Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / Tomorrow Never Dies

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tnd.jpg

"The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success."
Elliot Carver
Advertisement:

The one where James Bond beats up Rupert Murdoch.

Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth James Bond film and the second starring Pierce Brosnan. It was directed by Roger Spottiswoode and was released on December 12, 1997. Sheryl Crow performed the Title Theme Tune, and k.d. lang performed an additional song that was added in the end credits.

A British warship and a Chinese aircraft are destroyed off the shore of China, an incident that threatens to ignite all-out war between the two countries. The British claim that their GPS locator showed they were in International Waters, causing MI6 to suspect foul play.

The clues point towards the Carver Media Group Network, a worldwide media empire owned by Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce). James Bond is sent to investigate Carver and his organisation to find out if someone is engineering War for Fun and Profit; a task that sees him crossing paths with Chinese secret agent Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh).

Advertisement:

After the more introspective tone of GoldenEye, the film eases back into the Connery and Moore "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. Brosnan also began to carve his niche as the playful Bond.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: The crew of HMS Devonshire, and later the crew of the stealth ship.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Carver has buzzsaw torpedoes which can not only cut through the hulls of other ships, but can be guided through said ships and travel upward if necessary.
  • Absence of Evidence: Gupta sees through Bond's cover story of being a banker and deduces he's a government agent, based on the lack of any black marks on Bond's falsified records.
    "I call it Gupta's Law of Convenient Anomalies - if it looks Too Good to Be True, it probably is."
  • Advertisement:
  • Action Girl: Wai Lin. Chinese government agent, Colonel Badass, martial artist and fan of submachine-Guns Akimbo.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Wai Lin can't help but smile at Bond's torture gag.
    Bond: [when the torture is explained to him] I would have thought watching your TV shows was torture enough.
    • Carver's favorite newspaper cover regarding the crisis he engineered is one that was printed by a rival newspaper, because it has a Pun-slash-ShoutOut (both to Star Wars and an actual cover of a British military crisis) that he finds exquisite.
  • Advertised Extra: Teri Hatcher, who was heavily promoted as the film's Bond girl over Michelle Yeoh, ended up only having two scenes in the film (three if you count Bond finding her body).
  • Affably Evil: Dr. Kaufman. He's here to kill James but treats him as a colleague, even letting off some steam about their chosen profession.
    Dr. Kaufman: This is very embarrassing. It seems there is a red box in your car. They can’t get to it. They want me to make you unlock the car! I feel like an idiot. I don’t know what to say. I am to torture you if you don’t do it.
  • Agony of the Feet: Bond drops a cruise missile tail-first onto Mr. Stamper's foot during their final fight, pinning it under the rocket's exhaust, which 007 has rigged with explosives. When the countdown reaches zero, it doesn't end well for Stamper.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • In the novelization, it is revealed that Stamper has a side business making "snuff porn". He enjoys kidnapping young women and filming them while they're being raped and tortured, and sells the videos on the black market to thrill-seekers. That is why he has a camera man on hand to film the execution of the naval officers.
    • The novelization and the deleted scenes give Elliot Carver's backstory - he is the illegitimate son of media mogul Lord Roverman, whom Carver drove to bankruptcy and blackmails into suicide, later taking over his business.
    • Carver's remote-controlled drill-torpedo is called the "Sea-Vac."
  • Always Save the Girl: Subverted when Mr. Stamper threatens to drown Wai Lin. Although Bond had promised her twice that they would survive the mission together, she reminds him that it's his duty to destroy the missile, so he focuses on the task at hand.
  • And Show It to You: Stamper planned to do this to James Bond. Bond escapes before he can, obviously.
  • And This Is for...: Villainous example by Stamper during the climax:
    Stamper: For Carver—[slams Bond against steel rafter]—And for Kaufman—[slams Bond against another rafter before throwing him on the overhead]—I owe you an unpleasant death, Mr. Bond!
  • Antagonist Title: Tomorrow is the name of Elliot Carver's newspaper, and much of the plot centers around him writing articles covering catastrophic, attention grabbing events for future papers in advance, and then causing said events to happen.
  • Arms Fair: In The Teaser, Bond must infiltrate an arms fair to confirm its location and is observing the event. Over the objections of M, who wants Bond to finish his recon, British and Russian generals order a Tomahawk missile to take it the arms fair. As the missile is launched, Bond discovers an L-39 Albatros with nuclear torpedoes on board at the fair.
    • Which wouldn't have gone nuclear in the case of being hit by cruise missiles anyway. Since you need a very specific trigger and critical mass to arm and detonate a nuclear device, all it would have done was splash some nuclear material round. Not the best outcome (and certainly an outcome that would have produced unacceptable collateral damage and political fallout), but not a Chernobyl-level event, either.
