Fan Reviews - Tomorrow Never Dies

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"Tomorrow Never Dies" by Luds

Following Bond's highly successful return on the big screen in 1995 with GoldenEye, the Bond franchise would now face a great challenge: they would have to survive without legendary producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, who passed away on June 27th, 1996. GoldenEye's director, Martin Campbell decided not to come back and therefore the producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had to find a new director for Tomorrow Never Dies (TND). They put their trust in Roger Spottiswoode, a fairly unknown producer who mainly worked on TV projects.

As the United Kingdom was set to hand over Hong Kong back to China, it was easy to understand why early drafts for TND involved Bond working with a Chinese agent and that the main storyline was set in China. Bruce Feirstein who co-wrote GoldenEye would hold the writing credits worked with a handful of writers before polishing the final script.

TND starts off rather poorly with one of the most bland action packed opening sequence of the series. Bond infiltrates a secret arms deal and manages to destroy most of them by firing a rocket from a jet that he escapes with. Full of action, yet very bland. After GoldenEye, the producers didn't take enough time to engineer a good adventure for Brosnan's second outing as Bond. Indeed, TND is a rather forgettable action pack adventure that seems to have been pieced together rather rapidly to cash in on more revenue. The casting of American actress Teri Hatcher who was quite popular as Lois Lane in the TV show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was chosen against the will of director Roger Spottiswoode as producers felt that she would help sell the movie in the United States. It is believed that Monica Bellucci was also in the running for the part of Paris Carver. Although not a terrible choice, Hatcher was the first of many American actresses to be cast as major Bond girl over Brosnan's tenure as James Bond, such as Denise Richards in The World Is Not Enough and the laughably untalented Halle Berry in Die Another Day. It certainly seems that the producers weren't concerned about tarnishing the product's quality by casting actresses of questionable talent as long as it insured revenue in America.

Jonathan Pryce's portrayal of villain Elliot Carver was considered a bit over the top by some fans who feel that the character lacked believability. Many feel that the era of the crazy villain seeking world domination is quite redundant and lacks seriousness. It would be difficult to fault the actor himself for this portrayal given that his character was indeed a madman. Henchman Stamper (Gotz Otto) was yet another forgettable henchman and Dr. Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli) was another underutilized character.

Another tendency that producers had during the Brosnan era was to include a "bond equal" female character to silence the feminist activists. In TND, this part is given to Michelle Yeoh who played Chinese agent Wai Lin. Although clearly not the worst "Bond equal" portrayal (this achievement belongs to Halle Berry's dreaded Jinx) Wai Lin's character still tarnishes Bond's legend. By having these "female Bonds", the producers are forgetting that 007 is supposed to be the absolute best spy in the world and that when these "female Bonds" are thrown in every other 007 movie, James Bond doesn't seem so special anymore.

Following Eric Serra's disastrous score in GoldenEye, the producers decided to put their faith in long time Bond fan David Arnold, who managed to compose a surprisingly decent techno Bond sound in his first Bond movie score, an achievement that would seem much less impressive considering his scores for the next two movie. Daniel Kleinman managed to create another top notch main title while Vocalist Sheryl Crow delivered a good title song. K.D. Lang also performed a very good end credit song which many believed should have been the main song for the movie.

Overall, TND is a rather disappointing movie and failed to deliver anything new. It is still enjoyable to a certain extent as some of the stunts are exhilarating (such as the motorcycle chase) but just doesn't manage to break away from any other non-Bond action movie. Brosnan is definitely more believable as Bond in TND than in GoldenEye (where Brosnan was given the task of playing Dalton's Bond) but couldn't bring this movie to another level. Sadly, considering the weaknesses of the following two Bond adventures (The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day), Tomorrow Never Dies doesn't look so bad!


"Tomorrow Never Dies" by Agent OO6

Following the box office smash hit GoldenEye, 007 now must face one of the world's most insane villains; a newspaper and publicity obsessed false news reporter Elliot Carver. This 'deranged media mogul' is plotting on getting the Chinese and British fleets against each other so he can report all of the falsely reported news.

The headlines screamed: "British Sailors Murdered". A British warship, HMS Devonshire had apparently been sunk by Chinese fighters. First with the bad news was the Carver Media Group, owned by Elliot Carver. A coincidence? M was not so sure when a false signal received by the Devonshire was traced to one of Carver's satellites. Bond was sent to check on Carver.....and renew contact with Paris, and old flame which happened to be Carver's wife.

