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Why Tomorrow Never Dies Is The Most Underrated Bond Movie Ever

Back in 1997 Pierce Brosnan starred in Tomorrow Never Dies and the film did OK, but it hasn’t been remembered as a great Bond film. I’m here to say that it should be.

James Bond is Hollywood’s longest-running franchise of all time, and it looks like it’s going to carry on for a tiny bit longer (I’m being sarcastic, of course, Bond will continue until the death of cinema).

It’s not quite known why cinemagoers gravitated towards the British Secret Agent, but they did, and Hollywood kept on making the movies.

We’ve now had a total of six actors play the role officially, and a bunch of other people who have played versions of the character outside the ‘canon’ movies.

There have been 24 official Bond movies made and a few other non-official ones. The only franchise which can come close to it is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to be honest, it’s catching up pretty darn fast.

Image via MGM

That said, they’re making a 25th Bond film with Daniel Craig back as 007, and it’s been revealed that the next agent to have that codename will be a woman, and she’ll be played by Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch.

Personally, I think it’s about time they do the gender-swap and I think they’re doing it in the correct way. I was especially glad to hear that writer and actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge was behind the idea, and that gives me confidence that it’ll be done correctly.

When I was looking back at previous Bond films, there’s been a huge problem with the way women have been portrayed in these movies, and it does look like they’re starting to finally address that moving forward.

However, there was one film in particular which seemed to buck the trend slightly, and it went totally unnoticed. I watched the film recently and realised that Tomorrow Never Dies is a much better film that people gave it credit for.

I think it’s about time we re-evaluated this film, and in particular, Michelle Yeoh’s performance in it as Wai Lin.

Image via MGM

Wai Lin is a spy for the Chinese People’s External Security Force in the rank of colonel and skilled in martial arts, and she kind of kicks Bond’s butt when they first meet, and I would argue that she is the hero, not Bond, of this film.

They decide to work together in order to bring down Jonathan Pryce’s villain, Elliot Carver, who I believe to be another underrated part of this film.

He’s a media mogul and with all the fake news stuff going on now, I found his villain to be extremely topical and actually quite ahead of its time.

There were reports that Carver was based on Rupert Murdoch, and I can really see that, but it’s just become so much more apparent in recent times.

It does have the usual Bond tropes in it, but it’s a lot less in your face than previous Bond films. There’s also something very watchable about Brosnan’s Bond, who’s on the verge of being a drunk and seems to have lost his way slightly.

Image via MGM

This was way before Craig’s take on the role which took those elements of Bond and really expanded upon it.

So, yeah, if you get the chance, I’d highly recommend you give Tomorrow Never Dies another watch, and hopefully, you’ll come to the same conclusion as I did – that it’s a hidden gem in the Bond franchise.

Meanwhile, why not have a read of our articles on the five reasons why Tom Holland in the best Spider-Man ever, the five actors who could play The Penguin in the movie, and the five movies you should watch if you still think Robert Pattinson won’t be a good Batman.

You can also have a read of our reviews of Toy Story 4Spider-Man: Far From HomeAladdinDetective PikachuJohn Wick: Chapter 3 – ParabellumGodzilla: King of the MonstersAvengers: EndgameHellboy and Glass.

In the meantime, why not catch up on your Bond movie knowledge by hopefully re-watching some of the films in the franchise, which you can purchase here!

Bond 25 is scheduled to hit UK cinemas on April 3rd, 2020. Will you be watching it? Let us know in the comments below.


Have you listened to our podcast yet? Small Screen Radio features Small Screen’s Film Club and Cinema Ramble. If you like movies, listen to our podcast.

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