Tomorrow Never Dies
|Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Bruce Feirstein wrote the screenplay, and it was directed by Roger Spottiswoode. It follows Bond as he tries to stop a media mogul from engineering world events and starting World War III.
The film was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and was the first James Bond film made after the death of producer Albert R. Broccoli, to which the movie pays tribute in the end credits. Locations included France, Thailand, Germany, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and the South China Sea. Tomorrow Never Dies performed well at the box office and earned a Golden Globe nomination despite mixed reviews. While its domestic box office surpassed GoldenEye, it was the only Pierce Brosnan Bond film not to open at number one at the box office since it opened the same day as Titanic.
MI6 sends James Bond, agent 007, into the field to spy on a terrorist arms bazaar on the Russian border. Via television, MI6 and the British military identify several wanted men, including American “techno-terrorist” Henry Gupta, who is buying a GPS encoder made by the American military. Despite M’s insistence to let 007 finish his reconnaissance, the British Admiral Roebuck launches a missile attack on the arms bazaar. Bond then discovers two Soviet nuclear torpedoes mounted on an L-39 Albatros, and as Roebuck fails to cancel the missile’s approach, 007 hijacks the L-39 and flies away while the weapons bazaar explodes. Gupta escapes with the encoder.
Media baron Elliot Carver, head of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN), begins his plans to use the encoder to provoke war between China and the United Kingdom, which would replace the Chinese government with one more supportive to Carver’s plans of exclusive broadcast rights. Meaconing the GPS signal using the encoder, Gupta sends the British frigate HMS Devonshire off-course in the South China Sea, where Carver’s stealth ship, led by Mr. Stamper, sinks the frigate with a sea drill and steals one of its missiles. Afterwards, Stamper’s men shoot down a Chinese J-7 fighter jet sent to investigate the British presence, and kill the Devonshire’s survivors with Chinese weaponry. After reading a CMGN report of the incident as a Chinese attack, Roebuck deploys the British Fleet to recover the frigate, and possibly retaliate, leaving M only forty-eight hours to investigate its sinking.
M sends Bond to investigate Carver after Carver Media releases news with critical details hours before these have become known, and MI6 noticed a spurious signal from one of his CMGN communications satellites when the frigate was sunk. Bond travels to Hamburg and seduces Carver’s wife, Paris, an ex-girlfriend, to get information that would help him enter Carver’s newspaper headquarters. After Bond steals back the GPS encoder, Carver orders Paris and Bond killed. Paris is killed by Dr. Kaufman, but Bond kills Kaufman and escapes in his BMW 750i. Bond then goes to the South China Sea to investigate the wreck, discovering one of the missiles missing. He and Wai Lin, a Chinese spy on the same case, are captured by Stamper and taken to the CMGN tower Saigon, but they escape and begin collaborating.
They contact the Royal Navy and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force to explain Carver’s scheme, then find and board Carver’s stealth ship in Ha Long Bay to prevent him firing the stolen British cruise missile at Beijing. During the battle, Wai Lin is captured. Bond captures Gupta to use as his own hostage, but Carver kills Gupta, claiming he has “outlived his contract”. After Bond detonates an explosive, part of the ship is damaged which leads it to be exposed on radar and a subsequent Royal Navy attack. While Wai Lin heads to disable the engines, Bond goes after the missile, and kills Carver with his own sea drill. As Bond begins to start the process of destroying the warhead, Stamper appears and fights him. Bond traps Stamper in the missile firing mechanism and dives to save Wai Lin as the missile explodes, destroying the ship. Bond and Wai Lin survive amidst the wreckage as HMS Bedford searches for them.