  • Artistic License: Chinese keyboards do not show Chinese characters - they use the QWERTY keyboard, as the words are typed in Pinyin (Romanised Chinese), which are then converted to the relevant symbol.
  • Artistic License – Military: The movie mentions several times that China has "the world's largest air force" which was not true in 1997 (or in the present, for that matter). While counting aircraft is fraught with difficulties, all the data still shows that the United States is by far the world's most powerful air force in terms of both numbers and deployment ability. Depending on how you measure, China still comes in at number 2 or 3 (besides Russia).
    • It defeats the purpose of using a stealth ship if they are going to be using the radio while trying to remain undetected. Standard procedure for any ship trying to hide is to operate under EMCON (Emission Control), which means transmitting no electronic signals of any kind...radar, radio, anything.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: Averted. A nuclear missile is going to be fired at Bejing in less than a minute. Since James Bond doesn't have enough time to delicately disarm, he just attaches some explosives to the tail end of the missile so when the missile ignites to lift off, the flames detonate the explosives, safely blowing the missile to hell. However, the movie does play the trope straight at the beginning, when the top brass is talking about some Soviet nuclear torpedoes detonating or spreading plutonium from their missile strike.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Carver orders an Affably Evil assassin named Dr. Kaufmann to kill both his wife and James Bond and make it look like a double suicide. When his colleagues can't open Bond's armored car to get an item they need, he is ordered to get the information from Bond. This allows Bond (who is of course a government assassin) to get the upper hand by using an electric charge in his phone to knock Kaufmann out.
    Bond: Me too. [shoots him dead]
  • 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 being there—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.
  • Attack Backfire: Stamper's insides are rewired so that any intended painful action he receives (such as stabbing with a knife) gives him pleasure. Conversely, any intended pleasuring action he receives (such as tickling) gives him pain.
  • Auction of Evil: The film opens with James Bond infiltrating a weapons bazaar where various military grade weapons are being sold to terrorists.
  • Avenging the Villain: Stamper attempts to kill James Bond with a Taking You with Me at the end of the film, in retaliation for Bond killing both his employer, Elliot Carver, and his mentor Dr Kauffman.
  • Backseat Driver: Played With thrice:
    • Bond escapes the arms bazaar at the beginning by flying a fighter jet out, only to have a terrorist in the backseat try to strangle him. "Backseat driver" is literally the Bond One-Liner when he ejects the bad guy!
    • Needing a quick escape, Bond is forced to dive into the rear seat of his BMW and drive it from a cell phone screen. Fridge Horror ensues when one realizes, with the extent of the damage suffered to the BMW, Bond would be a dead man had he driven "properly" - and lampshaded with the soundtrack title.
    • Later, both he and Wai Lin are handcuffed together and must jointly ride a motorcycle, complete with bickering.
  • Badass Boast: Kaufman claims he will shoot Bond and make it look like a suicide. Bond says that at that distance they'll be able to tell the shot didn't come from Bond (goading Kaufman to get close enough to disarm).
    Kaufman: I am a professor of forensic medicine. I could shoot you from Stuttgart and still create the proper effect!
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Bond is threatened with this. "He should stay alive just long enough to see it stop beating."
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Averted, although technically speaking the PRC General Chang would be just as important to the scheme as Carver's contributions. The former is Demoted to Extra, appearing onscreen for a total of five seconds as Bond and Wai Lin are escorted past him.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Although Bond is ostensibly giving air to Wai Lin so that she can breathe underwater, the way his mouth closes over hers for an extended period of time and the manner in which he holds her face look exactly like a passionate French kiss. The sweeping music, their flowing hair (the ocean current creates an effect which appears similar to wind), the warm colouring and lighting of the shot leave absolutely no doubt that this scene is epically romantic. Cue the collective swooning of Pierce Brosnan's fangirls.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Bond's brief flirting with a Danish lady at Oxford after the prologue, who essentially praises him for his linguistic progress.
  • Black Helicopter: Bond is menaced by such a helicopter, and at one point he evades it by jumping over the spinning rotors in Slo Mo with a motorcycle.
  • Black Market: The film opens with James Bond infiltrating — and destroying — a terrorist arms bazaar.
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    Carver: Soon I'll have reached out to and influenced more people than anybody in the history of this planet, save God himself. And the best he ever managed was the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Blatant Lies: Bond's false reassurance to Wai Lin that he "...wouldn't dream of it" after she straddles his lap during the motorcycle chase and warns him, "Don't get any ideas." His playful smile also adds to the insincerity of his comment.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • After punching out a mook while offering him a light, Bond quips "Filthy habit." It's his very first line in the film, by the way.
