Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), a media mogul plans to induce war between China and the UK in order to get exclusive media coverage. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Chinese secret agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) team up in order to stop him and save both their countries.
There are certainly some memorable action and chase scenes in Tomorrow Never Dies. The sequence in a multi-storey car park with Bond on the back seat of his car, controlling it by remote has been one of my favourites since I first saw the film as a child. Also the sequence where Bond and Wai Lin are handcuffed together and have to ride a motorbike together is well put together and is full of crazy stunts.
Wai Lin is just as smart and resourceful as Bond, though naturally she needs rescuing once or twice. Still she’s a competent agent and has her own scene staling moments.
Elliot Carver is a very over the top villain. The media angle and looking at how far the press will go to get the news first, even manipulating the news to their own ends is quite creepy and today it perhaps even more relevant and scary with today’s focus on phone-hacking and surveillance. But Carver at the head of the operation seems more of a joke, though he can seem threatening, mostly due to his henchmen like Stamper (Götz Otto). Carver also has his own weird ship that can’t be seen on radar and it’s design, both inside and out, is very reminiscent of some of the older Bond films and their eccentric villains seen in the Roger Moore-era films.
Tomorrow Never Dies continues where Goldeneye (1995) left off in setting up M (Judi Dench) as a cool character who often clashes with men in power who don’t always believe that she’s up for the job. The scenes with her and Admiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer) are great.
The action sequences are thrilling and while the power and threat of the media is still incredibly relevant, Elliot Carver is almost a pantomime villain which is rather disappointing. 4/5.