Meanwhile, 007 is brushing up on a little danish with Professor Inga Bergstrom, when he was contacted by MI6, and was brought up to speed on the situation. When Bond crashed Elliot's media party, that's when everything came into place. But bad news travels fast. Carver made no attempt to disguise his glee that an international incident had marked the launch of his brand-new, 24 hour news network, which Bond purposely destroyed.

Since then, Carver had a suspicious mind. Carver sensed the ambiguity of Paris's claim to "barely" know 007. From that moment, she was doomed.

MI6 was not the only agency interested in Elliot Carver, though. The Chinese government sent one of it's top agents, Wai Lin, to uncover the secrets of the organization. After initial distrust, she and Bond formed an almost telepathic understanding. A martial artist of devastating skills, preferred to work alone...until she met Bond.

But since Elliot liked to pose as a freedom loving philanthropist, it wasn't hard to anticipate his next move. He made another Carver building. Which Bond addressed as a political network.

Later, as Bond investigated one of Carver's other network buildings in Hamburg, he bumped into Dr. Kaufman, an assassin, responsible for the death of Paris Carver, which was his strangle victim. But Bond didn't allow her death to go unavenged for long.

As Bond discovered Saigon, Carver's newest media building, he also discovered Carver's right hand man, Stamper. Mr. Stamper aims to become the ultimate in henchmen under the careful tutelage of Dr. Kaufman. His nervous system problem causes him to feel pleasure when he should feel pain, but unfortunately, Bond had to find that out the hard way.

Distinguishing Feature: Bond had abandoned his Walther PPK only to obtain a more powerful handgun, the Walther P99. Also, the entire pre credits sequence tied in with the rest of the movie.

Tomorrow Never Dies was a completely brilliantly thought out movie, which had made $110 million dollars at the box office. An excellent movie indeed, which was one of the top 10 movies of 1997. In conclusion, TND was a great movie that was completely thought out.


"Tomorrow Never Dies" by Lethal Weapon

After the smash hit that was Goldeneye only two years earlier, Tomorrow Never Dies seemed to be a disappointment. With the arrival of Tomorrow Never Dies in theatres, it seemed to summon a dark age for Bond films. For example, unlike Goldeneye, which relied on a great plot and great dialogue, Tomorrow Never Dies seemed to run primarily on gunfights and explosions for a vast majority of the film in order to please a younger audience. In the movie’s pre-titles sequence, there is a fairly amusing action sequence to set one up for the film, but one may hope that the film isn’t entirely composed of explosions, gunshots and all that – the films before Tomorrow Never Dies never relied on such a formula. Some fans may attribute this to the new scriptwriters of the time – Purvis and Wade. Here, they replaced the scriptwriter for Goldeneye, Michael France.

Unlike Goldeneye, for this film, the job of director was attributed to Roger Spottiswoode. Tomorrow Never Dies and Brosnan’s films following it were substantially weaker than his previous appearance in Goldeneye. However, this may again be attributed to Pierce Brosnan adjusting to his style of James Bond, rather than playing the part in Goldeneye which seemed to be written for previous Bond actor, Timothy Dalton, who portrayed a style of Bond that was far more closer to the literary style of Ian Fleming.

One good thing to say about this film is that the job of composer was not to go to Eric Serra this time. Instead, it went to a Bond fan from an early age, whose success on blockbusters Independence Day and Stargate led him to his first real James Bond assignment for this film – the name’s Arnold. David Arnold. Since the release of Tomorrow Never Dies, he has scored two other Bond films and is set to compose the score to the next Bond film, Casino Royale, due for release in November 2006. To summarize his quality for Bond films, he’s most definitely better than Eric Serra, but he’s no John Barry, who composed the music for the James Bond series from 1963 (starting with From Russia with Love) to 1987 (ending with The Living Daylights).

Another weak point of the film was the villains. The majority of characters don’t feel entirely fleshed out – it feels like Stamper is the character from Doom and Elliot Carver is an uninspired combination of Bill Gates and a reporter gone bad – actually, that’s not too far from the truth. Stamper is the henchman and protégé of Dr. Kaufman (specializing in the job of a professional assassin). Kaufman trained Stamper in the many methods of torture, especially charka torture, which involves inflicting the maximum amount of pain on the body’s most vital areas. According to an early version of the script, Stamper’s senses are reversed, so where others feel pain, he feels pleasure (there is no evidence of this in the finished film). This concept would be revisited in the next film, The World Is Not Enough, with main villain Renard.

