nearly returned in a future installment. A spin-off film was even considered. What makes her stand out is Yeoh’s natural confidence and ability to perform martial arts. She even comes with her own set of gadgets. Q supplies 007 with another extravagant spy car. A BMW that can be remote controlled and a cell phone because hey it’s the 90’s. The most stand out action scene by far is one where Bond and Wai Lin have to ride a motorcycle while handcuffed. It’s funny and action packed at the same time. Tomorrow Never Dies is a broadcast that deserves more viewers.
James Bond will return in The World is Not Enough