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The 18th James Bond film, starring Pierce Brosnan. After a British ship is sunk off the shore of China, James Bond is sent to investigate media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) who is believed to be tied to it. Bond uncovers Carver's scheme to turn Britain and China against each other in World War III for his broadcasting and newspaper benefit, and gets a new partner in the person of Chinese agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh).
After the more serious tone of Goldeneye, TND eases back into the Connery-esque "classic Bond" formula beat-for-beat, with one-liners galore, a Large Ham villain, and plenty of action setpieces that make full use of the Theme Music Power-Up trope. It was moderately well-received by the fanbase and critics, and further cemented Brosnan into the role, who began to carve his niche as the suave Bond.
This movie contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Wai Lin, maybe one of the best examples in the whole franchise. And for double cool points, played by Michelle Yeoh. Sadly, romance isn't one of her strong points.
- Anonymous Ringer / No Celebrities Were Harmed: Elliot Carver is a thinly disguised Rupert Murdoch.
- Alternately, Carver is also widely considered a veiled Ted Turner, being the movie came out after the producers and the media mogul had a bit of a falling out.
- The writer said he actually based him on Robert Maxwell. This is made very obvious at the end, when M devises a cover story for his death involving him falling off his yacht and drowning, while the public speculates he committed suicide, echoing Maxwell's death.
- There's also significant elements of William Randolph Hearst, whose propaganda is sometimes credited for getting the US to launch the Spanish-American war. Carver even quotes him.
- As You Know: The first stealth-ship scene starts with a literal Captain Obvious reminding his men that the British will believe they're in international waters due to the manipulated GPS signal. Anyone who at this point in the operation didn't know that very definitely had no business knowing it - but then again, a penchant for summarizing and giving exposition at every possible opportunity may have been an entrance requirement for a job in Carver's corporation.
- Of course, Carver later indulges in it himself.
- Arms Fair/Auction of Evil: The film opens with one.
- Awesome but Impractical: The drilling torpedo thing. A regular torpedo would have actually worked even more spectacularly, but would be less cool.
- A real torpedo could have caused more damage than needed (and Carver needed the ship and its missiles intact). Puncturing holes through the hull to sink it, however, does the job nicely.
- The car's miniature wire cutting saw. Yes, it saves Bond during the chase scene but there is no other possible scenario where it would have been of any use. If the wire were just an inch higher or lower it would have been completely useless.
- Bond One-Liner: "They'll print anything these days," after shoving a Mook into a printing press.
- *ejects attacker from the back set of a jet into enemy jet above them* "Backseat driver..."
- Even Carver gets off a clever one when he thinks Bond is dead.
"Even if they were looking for me, we're on a stealth boat! They can't see me. Or you. Or even your friend, the late Commander Bond, who is, I believe, at this moment, on his way to the bottom of the South China Sea. (Beat) He's my new anchorman.
- Casting Gag / I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine: M and Admiral Roebuck have known each other for quite some time.
- Chained Heat: Bond and Wai Lin.
- Chase Scene: In a multistory car park, from the back seat. Stretching for ideas to do something different? Perhaps. Quite awesome? Yes.
- Chekhov's Gun: The remote control for Bond's car, hidden in a mobile phone that is also capable of delivering a lethal dose of electricity.
- Chewing the Scenery: Carver dines on scenery and scenery only, to the point you start to worry he’ll eat the whole set.
- Concealing Canvas
- Cool Boat: The stealth ship.
- Cool Car: Includes a remote-control in Bond's cell phone. Granted, BMW is no Aston Martin, but damn.
- Corrupt Media Magnate: Elliot Carver.
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Done underwater.
- The Cracker: Henry Gupta.
- Dead Star Walking: While Teri Hatcher was featured in the advertising campaign as much as (if not more than) Michelle Yeoh, her character is the requisite secondary Bond Girl who dies halfway through, as per tradition.
- Total scene count for Paris in a two-hour film: three.
- Death by Sex: Paris Carver.
- Death Dealer: Henry Gupta (but only in deleted scenes)
- Disposable Woman: Paris Carver.
- Distaff Counterpart: Wai Lin is basically a female, Chinese Bond, right down to the flirting, dry wit, and holding a military rank. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize that this is exactly why her relationship with Bond is so shallow.
- The Dragon: Mr. Stamper.
- Dragon Their Feet
- Dress Hits Floor: Paris Carver.
- False-Flag Operation: Carver's mechanism to wage War for Fun and Profit.
- Funny Background Event: Carver's goons grab Bond and take him to a soundproof recording studio to beat him until he talks. As one of them stands watch outside, you can see (but not hear) Bond turning the tables of the fight and beating the goons with the various instruments.
- Guns Akimbo: Used largely for suppressive fire, unless the baddies are pretty much at point-blank range.
- Helicopter Blender: Quite a silly example, as it takes forever for it to carve through the narrow streets of Saigon to get to the cycle Bond and Wai Lin are riding.
