Pierce Brosnan is the Bond actor for this movie. This is his second movie. For the first couple of Bond movies his acting was kind of stiff because he was trying to win over his audience too much. Later on he would relax more with his weaker Bond movies and actually be a better actor in those.
This is a great movie on how not to do journalism. A journalist named Elliot Carver decides to get broadcasting rights in China by helping a general gain power over China. He does this by sinking a ship, blowing up a plane and making it look like Britain and China are out to get each other. James Bond has to stop him. This includes hooking up with an old flame of his who is now Carver’s wife.
There is lots of good action in this movie. The movie opens up with James Bond trying to keep a bomb from being blown up. He has to fight his way through a whole bunch of terrorists and fly the plane away before it is hit by a missile that was shot by a British Navy ship. He has to do all of this in just five minutes. It makes for a great opening scene. Then James Bond fights some thugs, steals a box from Carver and has a car chase with some gangsters. The car chase is great because Bond drives his car with a remote like a video game. You could see this as pandering to a younger crowd who was at that time playing the classic Goldeneye game on Nintendo 64, but it still makes for a cool scene. James Bond eventually teams up with Wai Lin, who is a Chinese, female agent and they take down Carver and stop his plan together.
Aside from maybe The World Is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan usually played a very light hearted, humorous James Bond in his movies. He has some good jokes, particularly with the female voice for his car. He has a couple of lines such as “I think we’ve met.” and “Don’t let her push you around.” that are pretty funny.
The suspense is that James Bond has yet another deadline to meet. This time he has forty eight hours before Britain and China go to war with each other to expose Carver as the real culprit behind the attacks.
Q makes one of his last appearances with the original actor Desmond Llewelyn portraying him. He gives Bond some gadgets such as a car and a cell phone that can electrocute somebody else who tries to use it. Bond and Q have some good banter such as when Q is telling Pierce Brosnan how to use his cell phone. Q says to talk in one and listen to the other end. Pierce Brosnan jokes that he has been listening and talking to the wrong ends all these years until Q tells him to do it correctly.
The Bond woman in this movie is one of my favorite ones. She is an Asian woman named Wai Lin. She kicks a lot of ass with her martial arts moves. She can also use guns well. During one scene she takes on three guys in her bike shop. She is able to hold her own pretty well and is one of the few women who is just as skilled as Bond in combat.
The villains in this movie are kind of typical but interesting. The boss villain is a newspaperman who wants to become the biggest media mogul in the world by getting broadcasting rights in China. He comes up with this elaborate scheme to help a Chinese general gain power over China just so he can get the media rights. There is also a big, strong man who works for Carver named Mr. Stamper. He puts up a good fight against Bond at the very end of the movie. James Bond even stabs him in the torso with a knife, and it does hardly any damage against the tough Mr. Stamper.
The theme song for this movie is forgettable. Most of the Pierce Brosnan Bond theme songs were kind of forgettable because they were made by pop stars who I am not very interested in such as Madonna.
The main setting for this movie is another Asian country, kind of like You Only Live Twice, but this time it is China. We do not get to see as many of the unique sights in China as we did in You Only Live Twice because Tomorrow Never Dies relies a lot more on flashy action than You Only Live Twice probably did.
For this mission James Bond gets a cell phone that he uses to shock an opponent who is holding a gun on him, so that James Bond can turn the tables and shoot the criminal instead. He also gets a car with some nice features such as bullet proof glass. When the criminals try to get the box from James Bond’s car they are unable to get into the car despite hitting the glass with crow bars and shooting it. However, some how later on they are able to break through the glass. The car also has missile launchers and machine guns mounted on the front of the car. James Bond can also control the car with a remote control, which is almost as interesting of an idea for the car as going under water or becoming invisible. Unfortunately, James Bond sends the car flying into the side of a building at the end of the chase, yet another gadget that Q has given to Bond but Bond has managed to damage.
This is one of my favorite Pierce Brosnan movies because it has some great action, good villains and a great Bond girl.