"Tomorrow Never Dies" Appreciation
Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:28 PM
The pre-title sequence was very good. The title sequence is pretty cool and the song is the only modern Bond song I really care for besides "Die Another Day". The story is easy to follow and has a lot of typical elements (Bond in Asia, sunken ships, missile theft, working with female agents). But I'm surprised how they kept it all from feeling cliche. The villains are especially cruel, cerebral and entertaining this round. The women really steal the film for me. Michelle Yeoh is so sweet and sincere, but also bad-. Her character is a little flat compared to Teri Hatcher's, who really is the most interesting character in this. I still dig the gadgets in this one. They were cool and futuristic then, but now seem realistic and STILL cool. Q's sequence was one of the best yet, I think. He has great chemistry with Pierce.
The 4 Brosnan films get take a ton of slack, but they were the best action films of their time and are stilly pretty classy and graceful for post-60s Bond films. After the critical failure of the later Moore films and the commercial failure of Dalton, I say Brosnan's films saved the series. They are easily on par with 2nd tier Bond films like YOLT and FYEO (two films I especially dislike, but are loved by many fans).
I think Brosnan will go down as the most underrated Bond actor as he is believably smart, witty, tough and also handsome. He seems like a perfect blend of Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton: Charm and guts. His Bond is the most personal. Each of his films involve Bond seeking some retribution against a villain he truly hates. He's also the best with heavy artillery weapons and technology. He only wears classy clothing and his sense of humor is always smart, even if its vulgar. He is a perfect Bond to me. I just wish he had starred in one of the truly great films. This one is like a 7.5/10.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 03:28 PM
Posted 20 December 2010 - 03:41 PM
Posted 20 December 2010 - 03:42 PM
Posted 20 December 2010 - 04:41 PM
The PTS is pretty great, I really liked it and it put me in a good mood to enjoy the rest of the movie. Yet, once the movie actually resumed after the title song which I found pretty lame, it was such a letdown.
What ruins it, to me, is that the plot is ridiculously oversimplified (we picked up a signal, we know it's Carver, go get him).
It had great potential, though: re-introducing the typical feature of the henchman, a plot around media moguls and influence, Bond in Asia, etc.
But on the whole I think it missed considerably. Bond knows from the very start who the villain is, and the rest is just Whams! and Bangs!
Granted, they're great Whams! and Bangs!, so that I enjoy TND whenever I watch it from time to time, but that's pretty much all there is to it: no witty dialogue, no real investigation, no tension, a shallow-performed Paris Carver, an uninspired music score, etc.
It's too bad, because you can see that the director does try to deliver a good product, but the overall quality of it is pretty poor.
To me, what saves TND is that it's a Bond movie, so you do have some enjoyable elements (nice sets, nice suits, nice cinematography). But nothing more, really. Had it not been a Bond movie, I wouldn't consider watching it again (I know, I'm a Bond geek beyond redemption, even enjoying watching the ones I tend to dislike!...)
Posted 20 December 2010 - 04:43 PM
GE will always hold special value, but as time goes by, I find myself leaning towards TND. It doesn't feel as dated, and it's a film more in line with Brosnan's tone. Similar to Moore, but 90s style. It feels more like an old school classic if Brosnan was to ever have one.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 04:55 PM
Posted 20 December 2010 - 05:08 PM
Agreed. It has things GE had, eg. an event where Bond introduces himself, but it also rectified lacking aspects. I'm a fan of Serra's score, but Arnold gave us that Barry-esque sound with blaring Bond Theme. Which is easily his best Brosnan era score, and it isn't as offensive. We got a gadget car chase and not a tease of what could be. We got Bond dressed in full Commander's uniform. Etc, etc.
Goldeneye is better directed, I will never argue that. However, I do think TND is an overall more enjoyable experience as a Bond adventure, with better casting and a slightly more focused narrative. It also doesn't take itself nearly as seriously as any of Brosnan's other films. It's kind of just there to have a good time.
Posted 20 December 2010 - 06:10 PM
Posted 04 January 2011 - 02:46 AM
I always thought TND had a sharp looking sheen to it. For example, in comparison to the similar GE shot, the outer space image of Earth is clearer and realistic. Comparing the lairs, while I think the Arecibo Observatory is more iconic, I prefer the interior of the stealth boat. It’s more moody and mysterious.
The plot is a TSWLM/TB hybrid, but that hasn’t bothered me. It makes the film feel more like a classic Moore/Connery era plot. And I find the news/technology angle to be as relevant as ever. Computers full of bugs, full on media saturation of bad news is true and unsettling.
Moments in the film that stand out as undeniably Bond are the DB5, the hotel room brood and learning a new tongue with the professor. Also of note is Doctor Kaufman. His stand-off with Bond is Red Grant-esque, without the physicality and trading the briefcase for a phone.
The name Stamper always felt comic booky to me, like the Brosnan era name equivalent of Jaws. It’s interesting to note both him and Xenia have an infatuation with pain.
