Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Saturday Is Bond Day, #19: Tomorrow Never Dies

My sons are not particularly invested in the Bond movies at the moment -- this time more than even last week, since they'd just gotten new rental video games (the reward for getting all As and Bs on their report cards) that morning. So I was the only one who saw Tomorrow Never Dies straight through, and even I had a laptop in front of me most of the time.

It seemed to be a serviceable Bond movie, and my general impression was that it was stronger than Goldeneye in nearly every way -- Jonathan Price makes a splendid villain, not quite chewing the scenery but acting with gusto and energy; Michelle Yeoh is possibly the toughest Bond Girl ever, not actually sleeping with Brosnan's Bond (unless I missed something, which is possible) and beating up nearly as many henchmen as he does; and the chases were slightly more realistic, including some great motorcycle scenes.

However, Brosnan's Bond still does get beaten up an awful lot -- the bad guys get the drop on him repeatedly, and he survives mostly because the plot needs to be explained to him before he's killed. And Brosnan does have difficulty looking tough enough for the part; he comes across as a lightweight who needs his semi-automatic rifles to compensate for his weaknesses in traditional spycraft (and possibly other areas).

The title makes absolutely no sense, but it sounds like a Bond title, which I suppose is sufficient. I bet I would have liked this better if I'd given it more attention, but I was making lunch and having boys running in and out during the running time -- as I discovered the first time around, watching movies at lunchtime on Saturday is not the best time.
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Listening to: My First Earthquake - Meat Pies
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Matthew J. Brady said...

I liked this one a lot when it first came out, but I was exactly the right age for it (late teens). I haven't seen it in years, but I remember some good action setpieces and cool gadgets, if a lightweight plot. And Bond did sleep with Michelle Yeoh, at the very end. Unfortunately, this is the high point of the Brosnan era; the next two go downhill pretty quickly, despite Robert Carlyle as a villain and Halle Berry's post-Oscar attempt to be another Yeoh-style Bond girl.

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