Storyline contains spoilers
The 18th of the Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the famous secret agent. Tomorrow Never Dies (TND) sees the world on a knife edge as World War 3 threatens to start after the British vessel, the HMS Devonshire is sunk in Chinese costal waters..The British Admiralty and the Minstry of Defence are convinced that the Chinese are responsible, but 'M' isn't so sure, and manages to negotiate 48hrs for Bond to find the real cause of the sinking.
At the time of the attack strange signals are detected coming from one of media mogul Eliot Carver's satellites on the GPS frequencies, which along with the fact that Carver's newspapers seem to have carried the story very soon after the event, in fact before the British secret services knew about it. 'M' orders Bond to infiltrate Carver's party held to celebrate the launch of his new satellite, and re-establish links with one of his old girlfriends, who is now Mrs Paris Carver. Bonds cover ends up being blown, and he is taken away to recieve a 'telephone call' by several of Carver's henchmen. After a quick bout of fisticuffs, made all the more amusing by the fact that it is held in a sound proof room. On the way out Bond decides to cut the power to the studio, thus ruining the channel launch coverrage, and goes back to his hotel room to plan the next move.
Things look up when Paris arrives, and after ending up in bed with Bond, reveals that Carvers HQ has a secret rooftop entrance. Bond sees his chance to gather evidence and breaks in, recovering the stolen GPS encoder, and also Wai Lin, who works for the Chinese Secret Police, who also has had the same idea as 007. Bond returns to the hotel room to find Paris murdered, and the sinister Dr. Kaufmann in his room. To my mind this is one of the best sections of the film as Kaufmann explains how they are going to stitch Bond up and make it look lik e he killed Paris and commited suicide, but yet again Bond escapes, and returns the encoder to the US authorities after a thrilling car chase around a multi story car park.
Upon reciept of their encoder, the Americans work out where the Devonshire actually sank, as opposed to where they thought they sank, and it becomes evident that Carver is setting up an international drama merely to provide news for his media emipre..Bond is dropped using the HALO
parachute technique into the seas around China to find the ship and work out what happened to it, and bumps into Wai Lin again. The pair discover the huge gash caused by the ships hull caused by an Underwater Drill Torpedo, and also that there are a number of British missiles missing from the armoury. when they surface, they find a junk
unfortunately crewed by Mr. Stamper and his heavies. After being hauled up in front of Carver, who explains his diabolical scheme to them. He lured the Devonshire off course, then shot down the MiG which came to investigate, before destroying the Devonshire to cause a war. He also intends to wait until the two fleets face off before launching missiles into each side from his stealth boat, and one at Beijing
, destroying the Government and setting things up for his friend General Chang to take over, and grant him 100 year exclusive broadcasting rights to China. Bond and Wai Lin are then left to be tortured to death by Stamper, who is more than a little irritated that Bond killed his mentor Dr. Kaufmann, but yet again the duo manage to escape, abseiling down the side of a building, before being pursued across the rooftops in a thrilling motorbike chase.
Wai Lin and Bond try to locate the hidden Stealth Boat which is hidden in a bay which falls under General Chang's jurisdiction, and attempt to alert the potential combatants to Carvers plan, and prevent him from launching the missiles.
The opening sequence to this film is one of my favourites, with Bond destroying the terrorists 'bazaar' on the Russian border, before stealing a MiG laden with nuclear torpedoes, and escaping just as a cruise missile from the Royal Navy hits. Brosnan is obviously far more comfortable in his role as Bond than he was in GoldenEye, and carries the role to great effect. It's nice to see the writers giving him an extra dimension to play with, in the form of a past lover, played by Teri Hatcher. Dame Judi Dench reprises her role as M' and the long-standing professional chemistry between her and Geoffrey Palmer, who plays Admiral Roebuck, steals the show during the introduction. The Dr. Kaufmann character, forensic scientist and assassin is absolutely inspired, and the scenes in the hotel room between him and Bond are amongst the most amusing in the film.
On a different note the Carver henchmen of Gupta and Mr. Stamper are largely forgettable characters, and due to the unfortunate partial re-write of the script ending whilst on location and filming there is a drop in quality in the last half hour. Overall it all hangs together, and is a vast improvement from the slightly shaky predecessor
BMW 750i - Another 'Q' special, this car has it all, bulletproof bodywork and glass, re-inflating tyres, caltrop release, glove comparment safe, defense system which electrocutes attackers, and can release tear gas on command, and a mean set of rockets which are launched from under the sunroof.
Ericsson Mobile Phone - Seeminlgy an innocuous mobile, this piece of kit doubled as the remote control for the car, as well as a fingerprint scanner and a taser-like 20,000 volt security system. The antennae also unscrews to reveal a lockpick.
GPS Encoder - The US device is bought by Henry Gupta at the 'terrorists bazaar', and used alter satellite GPS signals and send HMS Devonshire off course and into Chinese waters, thus triggering the MiG attack.
Eliot Carvers Stealth Ship - Technically a catamaran, presumably to reduce the ships drag, and to minimise the likelihood of it being detected. The ship was Eliot Carvers Base of operations in the South China Seas and was built from stolen stealth 'material' and hidden by the Chinese General Chang, who was in league with Carver.
Underwater Drill Torpedo - Used to deadly effect by Eliot Carver on HMS Devonshire, this remote controlled drill is launched from the stealth boat, and cuts through the hull of the HMS Devonshire
Apparently the film was originally to be called 'Tomorrow Never Lies' but a typo in an early version of the script led to a title change.
Teri Hatcher, who played Paris Carver, was three months pregnant when she filmed her scenes.
When Bond and Wai Lin send a message out from a PC in her secret base near Carvers Chinese HQ, Bond tries to type the message, but is flummoxed by the Chinese keyboard. In You Only Live Twice Bond claims he 'took a First in Oriental Languages from Oxford'
Elliot Carver - Mr. Wallace, call the President. Tell him if he doesn't sign the bill lowering the cable rates, we will release the video of him with the cheerleader in the Chicago motel room.
Mr. Wallace- Inspired, sir
Elliot Carver - And after he signs the bill, release the tape anyway
James Bond (Whilst in bed with his Danish language tutor)- I always enjoyed learning a new tongue.
Miss Moneypenney - You always were a cunning linguist, James.
Elliot Carver - Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
Mr. Jones - Yes, sir. As requested, it's full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
Elliot Carver - Outstanding!
My memory after watching the film numerous times