- Hero Insurance: A scene between Bond and Q show him actually getting hero insurance for his car.
Q: It's the insurance damage waiver for your beautiful new car. Now, will you need collision coverage?
- "Hey You!" Haymaker: Bond pulls this on a thug about to shoot Wai Lin.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Elliot Carver seems to pull double duty as Governor of Jamaica.
- I'm sure Vincent Schiavelli (Dr. Kaufman) and Ricky Jay (Henry Gupta) qualify for this distinction
- Hollywood Silencer: Averted on the stealth ship, where Bond's suppressed Walther P99 sounds probably just a little less loud that it would without the suppressor.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: You wanted a headline, Carver? You got it, courtesy of MI 6! Something about a boating accident...
- Incredibly Long Note: k.d. lang's epic finish during the closing credits.
- Irrevocable Order:The Royal Navy launches a Tomahawk missile to destroy a terrorist arms depot. They quickly find out that there are nukes at the camp. But the missile is already out of radio range, requiring James Bond to go in and remove the bombs.
- Lampshade Hanging: Bond lets Carver know that starting World War III for ratings' sake is really quite insane.
- Large Ham: Jonathan Pryce's magnificently over-the-top villain is one of the most memorable things about this movie.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Carver loves his banners. Bond gets in a good dig at his expense for it.
- Milkman Conspiracy: The Carver Media Group blackmails the President, is implied to orchestrate global floods, riots and plane crashes, sells buggy software (to force people to upgrade it for years), sinks a British Destroyer, massacres the survivors, steals one of its cruise missiles, plans to use said missile on Beijing to set up a new Chinese government friendly to its interests (ie. broadcasting rights) after bringing Britain and China to the brink of nuclear war, and employs terrorists, torturers and professional assassins, plus the average Carver Media Group employees, based on the evidence, are Always Chaotic Evil. All for the sake of its ratings. Carver also faked the Mad Cow disease scare of 1997 because a British beef baron owed him money (from a poker game, a mere £10,000) and refused to pay....then the French paid him to run the stories for another year.
- Mook Lieutenant: The captain of Carver's Stealth Boat.
- New Era Speech: Elliot Carver gives one to Bond.
- New Old Flame
- NGO Superpower: Carver Media Group Network, which already influences most of the world. But since its led by a megalomaniac, the organization takes the extra step forward of forming a small army, build a stealth ship, and stir up a war between Britain and China.
- One-Scene Wonder: Vincent Schiavelli gets only one scene as Dr. Kaufman but his wonderfully hammy performance and comically exaggerated German accent makes it one of the highlights of the movie.
- Precision F-Strike: Delivered by the normally cool and in-control Carver.
Carver: Mr. Stamper, would you please kill those bastards!
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: What Carver does before offing Gupta.
- Bond also has one, seen in Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Psycho for Hire: Mr. Stamper.
- Playing Both Sides: Carver, playing Great Britain and China against each other.
- Serendipity Writes the Plot: The original title was Tomorrow Never Lies, the proposed Tagline of Carver's newspaper Tomorrow. A misspelled fax lead to the one the filmmakers eventually used.
- Shirtless Scene / Wet Sari Scene: Yes, at the same time.
- Shoot the Hostage: Henry Gupta. Oddly, it's not Bond who does this, even though Bond had taken him as hostage, but Carver, since he had outlived his contract.
- Shower Scene: Leading to the Shirtless Scene / Wet Sari Scene mentioned above.
- Sink the Life Boats: Carver orders the surviving sailors from the HMS Devonshire machine-gunned.
- Stocking Filler: Paris Carver.
- Stuffed in The Fridge: Paris. Not literally, but left in the bedroom for Bond to find.
- Super Multi-Purpose Room
- Take the Wheel: Bond and Wai Lin, further complicated by the fact that they are on a motorcycle and handcuffed together.
- "Then It Seems You Have Outlived Your Contract": Gupta.
- This Is a Drill: The drill torpedo.
- To the Pain: When Carver tells Bond about how Mr. Stamper is going to torture him, although the movie gets more mileage out of the Cow Tools presented as Mr. Stamper's torture implements than it does out of Carver's little speech.
- Torture Technician: Dr. Kaufmann and his protege, Mr. Stamper.
- Trophy Wife: Paris Carver.
- Underwater Kiss: Type B.
- Unflinching Faith in the Brakes: Bond during his short "test drive" of the remote controlled BMW. Doubly Badass because he'd never driven it before.
- Q is standing right next to Bond, and doesn't even flinch. Just goes to show how much faith he has in 007.
- Vapor Wear: Paris Carver.
- War for Fun and Profit: Carver's primary plan, by way of False Flag Operations.
- Weaponized Car: Bond's BMW 750iL.
- What the Fu Are You Doing?: Carver does this in front of Wai Lin, making lots of karate moves and yelling "Ha!" all the while.
Carver: *scoffs* Pathetic.