Saturday, 2 May 2015

Tomorrow Never Dies

Sunday 26th April

We start in a rather chilly terrorist base neat the Russian border being watched by agents equipped with the latest periscope recording equipment (surely with inbuilt VCR) which is streaming to an intelligence base giving M and the British army a who’s who of the terrorists in the overly detailed style of a 90s Saturday evening family entertainment show.  Amongst all this Bond has taken it upon himself to promote the dangers of smoking, proving how a single cigarette can trigger several unwanted missiles and torpedoes to destroy a whole basecamp.

The Carver Media Group, if only they’d had twitter, the whole thing would have been much simpler for them. Undercover as a banker James infiltrates the kick off party and rather unsurprisingly has Mrs Caver leaving her husband for him within a matter of hours and even less unsurprisingly like all of James’ conquests turned clingy she also dies within a matter of hours.

Like all good Bond films James has a new lady friend in this instalment, this time she has a german accent and four wheels; it would appear Q has outdone himself, providing 007 with a female version of knightrider – I was never a fan so no idea who is ripping who off here but for me the Mario Kart style car chases in this defiantly gives this version the edge.

In essence Elliot Carver is taking advantage of the pre-facebook ages where people still read newspapers to manipulate the news to cause world war three starting between China and the UK. Lucky then that Bond befriends a Chinese agent during his adventure so together they can try to warn their homelands that they are essentially being played by the middle man.

Once again we’re into the last twenty minutes of the film when everything starts kicking off, and once again we’re on a secret underwater base and it’s the five minute countdown until missile launch; surely by now someone has created a device which can launch a missile without the incessant countdown which may as well be called “countdown to being deactivated with less than 5 seconds to spare by some extremely unlikely and unplanned by Bond’s part”.  With two minutes to go James has just crawled out of another explosion and it’s time for the one to one between Bond and the main villain, with him dead it’s time to defeat Elliot’s main henchman, save the girl from drowning and disable the missile – all with forty seconds to go.  The obvious answer, allow the missile to explode, just don’t let it launch; leave the henchman trapped next to the missile then jump into the sea to give the girl mouth to mouth underwater under the explosion is over – simple really.

I quite liked this; I think mainly because it was almost a clever play on how easily manipulated we all are by the media; send a British missile hurtling into China and it won’t take them long to decide who sent it – or maybe I’m thinking too much into this… erm…. Cars, bikes, explosions yeh!

Sunday, 26 April 2015


Viewed: Somepoint towards the end of 2014
Finally posted: Sunday 26th April 2015

New Bond film with a shiny new Bond; Pierce Brosnan skydives his way into the role and into a USSR base he’s trying to blow up with Sean Bean. Obviously it’s not long before Sean Bean appears to snuff it and James is left to save the day all on his own, which obviously he does or this wouldn’t be much of a film.

Jump forward nine years and Bond is back at the Blackjack table trying to chat women up by winning their money.  Unsurprisingly Xenia is unimpressed but those anger management classes must be paying off as she deals with the whole thing extremely well – by strangling her Canadian lover and hiding him in the wardrobe.

There’s a shiny new Moneypenny and M to go along with a shiny new Bond which we meet as James get shown to the most imaginatively named ‘situation room’.  Q is back which considering it’s been over thirty years since Connery first started bankrupting casino’s everywhere is quite impressive and surely further proof that 007 and all that happens to him occurs in some sort of time vortex controlled by one of Q’s better gadgets?

Half way through and it’s time for the massive plot-twist, Sean Bean aka Alec isn’t dead at all, it was all just a ruse for Bean to demonstrate just how good he is a dying on-screen; que a heart-wrenching tale of how Alec hid away his childhood memories’ of his parents to give himself a way to eventually seek revenge against the corporation that destroyed them.

From here on in its Xenia and Alec vs James and Natalia, a Russian programmer with useful connections Bond’s taken a fancy to.  Xenia meets her end fairly quickly after everyone goes to Cuba; but if you’re stupid enough to walk around Cuba in a black jumpsuit then you can’t be surprised if you end up dead in a tree.

Following with tradition it all comes down to the last 20mins of the film; Bond appears to have certainly lost, with Natalia gone walkies and Alec’s underwater (obviously) base full of armed soldiers surely it’s all over.  The idea is simple, erase the digital records of the UK, stealing the Bank of England’s money and the records it ever existed along with everything else kept on government file. It’s so simple, yet so easily flawed by one of Q’s exploding gadgets which buys James and Alec time to have a quick fist fight and a heart to heart before Alec manages to survive a ridiculous long fall onto the top of a building, only to have the rest of the building fall on him.

This film must have been a pyrotechnic’s dream to make; as the writer’s answer to everything was “make it go Kaboom” – there were at least nine decent sized explosions in this, James Bond’s introduction to the 90s and the latest in special effects.

One Brosnan film down and I don’t mind this new Bond, the amount of sarcasm is ridiculous but he manages to pull it off without coming across as overly cheesy, though with three more films to go before the gauntlet is passed on that all has time to change.