Outside of the stunts, Yeoh is definitely top five “Bond Girl” material. She has a few memorable moments, including one where she stunt drives a motorcycle while handcuffed to Bond and another where she throws a shuriken into a guy’s throat. Good times. Her character, the Chinese MSS spy Colonel Wai Lin, holds her own as she works with Bond to investigate an attack on a British Battle ship in Chinese waters.
The attack is an elaborate ruse put together by the media mogul, Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce). A logical main antagonist for 1997 since people were witnessing the start of life moguls like Ted Turner and Rupert Murdock. Carver’s plan to use a stealth ship to sink Navy vessels (As in The Spy Who Loved Me) while framing other countries to start World War III (As in You Only Live Twice), is all stuff we have seen before. But, the plots themselves have not been the draw for this series for a long while. It is all about having fun on journey to get to the end.
I was disappointed to see Dame Judi Dench as “M”, not have much time directly with Bond, but it does make sense. It was time to see the two put aside their difference and pull it together in a crisis. Of course, “M” backs up her agent on the field while the Army brass was ready to make him collateral damage. Knowing how she is not all that fond of Bond, but is loyal to the people who work for here only had me liking her character more.
The only scene the two characters share, Bond was busy sparing with Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) over cringe inducing double entendres. After Moneypenny learns how the lady Bond spent his evening with is a Danish Professor, she refers to him as a “cunning linguist”. James replies that he enjoys learning a new tongue. Barf.
Now for the continuing competition with my wife, Sarah to guess how long it would take Bond to first get laid during each of these films. With it being Sarah’s turn to role the dice, she got a *three* and a *two*, meaning I would to choose if Bond would seal the deal “over” or “under” 32 minutes. I figured Brosnan was going to need to work extra hard to get with Michelle Yeoh and chose *over*. Bond just had to slip in the affair with the Danish Professor at the 22 minute mark. Oh, James.
A bit of a setback for the Mars Man this week. Never fear. I’m four back but there are still six films left. A win is still within my grasp. Remember what the Habs did to the Leafs.
Sarah – 9
Mars – 5
I recall the promotion for Tomorrow Never Dies hyping up Teri Hatcher as the “Bond Girl” but she really takes a backseat while Yeoh sits up front with Bond. Heck, veteran “creepy guy” actor Vincent Schiavelli’s small role as “Dr. Kaufman” made as much of an impact on the plot as Hatcher’s character does.
I have only watched this one once before when it was fresh at the theatre, and I was happy to see it live up to the fun I expect from a Bond film. Seeing Bond use a flip phone to remotely control his BMW while crouching in the back seat as if he was playing a video game was good times. And Yeoh’s presence only elevates the fun factor during action moments like the “motorcycle vs helicopter” chase. I know there is a dip in quality with Pierce Bond somewhere but we haven’t struck it yet.
A solid 4/5.