Tomorrow Never Dies
On yer bike 007 ...
Distributed by MGM/UA Home Video
Pierce Brosnan has matured in his second outing as "the decadent western agent" in this 18th EON adventure of the James Bond series. The movie opens on the Russian Border, "our man's in position" signals the start of more action and excitement. 007 saves the world by flying out a plane with nuclear missiles in the opening sequence - much improved on the opening flying sequence in GoldenEye. I liked his opening one-liners about smoking - "filthy habit" ( don't tell Bonds 1 to 4 ! ) and disposing of his passenger - "Back seat driver".
With the sinking of the HMS Devonshire in the South China Sea, Bond has to go after the Carver Media Group led by Elliot Carver played by Jonathan Evita Pryce. This latest villain believes "There's no news like bad news !" and somebody should give him some typing lessons. Bond producer Michael G. Wilson's follows up his usual cameo last seen seated in St. Petersburg in GoldenEye, this time on Carver's big video screen "sliming" the President.
After learning Danish in Oxford, Moneypenny describes 007 as "a cunning linguist" and later she lets the beans out about his past relationship with Mrs Paris Carver, James didn't believe "it was public knowledge" and she gets the last word by replying "Queen & Country". Enjoyable banter continues when M instructs 007 to "pump her for information". On arrival in Hamburg James meets up with Q who gives him a new BMW 750i with tricks & gadgets ( shades of tv's Knight Rider - K.I.T.T. ). At the party posing as a banker, 007 meets up with Carver, his future buddy Chinese agent Wai Lin ( the excellent Michelle Yeoh ) and Paris Carver ( Teri Hatcher - Lois Lane of tv's Superman ) who greets him with a slap on the face.
The movie's pace never lets up as 007 moves on to Saigon with a great bike stunt helped by David ID4 Arnold's good score which makes better use of the James Bond Theme than Eric Serra's GoldenEye score. Totally agreeing with Mr. Arnold that k d Lang's ending Surrender tune is miles ahead of Sheryl Crow's opening theme ( she didn't even sing and promote her song in the UK ). Supported by a great cast including a brief cameo by GoldenEye's Jack Wade ( Joe Don Baker ), Tomorrow Never Dies is an improvement with Brosnan, slightly heavier to throw his weight around but nails the role, plus action girl Yeoh who definitely holds her own with this 007. Overall everything you want from a Bond movie apart from the customary Aston ! So worth the two year wait, so roll on Bond 19 as Carver might say "Let the mayhem begin !"
In 2006 MGM Home Entertainment released the James Bond Ultimate Edition 2-Disc DVD set of each of the 20 movies. The format remains the same with disc one having the digitally restored movie and disc two with the extras - Declassified: MI6 Vault, 007 Mission Control, Mission Dossier, Ministry of Propaganda & Image Database. Each menu has a Bond lookalike silhouette, shooting girls, casino chips & cards and gun barrels incorporating photos & music from the movie.
Two regular features tucked away in 007 Mission Control with movie snips is a section called Exotic Locations with Samantha Moneypenny Bond narrating about the filming locations & their history and within 007 section is Opening Titles - Textless enabling you to enjoy them without wording covering the girls/images. Also comes with an eight page booklet with info & photos.
For this disc two movie audio commentaries comes from director Roger Spottiswoode & Dan Petrie Jr and another from co-producer Michael G Wilson & stunt arranger Vic Armstrong. On the extras: usual pop video with Sheryl Crow plus Moby's remix one for The James Bond Theme, trailers, two documentaries about the making of the movie - the one that came with the special video box set hosted by Desmond Q Llewelyn and an US one with great picture quality called The Secrets of 007. Enjoyed deleted scenes section with explaining Spottiswoode especially Bond gets a Jag, the cocktail spilling ride and 007's car rental disposal comment.
Another must for Bond fans !