Elliot Carver, the villain of the movie, plans to start a war between British and China so that his television network, the Carver Media Group Network can gain higher ratings as well as exclusive broadcasting rights in China for the foreseeable future. Elliot Carver is also the third Bond villain to attempt to start a World War, the first being Ernst Stavro Blofeld (last seen in “For Your Eyes Only”) and Karl Stromberg (the main villain of “The Spy Who Loved Me”).

Carver is largely based upon two real-life media moguls: Rupert Murdoch, who owned News Corporation (before his mysterious death on his luxury yacht; it is widely believed that he committed suicide); and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. A jab at Gates and Microsoft is made early in the film, when Carver inquires about his new computer software:

Tech: As requested, it’s full of bugs, which means that people will be forced to upgrade for years.

Carver: Outstanding!

However, the villains do have their high points. Dr. Kaufman, the mentor of Stamper (as well as Carver’s personal assassin) is one of the few well thought out characters that actually have well-written dialogue as well as a well-thought out personality. Although his appearance is brief, some Bond fans see one off the highlights of the movie as the scene that featured him; playing a hit man attempting to assassinate Bond in his hotel room, but attempting to make it look like a suicide.

Elliot Carver’s wife (Paris Carver) was once a love of Bond’s. He left, however, because his job was too dangerous for a real relationship. She is eventually murdered by Dr. Kaufman for helping Bond recover a GPS encoder used to send ships off course. It is not too soon, when Bond meets Wai Lin, a Chinese secret agent also working against Carver, who eventually becomes the Bond girl. At first, there is a strong distrust between the two but eventually they team up to save the world.

Jack Wade also makes another brief appearance, assisting Bond in obtaining knowledge of the H.M.S. Devonshire’s final resting place. The H.M.S. Devonshire is sunk early in the film by sending it off course using the GPS encoder and eventually launching a controllable torpedo from Carver’s stealth ship, which is eventually destroyed by Bond and Wai Lin. Whilst diving in the interior of the Devonshire, he eventually meets Wai Lin and as they ascend to the surface, they are taken captive by Stamper. Just like all other James Bond films, Bond brings the main villain down, saves the world and gets the girl.

Since the days of Dr. No (1962), the Walther PPK has been James Bond’s primary weapon. It replaced his Beretta which jammed on his last job and forced him to spend months in a hospital. Here, the trusty Walther PPK has been replaced by the more modern Walther P99. There isn’t really much to say about it – it’s simply a new gun for a new era. However, it also looks bulky compared to the PPK that James Bond has used for 35 years of the series.

All in all, early in the film, Tomorrow Never Dies seems to promise to be a great Bond film, but it slowly sinks down to the level where it must simply rely on gadgets, stunts (one of which features James Bond driving his remote control BMW), gun fights and explosions to please a brain-less audience. Using a script such as the one featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, it could have promised to be so much more, but it turned out to be a 50/50 split with Bond fans. 50% of the fans loved it, 50% hated it. I hate it. With Brosnan’s first James Bond film, he showed great promise but his next three films simply relied on the same basic formula that this film relied on.

Unlike the well thought-out and well-executed GoldenEye, this film was a disappointment compared to the former film, which was released only two years earlier.


"Tomorrow Never Dies" by JoeGDG

It was 1997 and Bond was undeniably back. After the massive success of GoldenEye two years earlier, and the early fall release of the highly acclaimed GoldenEye 64 in the US, audiences were looking forward to what Bond would have to offer next.

As it turned out, Tomorrow Never Dies was no GoldenEye, if only because it succeeded it. It's very clear from the outset that this is a modern Bond film, boasting a technophile media guru for a villain and smooth, sleek, production design complete with cold blue lights, but unfortunately the venerable Bond formula doesn't receive any of this modern energy, and it shows long before it's 119-minute running time comes to an end.

And that is ultimately Tomorrow Never Dies' greatest failing: it's unwillingness to be remarkable. The pre-title sequence, though armed with explosions aplenty, lacks anything as memorable as the bungee jump in GoldenEye, or the iconic parachute in The Spy Who Loved Me, and once Bond most of the elements of the Bond formula have been expended and the story moves from Hamburg to Saigon in traditional globe-trotting style, one eventually realizes that there's nothing other than explosions left to see. The Bond formula appears tired because those in creative control (a group from which Cubby Broccoli is sadly absent, having died in 1996), chose to create a film within the confines of the formula rather than build upon it.