    • After ejecting an attacker from the back seat of a jet into an enemy jet above them: "Backseat driver..."
    • After shoving a henchman into a printing press: "They'll print anything these days."
    • Even Elliot 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.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Seemingly played straight, when instead of shooting Bond when he had him at gunpoint, Dr. Kaufman gets into a conversation with Bond. Subverted when it turns out he actually needs to leave Bond alive just long enough to open his car up for his colleagues to steal something inside. Bond says his phone controls the car and opens it up and starts to press some buttons, but Kaufman seems to know it could be gadget weapon that Bond would use against him. However, it turns out that operating the phone himself was no better, as instead of unlocking the car, Bond gives him a combination that causes Kaufman to shock himself.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A harmless version. Bond uses a cell phone gadget that scans the print of whoever used the device last and the shows the phone display to the thumbprint scanner.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted in the case of our heroes: when Bond is escaping from the CMGN facility in Hamburg, viewers who pay attention will note he fires exactly 8 shots from his PPK (the real-life limit: 7 in the mag + 1 in the chamber) before putting it away and not using it anymore. Wai Lin near the end tosses away an empty gun and only has two shots left in the other, and shortly afterwards Bond drops his P99 after firing all the shots from it and has to reload his sub-machine gun. Played straight in the case of Carver's mooks.
  • Brick Joke: Bond's Bond One-Liner about backseat drivers becomes this when he literally becomes one.
  • Bullets Do Not Work That Way: When Carver orders his men to Sink The Life Boats, he reminds them to use the same type of ammunition carried by Chinese fighter planes. Since the 1950s or so, fighter planes have primarily carried autocannons firing 20mm (or larger) explosive shells, which would be all but impossible to load and fire from any gun small enough for a single person to carry.
  • Call-Back:
    • Paris asks Bond if he still sleeps with a gun under the pillow. In Thunderball, Bond tells Fiona Volpe that his gun was under the pillow the whole time they were in bed together.
    • In You Only Live Twice, Bond says he doesn't need "Instant Japanese" at all, since he has a degree in "Oriental Languages"; in this film, however, he is completely baffled by Wai Lin's Chinese keyboard.note 
    • Bond is seen wearing his Royal Navy uniform, just like in You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Caltrops: Bond's BMW has the ability to drop a whole bunch of these to pop enemy tires and mess up pursuit. See Tropes Examined By The Myth Busters for a report on how well that would really work. Bond gets double points for driving over his own caltrops, and fixing and reinflating the tires with just the press of a button!
  • Camera Abuse: At the end of the pre-credits sequence, the exhaust from Bond's stolen fighter jet shatter the picture into a million pieces as we fall into the opening credits.
  • Cardboard Boxes: One of the land rovers chasing James Bond and Wai Lin drives into a truckload of boxes...containing fireworks, which (of course) proceed to go off from the impact.
  • Car Meets House: Bond returns a rental car by remote-control driving it through the windows of the storefront.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Carver has the survivors of the Devonshire machine-gunned while they paddled up to his ship hoping for rescue.
  • Central Theme: The dangers of an irresponsibly powerful and unchecked tabloid media.
  • Chained Heat: Bond and Wai Lin are cuffed together when they are brought to Carver. This causes inconveniences during their escape from his clutches.
  • Character Tics: Elliot Carver tends to outstretch his arms in a "You See" motion when making his grand speeches.
  • Chase Scene: In a multi-story car park, from the back seat. Stretching for ideas to do something different? Perhaps. Quite awesome? Yes.
    James Rolfe: [on why this chase is one of his favorites] How do you go wrong with a remote-controlled BMW that shoots missiles?
  • Chekhov's Gun: The usual Q gadgets, including a remote-controlled car. It also has a whole host of gadgets that we aren't told about ahead of time, including a wire cutter underneath the BMW emblem, just in case Bond needs to sever a wire at a very specific height. Conveniently, the bad guys put a wire across Bond's path at exactly that height.
  • Chess Motifs: In the pre-title sequence, the codenames are all based on chess pieces. The terrorists are pawns, Bond himself is a knight, the HMS Chester is a bishop, HQ is a rook, and the Admiral is a king.
  • China Takes Over the World: Possibly as a deliberate subversion of the early years of the series, China almost enter a war with the United Kingdom... but only because of the actions of Carver, who knows that such a war would be good for ratings.
