I have a vague memory after seeing Tomorrow Never Dies for the first time–which I’m nearly certain I saw in the theater–that I thought the plot was ridiculous. Our villain Elliot Carver is a media mogul who uses some new satellite technology to set various militaries against each other. He literally causes international incidents in order to control the news and also use that power to wheel and deal on the business end of things. Seemed kind of nuts back then, but now it’s probably more poignant and believable than it did 14 years ago. The media’s crazy you guys.
Anyway, enough boring political stuff, this flick was tons of fun. Bond gets to show off his quick thinking skills in the beginning when he gets some nuclear weapons out of range of a missile strike on a swap meet for terrorists. There’s a great moment when this guy is strangling Bond from the back seat of the jet and Bond steers his jet under another one that’s trying to attack him. 007 gets everything lined up and then hits the eject button on the back seat and sends his attacker through the bottom of the above jet. Blammo. Then you’ve got the last thirty minutes or so which involves Bond and fellow secret agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) being handcuffed together and fighting their way through the streets of China. You’ve got a motorcycle chase against a helicopter, Yeoh throwing down some kung fun on attackers and then the final assault on Carver’s floating headquarters.
Aside from being a Bond movie and a pretty rad action movie, I was drawn to TND for one other very specific reason as a teenager: Teri Hatcher. I had a ridiculous crush on her thanks to Lois & Clark. Unfortunately she had to go and ruin herself for me by being on the god awful Desperate Housewives. She’ll still always have a soft spot in my heart for being both Lois Lane and a Bond Girl though.
I think Pierce Brosnon really showed off his skills this time around as James Bond. He’s got Dalton’s seriousness, Lazenby’s cockiness (though more understated like Connery’s), Connery’s swagger and just a bit of Dalton’s wry humor, which comes across in the occasional post kill one-liner. He even has a bit of Connery’s panther-like grace when moving around, but he’s more deliberate and a bit more forceful. He really came into his own and brought his own swagger and skills to it, combining all the other guys and making the whole thing more modern. I’m glad I’ve got two more of his movies to check out.