So it is that we see eighteenth in a long line of megalomaniacs threaten to commandeer life as we know it in one way or another, and only James Bond can save the day. Jonathan Pryce takes to the role of Elliot Carver remarkably well, and his flamboyant interpretation of the character is both surprisingly memorable and enjoyable to watch. Pryce appears so comfortable in his role, in fact, that the portrayal of Bond himself pales in comparison. Pierce Brosnan certainly looks tougher than he did in GoldenEye, and his performance is an improvement, but he's still only truly comfortable running, driving, or shooting, and when paired with a lackluster Teri Hatcher, the resulting scenes are less than compelling.

Fortunately, the role of Bond girl is not confined to Hatcher. Martial arts wiz Michelle Yeoh who, like Barbara Bach before her in The Spy Who Loved Me and Halle Berry after her in Die Another Day, is tasked with playing Bond's opposite number in a foreign government (in this case China—not surprising since Britain was to hand Hong Kong back to China in 1997). Yeoh outperforms both Bach and Berry, but is sadly underwritten. When Yeoh and Brosnan end up handcuffed together in Saigon, the prospect is initially exciting—as least for anyone who's familiar with Hitchcock's The Thirty-Nine Steps. But where that film used the handcuff plot device to create sexual tension and develop character, here it is merely a physical obstacle.

But Tomorrow Never Dies is really two films: one containing the bulk of the action sequences, and the other, where the action really is. Pre-title sequence aside, the first hour of Tomorrow Never Dies is the best sixty minutes Pierce Brosnan ever spent in the role of James Bond, including the ever-exhalted GoldenEye. It is during that hour that you can see through the action to the gears of the Bond formula at work underneath, and for that time, Tomorrow Never Dies is a true labor of retro-love, and that labor is perhaps best symbolized by the score. David Arnold's first effort as Bond composer is easily the best musical entry in the franchise since A View To A Kill in 1985, and after Eric Serra's abysmal work on GoldenEye, it was truly reassuring to see that the Bond sound had not gone the way of the dinosaurs. All of the other elements of the classic Bond are to be found here as well, in such quick succession that the entire formula is glorified. "I am a Bond film, hear me roar!" it proclaims, and I have to agree. It's just too bad we couldn't watch the rest of this film instead of the second half we ended up with.


"Tomorrow Never Dies" by NicNac

Roger Spottiswoode, an apparently surly and difficult individual, was given the equally difficult task of directing the 18th Bond movie and bringing it to the screen in double quick time. Behind with post production, and with star Pierce Brosnan reporting for duty several weeks later than normal, it was clear that it had to be a round the clock mentality to get this movie in the cinemas for Christmas 1997. Bruce Feirstein a writer on GoldenEye, was working on the script and David Arnold was drafted in to supply the music (replacing Eric Serra from GoldenEye). The Production was anything but smooth with the script going through several re-writes. The feeling was, this movie was going to something of a disappointment after so much care and attention was lavished on GoldenEye.

What we had in fact was a movie which nodded respectfully to the Bond heritage. At least for an hour we were watching a movie which brought some glamour back to Bond. We heard the familiar twanging guitar belting out the Bond theme. We saw Bond wrestling with some beauty in the sack as Moneypenny desperately searched him out. We thrilled at the pre title sequence as Bond raced against time to clear bombs from an arms bazaar (and enjoyed a Goldfinger moment, involving a baddie and an ejector seat). Teri Hatcher made a glamorous Bond girl (instead of the macho, ass-kicking Bond girls which were coming more to the fore). And of course, the scene between Bond and Paris (Hatcher), was so full of great Bondian moments, it was easily one of the most satisfying scenes for years. Then we had the villains. Elliot Carver as the madman intent on World domination (via the press). Oh how we have missed these nuttters. And Vincent Schiavelli, both sinister, and hilarious, as the evil Dr Kaufman. On screen for about 5 minutes, but the impact was immediate, and lasting. We had the best Q scene for years, and plenty of perfectly marvelous action. And Pierce Brosnan, after a faltering start in GE, looks assured and relaxed in the role.