  • *Click* Hello: Bond enters his hotel room to find the body of his ex-lover Paris Carver (put there in an attempt to frame him for murder). As he approaches her to check for a pulse, we hear a gun cock and the voice of her killer, revealing that the plan is to frame him for a murder-suicide.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: As Bond and Wai Lin flee from the bad guys, Bond drives their motorcycle over the roofs of several buildings, eventually crashing through an apartment. The copulating couple inside keeps right at it, not even looking up, implying that they're so into each other (so to speak) and what they're doing that they genuinely didn't even notice.
  • Colonel Badass: Wai Lin's rank, as revealed in the ending.
  • Commanding Coolness: James Bond's rank, of course.
  • Computer Voice: The guidance system in James Bond's BMW. ("Don't let her push you around.") Q even comments that hopefully James will pay attention due to the voice being female.
  • Concealing Canvas: The safe in which the GPS encoder is stored is hidded behind a painting in Carver's office.
  • Continuity Nod: This movie continues two threads that Alec Trevelyan had brought up in GoldenEye. Firstly, Bond's constant attempts to atone for the women whose lives he failed to save manifests itself as a strong personal need to keep Wai Lin safe after he was unable to protect Paris Carver. Secondly, we get a reversal of "The girl or the mission?" because in GoldenEye, Bond chose to save Natalya Simonova's life (a civilian) over executing Trevelyan. However, this time around, he gives priority to his duty over Wai Lin's life (a fellow soldier) during the climax, although he does rescue her the first chance he gets.
  • Cool Bike: The BMW R1200C that Bond and Wai Lin ride around, through, and over Saigon together on.
  • Cool Boat: The stealth ship. The fact it's invisible to radar raises the stakes considerably!
  • Cool Car: Bond has a rocket-firing, fully loaded BMW 750iL that he can drive by remote control. Yes, that's as awesome as it sounds.
  • Cool Guns:
    • Bond gets a Walther P99 from Wai Lin's armoury. He later fits it with a suppressor and dual-wields it with an M P5k during his assault on Carver's stealth boat, until it finally runs dry.
    • FAMAS can be seen amongst many other guns on a rack.
    • Carver's troops wield Heckler and Koch M P5s.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carver may be the ultimate example in the Bond saga. As James Bond puts it, he forgot the most important role of media, which was to give the public what they want.
  • The Cracker: Henry Gupta, who is described as a "techno-terrorist."
  • Creator Cameo: Producer Michael G. Wilson is seen as Mr. Wallace in Carver's videoconference.
  • Criminal Convention: The opening scene has Bond infiltrating an Arms Fair run by terrorists.
    "It's like a terrorist supermarket. Chinese Long March Scud, Panther AS-565 attack helicopter... a pair of Russian mortars, and the crates look like American rifles. Chilean mines, German explosives, fun for the whole family."
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: A mook falls into a newspaper press, and Carver is skewered by a drill missile.
  • Cunning Linguist: Subverted when Bond is completely bamboozled by Wai Lin's keyboard. (It's meant as a joke, by the way; Chinese computers [or Mainland China ones at least] either use Pinyin or Wubi [a system of four-digit codes to stand for characters] for word input and processing).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The final confrontation between James Bond and Elliott Carver. One is a media mogul who probably has never lifted anything heavier than a microphone in twenty years. The other is an elite Royal Navy intelligence officer/commando. Guess how that one ends.
  • Deadly Doctor: Dr. Kaufman, a hitman who uses his forensic medicine expertise to cover his tracks.
  • Deadly Dodging: When being "interrogated", Bond shifts sideways from a punch and Mook #1 ends up punching Mook #2 instead, giving Bond the opening he needs to beat up the numerous baddies.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Elliott Carver, after learning that his wife has betrayed him to Bond, says he will "make her an appointment with the Doctor", by which he means hire an assassin to kill her.
  • Dead Star Walking: While Teri Hatcher was featured in the advertising campaign as much as (if not more than) Michelle Yeoh, Paris Carver is the requisite secondary Bond Girl who dies halfway through, as per tradition. In the original cut, she had much more screentime, but test audiences' reactions to her role were largely negative, so much of it was omitted. Total scene count for Paris in a two-hour film: three.
  • Death by Sex: Paris Carver is tortured and strangled. Adding insult to injury, her body is planted in Bond's hotel room in an effort to frame him for murder
  • Death Dealer: Deleted scenes had a techno-terrorist Henry Gupta (played by Ricky Jay) throwing playing cards as weapons.
  • Denied Parody: While Elliot Carver looks at first glance like a thinly disguised version of Rupert Murdoch, the movie's main writer claims he was actually based on Robert Maxwell (this is supported by the cover story for Carver's death and the public's reaction to it mirroring Maxwell's fatal boat accident).
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Media magnate Eliot Carver, who uses money from his media empire to create tomorrow's headlines.
