Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 ★★½

Into the unknown with the Bond films for me, as from this point on I haven't seen any of them. I certainly hope it picks up after Tomorrow Never Dies.

So, after the procession of Bond villains that have been set on world domination, starting World War 3 or just plain looking to destroy the world, this one is about a media tycoon who wants to stir up a conflict so that he can get some media rights in China? I have to ask at what point it was decided that this would be the main motive behind Jonathan Pryce's dastardly scheme, and just exactly why we are supposed to care?

This wouldn't all be so bad if it didn't then mean we got a procession of media-related gags and potshots at media tycoons past and present but, of course, we do. It's a pretty weak grounding and motive that the film never really recovers from, and it isn't helped by a support cast that is considerably weaker than we got in the rather more enjoyable Goldeneye.

It's not a bad film, really, with two or three really decent action set-pieces (the remote controlled car chase in the car park being the best of them) and a pretty strong main Bond girl in the form of Michelle Yeoh. It also has a fantastically tense pre-credits scene that forces the film to hit the ground running. The problem is that it actually outshines everything that comes after it, and that everything else also happens to be so dull and flat.

Teri Hatcher contributes virtually nothing except a decent lingerie shot, Geoffrey Palmer and Judi Dench's unlikely reunion amounts to very little except bickering, and even Pierce Brosnan himself looks slightly bored already. As for Pryce, well, he's a fine actor but he's been lumbered with a very dull role here and he doesn't really provide a spark that could have saved Elliott Carver from being the most uninteresting Bond villain to date. It doesn't help that he is so lacking in physical threat as well.

Unremarkable and slightly boring, just like the theme tune. Not impressed.

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