Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Posted in Reviews by - November 18, 2013
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Michelle Yeoh abolishes the more demeaning Bond girl tropes for her first English language performance. The film made her a star in the west after over a decade of hard graft as Hong Kong’s premier superheroine. She is Bond’s espionage equal in shades of Jackie Chan‘s Supercop, sharing steering duties on a bike chase through Vietnam and trading ammunition while blowing up a stealth warship. Despite playing second fiddle she comes out on top, and the film’s excitement picks up considerably when she takes over the action about halfway through. Brosnan, in his second Bond outing, handles the rough and tumble well but shows a knowing shtick which undermines the role, while his target – Pryce’s maniacal media tycoon – is too outrageous even for a Bond film. He chews the scenery as an insane William Randolph Hearst figure creating conflict between Britain and China to sell more newspapers and air time. The central conceit – an all-powerful Murdoch-like empire acting as a front for one man’s quest for world domination – is a good gag, but the execution is too crude and caricatured. This isn’t a great film, but the journalism angle at least offers Bond ample room for puns and pithy one-liners.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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