  • Dirty Old Man: Elliot's demeanour when he first meets Wai Lin at his party indicates that he finds her very attractive. Considering that he has a Trophy Wife, this is not at all surprising, and Paris herself is even aware that her husband's interest in the Chinese woman is primarily based on lust.
  • Disney Villain Death: Bond punches a mook off a catwalk, and he falls into a printing press. "They'll print anything these days."
  • Disposable Woman: Paris Carver appears for three scenes at most before being killed by Carver for aiding Bond, which makes the whole affair very personal for Bond.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Wai Lin is basically a female, Chinese Bond, right down to the flirting, dry wit, and holding a military rank.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Bond is so distracted by Wai Lin's Sexy Soaked Shirt that he doesn't notice she's unlocking her end of the handcuffs behind her back, so he's completely caught off-guard when she handcuffs him to a nearby pipe.
  • Divide and Conquer: Carver tries to start World War III between the UK and China, just to get broadcasting rights in the latter.
  • Don't Ask:
    James Bond: [while in bed with his Scandinavian language tutor, and on the phone with Moneypenny] I always enjoyed learning a new tongue.
    Moneypenny: You always were a cunning linguist, James.
    Moneypenny: [M walks up from behind her] Don't ask.
    M: Don't tell.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Pretty much the whole Hamburg satellite launch party scene. Here's some of the best dialogue:
      Elliot Carver: I'm thinking about getting Wai Lin behind a news desk...
      Paris Carver: I'm sure she won't resist... Much.
    • And:
      Bond: Tell me, Elliot, about your satellites, how you've positioned yourself globally...
      Elliot Carver: They're merely tools for spreading information, Mr. Bond.
      Bond: Or disinformation. Suppose you wished to alter the course of events, governments... or even a ship...
      Elliot Carver: [staring at Bond] You have a vivid imagination for a banker, Mr. Bond. Perhaps I should commission you to write a novel.
      Bond: Oh, no, I wouldn't know where to begin. I'd be lost at sea... adrift...
  • The Dragon: Mr. Stamper, Carver's right hand man.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Carver is completely alone when Bond takes him out and then Stamper emerges afterward to have the final battle with Bond.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: When Bond finds Paris lying dead in her bed, he hears a gun cock from behind. Turning around he sees Dr. Kaufman pointing a gun at him.
    • Later attempted but subverted during the motorcycle chase. The helicopter's door gunner is given a cutaway shot, showing him doing the HK Slap on his SMG, clearly indicating the Real Trouble has arrived. The problem is that he slaps the wrong side of the gun; the charging handle he's supposed to be slapping isn't even visible, making it an absurd gesture for anyone knowledgeable of the maneuver.
  • Dress Hits Floor: Bond slips Paris Carver's dress off her shoulders, which then leads to a cut to a Toplessness from the Back shot.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Bond does this with vodka in his hotel room after he shuts down the power at Carver's party.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: After Bond fails to save Paris' life, he becomes extremely protective towards Wai Lin even though she's perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and she initially rejects his help. He even promises her not just once, but twice that they will survive their confrontation with Elliot together.
  • Ejection Seat: Bond uses an ejector to eject an unwanted co-pilot from his stolen fighter jet, downing another plane in the process.
  • Evil Is Petty: It would not be an exaggeration to state that Carver is one of the most powerful people on the planet, both obscenely rich and influential. When China refuses him broadcast rights, he decides to nuke the country. There's also the Mad Cow Scare, which he engineered because a guy wouldn't honor a poker bet.
  • Evil Plan: Elliot Carver wants to start a war between the West and China to increase the ratings of his media empire, and then to murder the Chinese government so his ally in the military could take over, who would give him exclusive media access (China being the only country in the world that refused him broadcast rights after he gained the ability to reach the entire world with his new satellite system).
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Elliot Carver's building in Saigon, which dwarfs everything else and has a giant poster of his face on the side.
  • Expy: Stamper, of Red Grant, and he's not the first time.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The movie takes place over only a few days—Bond is given 48 hours to conduct his investigation before war breaks out.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Paris Carver knew her number was up as soon as she went to help Bond. She spends one last night with him, gives him the information he needs to infiltrate her husband Elliot's secret lab, and leaves, telling James not even he can protect her. The way the scene plays out, Paris seems to know she'll be dead before the day is out, and accepts it.
  • Faking the Dead: On the stealth boat, Bond kills a mook and then holds his body out in the line of fire. As it's nighttime and they're outside the boat, the other mooks can't tell who they're shooting, allowing Bond to drop the mook and make it seem as if they killed him.
  • False Flag Operation: Carver's mechanism to wage War for Fun and Profit.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "This job of yours, it's murder on relationships." Paris Carver, before being murdered offscreen.
