Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

One of the more monotonous entries in the 35 year-old (!) series, 
TOMORROW NEVER DIES is long on action but short on style.  (And 
suave.  And sex appeal.  And...)  Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan is back, 
looking good and acting a world more relaxed than his first Bond 
at-bat, GOLDENEYE.  Though still far from the cool cucumber that 
Connery was, Brosnan appears well on his way to outperforming Dal-
ton, Moore, and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE one-timer George 
Lazenby.  Too bad, then, that 1997 finds the role retooled, from 
secret agent to super (action) hero.  (Gotta feed the international 
audience...)  Babes, bon mots, and battling wits?  Fuggedaboudit.  
This year's Bond spends most of the movie in motion, fighting the 
bad guys on land, on sea, and in the air.  (The plot involves a 
media mogul, played by Jonathan Pryce, who wants to start a world 
war to improve ratings.)  

The opening, involving a stolen fighter jet at a "terrorist arms 
bazaar," is engaging enough, but quickly displays that director 
Roger Spottiswoode (AIR AMERICA, TURNER AND HOOCH) isn't exactly a 
master of mayhem.  His sole inspired sequence is a parking-lot car 
chase, with Bond driving from the *back* seat of his customized 
BMW.  (You know, the one from the TV commercials.)  Other problems 
range from the obvious (no one behaves as if WWIII is imminent) to 
the insidious (the high-tech sets look too much alike).  (Composer 
David Arnold's persistent quoting of Monty Norman's original theme 
is annoying, as well.  And, jeez, did the miniatures have to look 
so obviously like miniatures?  At least Judi Dench is back, as 
"M.")  For a holiday blur of explosions, automatic-rifle fire, 
breaking glass, and twisted metal, this is the movie for you.  Just 
don't expect to leave feeling either shaken or stirred.  (Rated 
"PG-13"/119 min.)

Grade: C

Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: December 18, 1997

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