The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
James Bond has battled evil commies and megalomaniac madmen; perhaps it was only a matter of time until he faced off against a media baron -- the only sort of figure in today's world that actually does seek global domination. His enemy in "Tomorrow Never Dies” wants to start a war in order to create headlines for the launch of his latest news channel. Just imagine what Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner would like to do to each other and imagine either one of them doing it to the Chinese, and you'll get the idea.
Bond, played confidently and with a minimum of fuss by Pierce Brosnan, stumbles into the middle of the plot, masterminded by Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), who owns newspapers, TV stations and a gigantic Stealth warship that's invisible to radar. Carver's plan is ingenious: He'll use his satellites to draw a British warship off course, sink it with the Stealth ship, steal its nuclear warheads, and fire one at China, which will think it is under attack from the West. The only flaw in this plan, as far as I can see, is the likely nuclear destruction of most of Carver's biggest markets.
Bond films traditionally open with an elaborate scene built of stunts and special effects, and "Tomorrow Never Dies” doesn't break with custom: We see British military officials monitoring a "Terrorist Arms Bazaar on the Russian Border” (which border? who cares?). A hothead British general gives an order that leads to the likely detonation of nuclear weapons. Then Bond appears, steals the plane containing the warheads, uses its missiles to destroy all of his enemies, and takes off in it before ...
But I dare not reveal too much. The plot has a lot of fun with the Carver character, played by Pryce in a platinum crew-cut. He likes to write headlines and design front pages in advance of big news events, and then make them happen, although more than once he's premature in reporting the death of Bond. His wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher), happens to be a former lover of 007, and M (Judi Dench), head of British secret service, makes a few tart suggestions about how Bond might make use of the connection.