    • "Wait! I'm just a professional doing a job!" Dr. Kaufman, to which Bond says "Me too" before shooting him.
    • "Press the magic button and Beijing disappears." Henry Gupta, before Carver shoots him.
    • "No! No! No! NOOO!" Elliot Carver, before being shredded by the sea drill.
    • "We die together, Mr. Bond." Mr. Stamper, before being blown up by Bond.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: A fugitive Aum Shinrinkyo cultist named Satoshi Isagura, wanted for the Tokyo subway attacks in 1995, shows up in an arms deal monitored by MI-6.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Elliot makes note of Bond's weakness as he holds Wai Lin hostage.
    Carver: And it seems you can't resist any woman in my possession.
    • Carver's narcissism is a major problem, going so far as to decorate his headquarters and other places pertaining to his media empire, with tapestries and over sized banners that bear his visage. His Evil Plan to have China and the United Kingdom go to war against each other just to arrange a broadcasting deal with the new Chinese government shows his selfish behavior.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Stamper tries to approach the warmth of his mentor, Dr. Kaufman, but it's all superficial. Under the calm exterior he's shallow and mean, unabashedly taking glee in the pain of his victims. It ends up being his undoing.
  • Fiction 500: Elliot Carver is noted by supplemental materials to be the most powerful man in the world at the time of the film. His media empire can send a government crashing down with a single news story.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Wai Lin is another "Bond girl as Bond's equal", portrayed again as the first time ever, not counting Anya Amasova and arguably Pam Bouvier. Would be repeated in 5 years with Jinx.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Bond does this to Doctor Kaufman to make his death look like a murder-suicide.
    Kaufman: Wait! I am just a professional doing a job!
    Bond: Me too.
  • 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.
    • At one point in the Motorbike/Helicopter Chase, Bond and Wai Lin crash into a house while the occupants are having sex. They go back to it as soon as they leave.
    • As Jack Wade and Bond are at the Air Force base waiting for Dr. Greenwall to set up the GPS encoder, Bond can be seen eyeing Wade's tacky jungle-themed shirt and shaking his head.
  • Gag Voice: The female voice in the BMW with the comical German accent. Perhaps a little Take That! on the BMW Product Placement over a British marque.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Moneypenny says "You always were a cunning linguist, James".
  • Giving Them the Strip: Bond cuts himself free from his tactical vest to escape when Stamper dangles him in front of the soon-to-fire missile's exhaust vents.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A Mook is thrown by James Bond into a printing press; all that's seen is the baddie falling through the paper and the ensuing copies coming out stained red.
    Bond: They'll print anything these days.
  • Gun Struggle: Happens between Bond and Dr. Kaufman. Bond quickly gets control and points the gun at the villain's head, resulting in this exchange:
    Dr. Kaufman: Wait! I'm just a professional doing a job.
    Bond: Me too. [shoots Kaufman]
  • Guns Akimbo: Used largely for suppressive fire, unless the baddies are pretty much at point-blank range.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Wai Lin's earring is able to unlock the handcuffs that have her and Bond tied together.
  • Handy Remote Control: Bond uses his remote control, which allows him not only to control his gadget car without being exposed in the driver's seat, but also to see where he's going in the device's video screen.
  • Hate Sink: Elliot Carver is played by the wonderful Jonathan Pryce in full scenery-chewing Large Ham mode, but his sullen, sociopathic associate Herr Stamper and craven Torture Technician Dr. Kaufman both exist to be hated and then killed. The novelization goes as far as singling out Kaufman in particular as one of only a handful of people Bond has felt no remorse killing whatsoever.
    Dr. Kaufman: I'm just a professional doing a job!
    James Bond: Me too.
  • 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?
    James Bond: Yes.
    Q: [stares at Bond] Fire?
    James Bond: Probably.
    Q: Property destruction?
    James Bond: Definitely.
    Q: Personal Injury?
    James Bond: I hope not, but accidents do happen.
    Q: They frequently do with you.
    James Bond: [signs the form] Well, that takes care of the "normal" wear and tear. Is there any other protection I need?
    Q: Only from me, 007, unless you bring that car back in pristine order.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker:
    • Bond sneaks up behind a Mook, lights up a cigarette for him, then punches him out, saying, "Filthy habit." Possibly a Shout-Out to the fact that Pierce Brosnan was (at the time) the first Bond actor not to smoke on screen (unless you count Die Another Day).
    • And again, except without a lighter; he merely pantomimes lighting the cigarette.
  • Hitler Cam: Carver uses this. With massive posters of his face, and his over the top speech.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: You wanted a headline, Carver? You got it, courtesy of MI6! Something about a boating accident...
