Bond is brutal...
Major Loy's review of Tomorrow Never Dies.
Bond is brutal... ...and I love it! My wife and I were lucky enough to attend the Tomorrow Never Dies Cast and Crew World Premiere in London on 7 Dec. Then to top it off, I was lucky enough to take my family the next night to Cambridge to a private screening! Since I have seen the movie twice, I would like to give you my personal review.
The opening sequence is great, and M almost steals the show! The Title song sung by Sheryl Crow is very good, but I think the closing song sung by k.d. lang is much better. The backgrounds for the opening song as elegant. I especially liked the "computer circuit" women. Very classy.
Congratulations to David Arnold. His music makes all the difference. After the dark and haunting sounds of U2 in GoldenEye (which works fine for that movie), hearing the lush and fully orchestrated sounds of the classic Bond themes intertwined with his song "Surrender" really makes the movie bigger than life. It really is too bad that they didn't use "Surrender as the opening theme. All in all, Mr. Arnold is a fantastic successor to John Barry, let's just hope that he stays on for future movies.
Pierce Brosnan is definitely more at home this time around. He is cool and hard when he wants to be (much more like the character in the Fleming books), yet has numerous one liners delivered very well. His personality is much more out-going than GoldenEye. In one particular scene he deals with a brutal killer quickly and methodically, much like the trained killer we expect to see. He has a particularly menacing "mean" face when he wants and it works well for when he wants to portray the "action hero." Just as importantly, his [rapport] with other actors shows that he is indeed the star.
Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver is a gem. You almost believe he is psychotic yet almost likable. He has some particularly funny lines including, "The only difference between insanity and genius is success!" More than once he reminds me of Dr. No, especially since he dresses like him on a couple of occasions.
Terry Hatcher was much better than I expected. She plays the part perfectly. She and Brosnan make a credible pair. His scene in the hotel room waiting for her to arrive is great. He is drinking heavily and coolly waiting for a henchman to arrive when "Paris" arrives instead. This scene is very credible and makes me wonder why we didn't see more of Terry Hatcher.
Michelle Yeoh is very believable as a Chinese agent yet we don't really see much of her until 75 minutes into the film! Her fights scenes are reminiscent of Jackie Chan. I especially enjoyed the motorcycle chase scene. The helicopter chasing them does an excellent job and the special effects are outstanding К bravo!
Gotz Otto as Stamper, the evil henchman of Carver is somewhat underplayed. Although menacing looking, he never lives up to standards created by Jaws, Rosa Klebb, or even OddJob. Too often in the movie Carver orders Stamper to take care of Bond and Lin. After the first two times he would have surely been eliminated himself in any other Bond movie. His final fight with Bond is adequate but somewhat reminiscent of the climactic fight scene that finishes GoldenEye.
It is satisfying to see the role of M and Moneypenny given a little more room for lighthearted comebacks at both Bond and Admiral Roebuck. As stated earlier, M almost steals the show in the opening sequence yet is on the screen for less than a minute. Her relationship with Bond is obviously more chummy and she defends Bond on more than one occasion.
I loved the scene with Desmond Llewelyn as Q. As usual he seems old and reading cue cards (which he was) but he still so loveable that one cannot help but like him. Bond smiles more during this sequence than any other part of the film.
The stunts and chase scenes are some of the best ever seen. The remote control car and motorcycle chase scenes are worth going to see by themselves. No cheap stunts here, and no obvious miniatures. This movie is glitzy and glossy, and may even surpass GoldenEye in sales. Congratulations to Roger Spottiswoode for an outstanding job directing the movie. Having met him, he is also a very nice gentleman. He obviously took the time to make this movie flow nicely, and yet let us enjoy the actors themselves. This is the shortest Bond movie to date, 1 hour and 59 minutes, yet it is packed with as much action as any other Bond film. It was nice to see that the movie was dedicated in loving memory to "Cubby" Broccoli.
Overall I rate this as one of the top three Bond movies, perhaps even the best. I give it two
thumbs up (I only have two thumbs!).