Well of course, all good things have to end. Unfortunately for TND, it happened after about an hour and a quarter.
With ideas running out, and an imperfect script, Plan B was implemented. Wall to wall action, with ne'er a breathing space to be had. A great, but overlong bike chase, a long long long and violent climatic battle. Amidst it we lost sight of a wonderful stunt as Bond and heroin Wai Lin, played by Michelle Yeoh, used the overpowering Elliott Carver banner, attached to the side of his HQ, to escape, performing a stunt courtesy of the great Douglas Fairbanks Snr.

Yes, TND ran out of steam. Yes, it was frivolous at times, and a bit silly.

But Spottiswoode, the most under-rated of all the Bond directors, gave us something that was amusing, glamorous, exotic and exciting. And although I stand apart from many Bond fans in my admiration for this movie, I do understand exactly what is wrong with it. Even so, this one stands up to repeat viewings, and as a fine example of how good Bonds can be, and equally, just how disappointing they can be as well.


"Tomorrow Never Dies" by timdalton007

With the surprising success of Goldeneye, it was apparent that James Bond had successfully entered the post-Cold War world intact and as popular as ever. The question soon became to many people the same question asked by fans for over three decades: could the powers that be do it again? The answer would come in 1997 after problems finding a studio to shot the film at, the switching of directors, the loss of a major location, and the re-writing of key sequences right up until and during production. These problems are evident in the film and bring down what otherwise would be an above average Bond film to just below average.

In terms of acting, the film could not be much better though. Pierce Brosnan comes into his second outing as 007 with a clear idea of not only of what he can do but what he should do. His performance in this film is actually better then the performance he gave in Goldeneye. Brosnan seems to be more assured of what he is doing in many scenes and he is more into the Bond character’s mindset as shown in many scenes in particular the scene in the hotel room when he kills Kaufman and in the scenes at Carver’s building in Saigon. Brosnan also handles the humor better with some excellent delivery of the many one liners throughout the film, lending to some of the better one liners in recent memory. He also seems a more fit in the film’s action sequences, particularly in the fight sequences at Carver’s HQ in Hamburg. There is little at fault in Brosnan’s performance as he does well in the action scenes, his one liner delivery, and the emotional scenes with Paris Carver. There is only one flaw in his performance: the final battle sequence on the stealth boat. Here Brosnan goes from the Bond seen in the rest of the film to a Terminator-like action hero. But this is the only flaw in his performance.

The Bond girl of the film, Michelle Yeoh’s Wai Lin, is another great character. This character is truly every bit the agent Bond is and more then once she manages to out do Bond in the action sequences. The fight scene in Saigon is a perfect example of the Wai Lin character: tough, resourceful, and probably the one Bond girl who doesn’t have to hang onto 007’s arm. The character is a truly original one and though the character may be a bit too tough for a Bond girl, it is other wise a perfect example of what a modern Bond girl should be. Michele Yeoh’s performance in the film is another highpoint in the film as she manages to practically steal the scenes she is in. It is true that she falls into the Bond girl cliché of needing to be rescued by 007, but Bond does not actually rescue her. In reality, he only provides the distraction she needs to escape from Carver and Stamper. Wai Lin is the Bond girl for the modern era.

In the form of Jonathon Pryce’s Elliot Carver we get something we haven’t seen in a while: a truly well written and performed megalomaniac villain. While most roles of this type fall into every cliché in the book, the role of Carver manages to avoid falling into the clichés. Carver is, next to License To Kill’s Franz Sanchez, perhaps the most realistic villain of the series. Carver could easily exist in the modern world of 24 hour news that seems to have more influence in influencing governments then the actual events do. Carver is also a very intelligent character who is far from stupid. He is a strangely funny and for the most part likeable character during his scenes in public and behind the scenes he is what many of us fear to be true of those in power: evil enough to make events go their way for their own dark agenda. This is what makes the character and Pryce’s performance all the more interesting. Pryce pulls the character off without a hitch and manages to give off a virtually flawless performance in the film as he is so convincing one might to begin wondering if media moguls are really like this in real life.