  • 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. As soon as he pulls the trigger, all the goons in the room hear it and open fire on him. Doesn't help that it's a ship and sounds echo.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: Averted, as the HALO jump (High Altitude, Low Opening) is an actual military practice.
  • Honey Trap:
    • Bond is under orders from M to "pump" his Old Flame Paris Carver for information about her media mogul husband's organization, which he reluctantly does even though he knows the seduction will put Paris' life in danger.
    • When Paris turns up in his hotel room, Bond's first thought is that her husband sent her. He asks her to leave and just tell Carver she didn't get any information from him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Admiral Roebuck and the Defense Secretary mull their course of action after the Devonshire is apparently sunk by the Chinese, and insist on a full retaliation even as M is actively protesting that they don't have all the facts. When Bond presents the paper regarding the sailors who had been murdered after surviving the sinking, they immediately deploy the Navy, leaving M only a scant window of opportunity to prove China's innocence.
  • Hurricane of Puns: If you played a drinking game with all of the one-liners, puns and Double Entendres in this film, you'd be in the ER for alcohol poisoning.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: M becomes suspicious of Carver's involvement in the massacre of British sailors because his paper reports certain details (such as the sailors being killed with the same type of ammo issued to the Chinese Air Force) before British Intelligence was able to confirm them.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: M and Admiral Roebuck have known each other for quite some time.
  • I Work Alone: When Bond suggests to Wai Lin that they hook up during their Shower Scene, she gives this trope and leaves him handcuffed to a pipe. As always, they end up working together anyway.
  • Idiot Ball: The Admirals, who just witnessed the 'terrorist supermarket' with even nuclear torpedoes for sale and Gupta buying an American GPS encoder, still decide to potentially go to war with China over the Chinese apparently murdering their sailors even though M flat-out tells them someone was messing with the GPS signal. They might have been a bit more open-minded if she'd let them in on Carver's involvement, but it's still incredibly reckless.
    • One assumes Admiral Roebuck was asked to leave the Queen's service shortly after the ending of the events of this film. His behaviour throughout the film was unacceptably impulsive for a senior Admiral.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Carver believes this, to the point that his men actually sink a Royal Navy warship and Sink the Lifeboatsnote , steal a nuclear weapon (to aim at China) and bring NATO and the Chinese to the brink of war, all for the sake of having a good war to report on; it is strongly implied that he masterminds numerous other crimes and catastrophes for the sake of his business as well solely so that his outlet can get the story first, up to and including the hit he takes out on his own wife in retaliation for her adultery. In his own words:
    There's no news... like bad news.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Bond uses his PPK in conjunction with a captured MP5 SMG for suppressive fire. A good portion of the climax is him and Wai Lin forcing the baddies to keep their heads down.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Doctor Kaufman claims to possess this, boasting that he could shoot James Bond from the other end of the room and make the bullet wound look like Bond had committed suicide. Bond outwits and kills him before he has a chance to demonstrate his technique. Kaufman claims that his experience as a professor of forensic medicine is how he is able to make a far-away shot look like suicide. How that helps his hand-eye coordination is unclear, although, presumably, he could add powder burns after the fact.
  • Incredibly Long Note: k.d. lang's epic finish during the closing credits.
  • Insecurity Camera: Lampshaded. There's a scene where Bond Wai Lin are breaking into Elliot Carver's stealth ship. Carver is discussing something with one of his subordinates when he then notices Lin on the security cameras in the corner, the person manning which is just sleeping. Carver walks over to him and yells "what the hell am I paying you for?"
  • Internal Homage: Bond wonders how Dr. Kaufman will make his death look like a suicide if he shoots him from across the room. A question many Bond-fans have pondered after seeing Red Grant threaten to shoot Bond multiple times from across a train compartment in From Russia with Love, even though his superiors had told him to make it look like a suicide.
  • Ironic Echo: Bond walks into his hotel room to find an assassin standing over the body of Paris Carver. He tells Bond that the news will report that the victim's body and that of an unidentified man were found in a hotel room. The assassin was right, as later a news report tells us exactly that - he just made a fatal error as to the identity of the unidentified man.
  • Irony: When Bond discovers Paris Carver's corpse in his hotel room, a news broadcast states that she was found dead along with an "unidentified man who apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound." It is at this point that Bond encounters Dr. Kaufman aiming at him with a gun and who tells him that story will be on the air in an hour. Of course, Bond overcomes Dr. Kaufman and turns his own gun upon him so that the crime scene does in fact appear as the newscast states.
