|TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997)|
Joe Don Baker
|"The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success."|
|Time: 119 mins.|
Official Web Site
I have to admit that I am not a long-standing Bond fan, so I'm not all that concerned about the series making it into the next milennium. I've only seen about 3 of the series and all of them were made in the '90s. However, if they keep making them like TOMORROW NEVER DIES, I will show up and fill a seat at the theater. It's fun, non-stop action, with a plot and a good-looking leading man. What's not to like?
TOMORROW NEVER DIES begins in the same way all Bond movies do Bond's in a tight spot, saving the world, and he has to use all his skill, and some fabulous toys, to save, not only his life, but the world. From there the film takes a pot shot at media barons by making it's villian, Elliot Carver, create havoc on a massive scale in order to have the best television/radio/print ratings in the world. A little preachy, but fun nonetheless. (And who's to say these companies aren't already manipulating the news for their own benefit. Unfortunately, it's not as farfetched as one would like to think.)
In any case, Bond runs into an old love, played by Teri Hatcher, and is given a little depth of character in the scenes he plays with her. She obviously wasn't just one of the girls. The only problem for her is that she is married to Carver, who isn't too happy about their past. Bond also acquires a partner of sorts, a Chinese undercover agent played by Michelle Yeoh a well-known action superstar in Asia. Now I'm not complaining that the film had a woman in it that was capable of more than taking care of herself (though Bond did have to save her on several occasions), but I just don't think it was appropriate for this film series in particular.
I know it's the '90s and women want to have strong roles in the movies, but I just don't want to see them saving Bond's ass. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think it took away from his competence to have a partner. This isn't a buddy picture, this is Bond. I don't want to take away from Yeoh's performance she was very good and is an amazing martial artist. I just don't want her, or anyone else for that matter, bailing out Bond.
These films are the last of their breed, letting men be men and that's what I was paying to see. Not a PC correct version of the show. Of course, they shelved the strong, independent woman thing at the very end, when Bond and Li start kissing, reducing her to just another sexual conquest. Never mind that they had no sexual tension between them or that she wanted nothing to do with him for most of the film. Bond has to get some girl, so it might as well be her. After all, she was the only one left alive. I know he's supposed to be irresistable, but she's an agent as well, and it just felt contrived to me.
Overall, this was a very fun film, which had several moments that had me leaning forward in my seat excited to see what comes next. It had many great action sequences, the best one being with the remote controlled BMW. Every person should have one.