The rest of the cast is one of the better supporting casts of the Bond series. Teri Hatcher is splendid in her small but pivotal role of Paris Carver, the old flame who comes back into Bond’s mission and his life. Though the character is ultimately a sacrificial lamb of the film, her demise is made all the more meaningful due to her relationship with Bond in the few scenes she is in. Two more of the film’s characters, villains Henry Gupta and Dr
Kaufman, are two more great supporting characters. In the case of Kaufman, we get a very good henchman who is one of the more convincing of the Bond henchmen and one fells as though Bond has done his job when he kills him after his brief but surprisingly well done scene. Gupta is a terrific techno terrorist who, while being little more then a minor supporting character, is still worth seeing whenever we can. Judi Dench returns to the role of M and her performance is one of the film’s biggest surprises. One might go in expecting the same M from Goldeneye, but they come out with a different impression. This M has apparently been impressed by Bond enough in Goldeneye that she is more towards the M of old who, while disapproving of Bond’s style, knows that only Bond can get the job done and this is quite refreshing. The scenes with Q and Moneypenny return for some of the best scenes of between the characters and Bond in years. In particular, the phone conversation between Bond and Moneypenny and the Q’s introduction of the BMW in Hamburg stand out as highlights in the film. The brief appearance of Professor Inga Bergstrom by Cecilie Thomsen is also a highpoint of the film as she is one of the most attractive women to appear in the Bond films. All in all, the supporting cast is terrific.

That is, minus two characters: Jack Wade and Stamper. Both characters are written and performed with good intentions in mind. In both cases, the characters fall into the realm of the cliché. The jack Wade appearance is reminiscent of the bad Felix Leiter from Diamonds Are Forever with his bad jokes and his out of place appearance. The character of Stamper, on the other hand, seems to be yet another Red Grant clone. While the major previous Red Grant clone, Necros form The Living Daylights came off as original, in this film he doesn’t. He is just another in the long line of mindless henchmen who carries out his bosses orders without any thought whatsoever for the consequences. This is a low point in the film.

The action sequence sin the film are a problem. During the first hour or so of the film, they are so of the most original and thrilling pieces of action one is likely to see in any movie. The teaser sequence manages do something that is rare among action sequences: it manages to be both suspenseful and exciting at the same time. The way it handles the missile launching, the race to the fighter plane with the bombs and the dogfight that follows is a perfect example of how a Bond teaser should be and surprisingly manages to outdo the teaser sequence from Goldeneye. The scenes where the stealth ship sinks the British warship is a well staged and suspenseful sequences. The same can be said of the fight scenes at the Carver HQ in Hamburg. But the film’s best action sequence is the car chase in the Hamburg parking garage. Featuring the novel idea of a remotely operated full sized car with all the gadgets a Bond fan can ask for, along with some terrific music from David Arnold, this car chase is easily the best sequence of the like to appear in a Bond film. But the rest of the action sequences in film after the suspenseful dive on the warship fall flat, minus the Wai Lin fight sequence. Both the motorcycle chase and the battle sequence on the stealth boat are reminiscent of similar sequences in other Bond films that were done much better in those films. Also the idea of the plot being a bunch of action sequences with a storyline in between them hurts the film and brings down the level of the considerably.

There is also the issue of the storyline. While the film relies heavily on the very real notion of media having too much influence to the point of causing events, it fails to portray this in a realistic way. The idea of Carver building a stealth boat, sinking a British warship, shooting down a Chinese fighter plane, nuking the Chinese and causing the sinking of British fleet for only exclusive rights to air in China is all but laughably ludicrous and only causes the films over reliance on action to seem worse then probably is. This is a shame since the film’s other elements can not cause the scale to balance out between them and causes the quality of the film to drop considerably.

The film’s other saving grace is its score. John Barry had originally been slated to return but when he couldn’t due to reasons better documented elsewhere, David Arnold stepped in. Arnold’s work on the films Stargate and Independence Day should have been a message to fans that this was going to be a score to remember and it more then succeeded in that respect. In fact, it is the best Bond score since Barry’s work on the Living Daylights ten years before. Arnold manages to bring some classic Bond score elements into the film and at times it s hard to believe that Barry didn’t compose of the music. The music accompanying the teaser sequence is reminiscent of some of the classic Barry action music of the early Bond films and the music manages to play incredibly well into the scenes were suspense is most needed. But while the score contains some classic Barry overtones, it has a refreshingly modern feel to it. Arnold’s occasional use of electronics in several areas (particularly in the Hamburg car chase) is more then welcome and actually raises the level of some of the scenes in the film. Arnold’s score never fails to keep pace with the film and it remains the best non-Barry Bond film score to date.

Despite the good acting and the top notch score, the films over reliance on a over the top storyline, action sequences, and two week major supporting characters, hurts the film considerably to the point of dropping down from a well above average Bond film to a below average Bond film.