Tomorrow Never Dies


#1

One of the most underrated Bond films. I think it, that it used to get a lot of hate for having a somewhat ridiculous plot and trying to outdo Goldeneye. It’s also the only Brosnan film to clock in under 2 hours and has the wrong song over it’s main titles. However, in 2018’s bizarre world, this film seems to be one of the most relevant. Terms like Fake News are thrown around like candy and we have people in power that used their own business empire to propel them to that spot. TND has always been my favorite Brosnan Bond. Is it time we re-evaluate this one?


#2

The Good:

Bond waits with a vodka and silencer
“I could shoot you from Stuttgart”
The pre-titles.
Sound proofed room fight.
The Maxwell inspired story was relevant and novel.

The Bad:

Jonathan Price; what a shame MI:2 re-shoots made the already cast Anthony Hopkins unavailable (read that some place).
Slo-mo when the motorbike goes under the helicopter blades (or did I imagine it).
Bond using uzis turned him into Rambo.

And The Ugly:

Teri Hatcher.

That whole hotel room seduction - wow, I can only ever watch through the fingers it’s that damn cheesy - it’s like an episode of Dynasty. The soap acting gets turned up to 11 with Hatcher bringing out the worst of Brossa. What a totally abysmal scene. And that lingering snog Bond gives the dead Hatcher - was it just me that found it a little creepy. Boy, how a single scene can totally ruin a whole movie.


#3

I think it’s highly underrated. GoldenEye in my favorite Brosnan film but I think Tomorrow Never Dies is superior is several aspects, including cinematography, score, and Brosnan’s performance. This film follows the Bond formula and does it well. It should be mentioned in the same breath as You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Love Me in terms of plot. I also like that the plot is very straight forward. You know who the villain is and what the stakes are very quickly and Bond is sent to stop them. Coming in under two hours also gives the film a tighter pace that moves quickly and doesn’t waste time. It’s like anti-Thunderball.

As for Ellitot Carver and his plot I can sum it up in one word “Delicious.”

I’ve seen criticism that Carver’s plan and his goal of “Exclusive broadcast rights in China” as being ridiculous (looking at you Matt Gourley of the James Bonding Podcast) but Carver’s plan isn’t really all that absurd, nor or his goals.

Goldfinger broke into Ft. Knox with a dirty bomb to simply make his own gold more valuable. Zorin tried to destroy Silicon Valley with an earthquake to make his microchips more valuable. Carver starting WWIII to boost his media empire and gain exclusive broadcast rights in a county with a billion people doesn’t seem so silly. Bond villains are always trying to destroy the world for very petty reasons. That’s why they’re Bond villains.


#4

Come on, that is completely ridiculous! Who’s gonna watch telly and buy newspapers after global mutually assured nuclear war?

Everything else you said, though… Me too :slight_smile:


#5

Pros: David Arnold’s score; stunts; pacing; Vincent Schaivelli, and to a certain extent Jonathan Pryce

Cons: Terminator-esque, loud climax; script filled with bad quips; Teri Hatcher


#6

“I shall retaliate for dear old England by sending this missile into Beijing, where General Chang has just called an emergency meeting of the Chinese high command. Unfortunately, General Chang will be delayed in traffic arriving just after the missile has killed your leaders and too late to stop the air force from sinking the entire British fleet. But he’ll be just in time to take over the government, negotiate a truce and emerge as a world leader with the Nobel Peace Prize.”


#7

WWIII will be short but the ratings will be huge!


#8

Because it says so in the hackish script don’t make it at all plausible.

Sure intertextually its ‘logic’ is that a truce will be possible. But I think as we can see from the powder keg scenario between Russia and the US in the real world right now that just the loss of a single Russian soldier may be enough to set it off.

If China sank the British fleet there would likely be no time for truces as retaliation by Nato would be immidiate.

So I’m not saying that TND doesn’t believe it’s own hype, just that this particular piece of logic bares no real world scrutiny whatsoever.


#9

Well Carver was also insane. Just because this was his “plan” does not mean it would’ve worked. Imo, TND is far more relevant today than any of the other Brosnan films. As it sure seems like current politics are reflecting the situation that Carver created just with the US and Russia instead of the UK and China.