M’s role is reduced from what it is now, and I like the briefing in the car, opposed to having it in the office all the time. And Q’s briefing in the field is my favourite Desmond scene of the Brosnan era.
Age wise, Brosnan looks his best here. In the Vietnam scenes, he’s punching as hard as Lazenby.
Posted 04 January 2011 - 03:22 AM
Posted 09 January 2011 - 06:58 PM
I really like the PTS and think Sherryl Crow's "Tomorrow Never Dies" opening song is the best of the Brosnan films. I think Brosnan looked his best in this one and I enjoyed the musical score.
The motorcycle and BMW chases are entertaining, as is the printing press shoot out. The film is packed w/ action. I thought Carver was witty, sometimes even borderline comical, but only a decent villan. Terri Hatcher was miscast, but I'm not a fan of her anyway. A solid entry.
Posted 09 January 2011 - 07:25 PM
Everything else is marvellous for me, though. Arnold's bombastic score (which is celebratory, rather than indulgent although it does walk the line), Brosnan's charisma and presence and some of my favourite gadgets of the franchise. Teri Hatcher and the hotel room scene is wonderful. Carver is an excellent, topical villain (again, without being too indulgent) and made only more relevant today.
It's a pity TWINE wasn't more like TND, really.
Edited by Gothamite, 09 January 2011 - 07:26 PM.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:02 AM
Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:40 PM
Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:35 AM
I watched it last night as part of my Bond marathon.
I enjoyed it. The start and end are a bit too action-oriented, but I will tell you the section I really enjoyed - Hamburg. I liked every scene from the last shot of Carver's party all the way through to the South China Sea air base. This includes the wonderful sequence of 007 sneaking around the printing factory, stealing the decoder, knocking over the satellite (classic Bond moment!), Dr Kaufmann, and finally the car chase.
I also really enjoyed the fun bike chase in Saigon, and while Jonathan Pryce plays Elliot Carver in an over-the-top way, some of the looks he gives Bond when 007 antagonises him are priceless!
A very sold entry, just a bit too heavy handed on dark, indoor action sequences. And it has a high body count too.
Posted 14 March 2015 - 05:18 AM
Love Tomorrow Never Dies. It's my favorite PTS of the series with suspense and tension building throughout. And I love that MI6 are stuck on one stationary point of view while Bond is wreaking havoc all around the bazaar. They can see it happening but don't know where 007 is or how much trouble he may be in. Add in the fact of the racing missile, and it only adds that much more to their tension. Simply fantastic.
Also, Moneypenny has some great lines and repartee with Bond, and the Hamburg scenes are great throughout capped off by Bond's deadly confrontation with Kaufman and the exciting car park chase. Brosnan is great in the film, Pryce gets a number of juicy lines, and Yeoh is her usual kick-ass self. The only negatives are the unbelievable tankless underwater escape from the warship, the slightly long motorcycle chase, and the Rambo-esque machine gun shootout at the finale. But those quibbles aside, it all adds up to one great 007 adventure.
Posted 14 March 2015 - 09:26 AM
My favourite Brosnan-Bond.
GE is too much serious and Brosnan still a little tense...
TWINE is too much emotional and personal with too much M for my taste...
DAD, well, is DAD... A funny entertainment but "a little" over the top...
TND: great pts, great Moneypenny lines, great past story with Paris Carver, great fight in Hamburg, glorious soundtrack...
Posted 14 March 2015 - 02:09 PM
Pretty much what ggl said above echoes how I feel about TND and the other Brosnan era films. I'm surprised I never weighed in on this topic before.
I was never that satisfied with GE when it came out and it seemed to get way too much credit and found TND more satisfying. Part of my enjoyment is it doesn't take the "this time it's personal" thing too far the way the other Brosnans (as well as LTK and Craig's 3) do. Sure there's the Paris thing, but it's not left lingering. The action beats anything they came up with in the next two entries. I feel about TND the way some feel about YOLT -- its about a satisfying adventure, not so much a Bond film about having to explore the personal side.
I love a number of things about it, but the scenes that for whatever reason stand out are, as listed on David Arnold's soundtrack "Hamburg Break-in" and "Hamburg Break-Out". The scenes have Bond doing spy/detective work, hand-to-hand combat, daring escapes, shoot-outs. That sets up one of the nicer dramatic scenes with Dr. Kauffman and the car chase. It just summed up cinematic Bond for me.
Great precredit sequence that introduces the new technology of the team getting to stay in touch with Bond in the field and some real suspense involved. David Arnold makes a great impression on his first outing. I even like the Sheryl Crowe song, which many don't. I had that soundtrack on constantly in 1998. Brosnan looks at his peak in this. There was something off in his last two films for some reason. Carver isn't the best villain, but a nice throwback to the Drax/Zorin era of the evil magnate.
A lot of people think there's too much action and I think the shootout at the end was a bit much. But considering this was the shortest entry at the time can make it seem like it's more action-oriented than it is. I thought there was a nice balance between action and story.