Tomorrow Never Dies
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, Joe Don Baker, Jonathan Pryce, Teri Hatcher
Media mogul Elliot Carver (Pryce) wants exclusive TV news rights in China, so he creates the appearance of the Chinese downing a British naval vessel, hoping to start a war so a general he has paid off can take control. It's up to everyone's favorite secret agent James Bond (Brosnan) and Chinese agent Wai Lin (Yeoh) to stop Carver before he starts WWIII.
It's kind of hard to review a Bond movie, because on one hand you want the same great Bond gimmicks (girls, guns and gadgets), but on the other you don't want it to be the same as other Bond films. That being said, Tomorrow Never Dies was not only one of the best action films of 1997, it's one of the best Bond movies ever. Everything about this movie clicked for me. Brosnan seems to have settled really well into the Bond character, combining the hard-ass aspects of Sean Connery's Bond along with the comedic aspects of Roger Moore's. Bond has some pretty nifty gadgets, and his customized BMW (which he puts to use via remote control a cool sequence) is very sweet. Thankfully, what originally seemed like a weak point to me -- the no-talent Teri Hatcher playing Bond's love interest -- is successfully resolved by having her killed off fairly early.
But if you're reading this, you're probably more interested in Michelle Yeoh's US debut as Wai Lin. Simply put, Yeoh does a great job. Like in Supercop, she manages to rise above her "sidekick" status and almost overshadow her male co-star in the action sequences. This is especially impressive for a Bond movie, since most "Bond girls" add little to the story except for cleavage and giving Bond a hostage to rescue at the end of the movie. She puts her stunt training to good use here, especially in a great motorcycle/helicopter chase sequence through (literally) a city. The only bit I didn't like was the mandatory make-out scene with Bond at the end, but, what the hell, it's James Bond, whaddya gonna do?
Overall, a very good action movie and a stunning US debut for Yeoh. But do yourself a favor and fast-forward through Sheryl Crow's opening "song."
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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