#10

That’s a good point. Most if not all of the Bond villains are nuts, with plots that wouldn’t work. The key to a “good” (or favorably remembered) plan seems to be how clever the concept is, how big a threat it seems to pose and (influenced by factors 1 and 2) how long is it before we stop and realize it won’t work.

Goldfinger’s plans are treated as grandiose even within the context of the film, but also as so clever even Bond is impressed, and the visuals are so entertaining we don’t care if it’s plausible or not. On the other hand, Greene’s plan in QoS may very well be plausible, but it’s so small scale it hardly matters. (He doesn’t want to take away Bolivia’s water entirely, just charge more for it, and if you don’t live in Bolivia, why would you care either way?)

Other plans are “Bond worthy” in scope, but it only works if you never stop to think. For instance, why do none of Drax’s technicians reach the same conclusion as Bond: that if they’re less than perfect, they have no future in Drax’s new world order? Are they happy with the idea of living the rest of their lives on a space station? Stromberg’s flunkies are even more short-sighted: how exactly are they going to “build a new world beneath the sea” when the organization only included one woman, and she’s dead by the middle of the film?

Carver’s employees, like Goldfinger’s, can be excused for thinking, “Yeah, the boss is nuts, but he pays well, and if this works we’ll be paid even better.” But what’s in it for those guys in the red or yellow jumpsuits who participate in a “destroy the world” scheme? Do they never stop and think, “Hey, wait. All my friends live on the Earth!” Even if they’re paid well, where do they cash the check if all the banks are destroyed?

Anyway, I’d put Carver’s plan in the middle somewhere with the majority of Bond villain schemes: It’s a lot of “blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda” to justify a bunch of stunts and explosions and exotic travel. I’d argue it works less well than many, though, because as soon as it’s revealed we’re already thinking, “Wait, how does that make any sense?!?” That thought’s not supposed to hit us until at least the drive home.


#11

Absolutely - it has one of the smartest, most intriguing, original and realistic premise of any Bond in recent memory; since GF imo.

So it’s a shame they had to compromise all this with Carver’s end game rationale - totally irrational. Sure, he’s perhaps insane, but that insanity makes him far less interesting and frightening than a villain like GF who’s reason and logic make for a tough nemesis to defeat.


#12

the best gunbarrel of the series


#13

I don’t think a short conflict between GB and China counts as WWIII… more of a Falklands +.


#14

If two such nuclear powers kicked off there’s no saying where it would end.

If Argentina had nuclear weapons then the falklands may well have ended far more catastrophically (though it was indeed catastrophic for many that fought there).

Moreover the conflict may well have not happened at all if the risk was nuclear. A diplomatic agreement would no doubt have been sought instead.


#15

Indeed: which makes Mutually Assured Destruction in a conflict between China and Britain highly unlikely: tbh we’d probably have roll over before it got to arms just on the basis of their economic dominance. Either way, Carver’s plot is unlikely (as all great Bond villains’ schemes are: plots like those of Kristatos and Whittaker are rather vanilla for my liking) but not preposterous. Overall I reckon it’s a good film… especially when I make a cup of tea during the hotel seduction scene! I also think the set design is rather uninspired, with the interior of Carver’s boat looking suspiciously like a rather downmarket nightclub!


#16

It’s almost like their usual guy was off winning an Oscar…


#17

:joy: There’s probably a national spike in electricity usage during that cringey scene when airs on network telly.


#18

I’m just going to quote this post by Gobi because it touches upon why I like TND really well. It’s a Moore film with a modern touch that still manages to be relevant today - in my opinion moreso now than then.


#19

My favourite part of TND is the muted fight in the sound proof booth at Carver’s party. It’s cold, brutal aesthetic and moves foreshadowed what would come with Craig.


#20

TND delivered on a lot of levels. It was a by the numbers Bond with a great PTS. The only thing I would have changed was the songs. Lang’s version over the opening credits and Crow for the end. Crow was the bigger name and I do like both songs and artists, but Lang’s sounded like old school Barry.