Urban Cinefile
"Joe Gillis: You used to be in pictures. You used to be big. Norma Desmond: I am big. It's the pictures that got small."  -Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder, Sunset Boulevard
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday July 18, 2019 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



France, Thailand, Germany, Mexico, USA, England. . . it all takes place in a global frenzy as Bond (guess who) battles a media mogul, Carver (Jonathan Pryce) an evil media manipulator the like of which we have never seen, carving out a business plan from hell, where he can not only report the wars that sell papers and tv news, but make them happen. Media power as a lethal weapon in the wrong hands; and at the centre of the plot, a US warship sunk by a mysterious enemy, at first thought to be Chinese MIG fighters. A satellite navigation system, stolen and dangerous in the wrong hands, becomes the first clue in what proves to be a war against a determined and well armed foe. Bond is up against an evil empire, and perhaps a beautiful adversary (Michelle Yeoh)– until she proves to be a life saving ally. Almost until the end . . .

"Familiar territory, like watching a weekly soap. . . except, of course, the jokes are even more ‘in’, the action is even more stagey and the stakes are even more …um… unbelievable. But get thee behind me, satanic cynic, for the path to true entertainment of tomorrow lies here. Your big question is (or should be): Is it worth the money again? Well, yes it is, because the director has given Bond a higher action rating than ever, a sort of Roger-the-dodger version of the original original – if you know what I mean. There are motorbike chases that defy your bum staying on the seat, an aerial stunt sequence that is really exhilarating, many gadget-induced gee-whizz gags and a ride or two in a BMW that is as good as the tour de force Space Tours at Disneyland, and one that will make Merc owners squirm in their squalor. But Bond’s wry lines have become less effective (eg "they’ll print anything these days" – you’ll understand when you see it) and the action scenes become more explosive. Bond becomes more a stuntman than a character, the jokes wearing thin – not all, mind you – and the plot becomes a burp, regurgitating all that has gone before. Yet, with Michelle Yeoh, we have achieved female equality in both action prowess and entertainment value. Her power comes from her intuition as an actress and her witty intelligence, making Bond seem rather lame for a moment here or there. As for the Pryce-less media mogul, Carver, he is everything evil a real baddie oughta be. But this is far too much analysis, folks, I suggest you get along and give yourselves over to the pleasure of mindless Bondage. It really is good fun.
Andrew L. Urban

"In mathematical terms, the Bond formula can probably be summed up in the equation (Suave Hero + Beautiful Women) X action = Big Box Office Hit. In this new gigantic roller-coster ride, the formula continues with slick, suave and seriously handsome Pierce Brosnan as 007, in a performance that is more comfortable and relaxed than that in Goldeneye, as he delivers throw-away lines for which Bond is famous. Michelle Yeoh breaks the mould of the Bond girls showing a mind of her own, initiative, and a karate kick that puts new meaning into the term side-kick. New meaning too, to the term back-seat driver, in the gadgetry for the silver BMW that will appeal to the boys who like their toys. (The car-thief deterrents appeal to me immensely.) The "Tomorrow" in the title, also refers to both the media magnate’s global daily newspaper, viciously played by the enigmatic Jonathon Pryce, portraying an obsessive need to control and manipulate for his own power and ego. Judi Dench’s solid credibility brings extra class to the role of M. Tomorrow Never Dies is unabashed escapism in exotic locations, with lots of action and plenty of stunts - all well executed. (Watch for the eye-boggling motor cycle chase - a BMW R1200C, which enthrals.) While it may not be the best Bond film ever, it’s got lots of appeal, and is sure to entertain young and old, transporting them into the sophisticated and dangerous world of our most infamous spy.
Louise Keller

Email this article

See Andrew L. Urban's exclusive interview (on Dec 27) with


CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Ricky Jay, Gotz Otto, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewellyn, Samantha Bond (no relation!)

DIRECTOR: Roger Spottiswoode

PRODUCERS: Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli

SCRIPT: Bruce Feirstein


EDITOR: Dominique Fortin

MUSIC: David Arnold


RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 1997

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: February 1, 1999

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019