  • Irrevocable Order: Info from 007 is what persuades Admiral Roebuck to fire a missile at the arms bazaar. Unfortunately, word comes in too late that there are nuclear missiles at the site, and the missile is out of communications range - thus, it cannot be destroyed mid-flight. This is why 007 has to fight his way to the plane carrying the missiles and fly them out before the missile hits.
  • It's Personal: Wai Lin asks Bond if he's interested in peace or revenge, and he replies that he wants to stop a war. However, the audience knows that he's also driven by his hatred towards Elliot for ordering Paris' murder.
  • It's Raining Men: Bond does a HALO jump, officially the most badass aerial insertion method to be used in Real Life.
  • Just Between You and Me: Mild inversion—the Evil Plan turns out to be less heinous (though still heinous) than what the heroes thought it was (they thought Carver was trying to start World War III For the Evulz and for ratings; he's actually in a Big Bad Duumvirate (of sorts) aimed at installing a new Chinese government via nuking the old one and blaming it on the British, with his ally emerging as a Villain with Good Publicity when he takes over the country and negotiates a truce (Carver is still after ratings). Also a perfect example of how Bond movies subvert this trope—they were already trying to foil his plan before he even explained it.
  • Just Following Orders: Dr Kaufman protests as much after Bond gets the drop on him. 007 is suitably unimpressed.
    Kaufman: Wait! I'm just a professional doing a job!
    Bond: Me too.
  • Just Plane Wrong:
    • The Chinese planes that attack the stray British ship are repeatedly described as "Chinese MiGs". Although China does have MiGs, these aren't them; the aircraft are clearly recognizable as Q-5s, an indigenous Chinese type (admittedly partly based on MiG-19 technology, but very different in appearance). Apparently a case of the special effects department doing better research than the scriptwriters.
    • And a Qian-5 that drops a torpedo would be an extraordinary beast. They should have used the Chinese Harbin-5 bomber, based on the Ilyushin-28.
    • The villain reminds his mooks to shoot the survivors with ammo appropriate for Chinese fighter jets. It is worth noting that the vast majority of fighter jets are armed with cannons in the 20-30mm range.
    • In the teaser, when the Royal Navy frigate fires the cruise missile at the terrorist "flea market", M tells 007 he has four minutes to get clear. The target is 400 miles from the ship. A Tomahawk cruise missile (as shown) has a top speed of about 550 miles per hour. It should have taken the missile about 43 minutes to get there. The novelization blows it even more thoroughly, with a Harpoon missile being launched, and traveling 800 miles in 4 minutes 8 seconds. First of all, a Harpoon (an antiship missile) has a maximum range of less than 100 miles, and second, it travels at about the same (determinedly subsonic) speed as the Tomahawk. To do 800 miles in 248 seconds, it would have needed to achieve about 11,600 miles per hour, or about 3.2 miles per second - about half of Earth's escape velocity. Also, any object traveling that fast at low altitude would burn up like a meteor hitting the lower atmosphere - plus what the shock wave effects would do to anything along its path on the ground.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Carver meets his end at the hands of the very sea drill he used against the Devonshire to kill its entire crew.
    • Dr Kaufman dies of the "self-inflicted gunshot" he intended for Bond when sent to fake his suicide.
  • Kiss of Life: An underwater variation where Bond uses mouth-to-mouth to save Wai Lin's life, who was just on the verge of losing consciousness due to drowning.
  • Lack of Empathy: Elliot Carver is willing to ignite World War III just to get broadcasting rights in China and jack up his news network's ratings.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Downplayed with Bond as he is still afraid of commitment when it comes to romantic relationships, but he is in love with Paris Carver.
  • 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 performance as Elliot Carver is one of the most memorable things about this movie. Same goes for Vincent Schiavelli's Dr. Kaufman, who knows he's a Bond henchman, and milks it for all its worth.
  • Last Villain Stand: His Stealth Yacht was burning but Elliot Carver still had a backup plan. Unfortunately, after getting the drop on Bond and holding him at gunpoint, he felt the need to explain this backup plan, giving Bond time to push him into the path of the seadrill.
  • LaughablyEvil: Carver is so hilariously and cartoonishly over-the-top that he is often at least as humorous as he is frightening, if not more so.
  • Leave No Survivors: The number of survivors from the sinking of the Devonshire reaching Carver's ship very neatly matches the number of dead he reports as washing up on the beach.
  • Like a Father to Me: Stamper says this word-for-word about Dr. Kaufman.
  • Love Hurts: When Bond sees Paris' corpse, he holds her, buries his face in her hair and later caresses it, and finally he kisses the front of her neck sensually before he must continue with his mission.
  • MacGuffin: The GPS encoder.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Elliot Carver sends a hitman to kill Bond and his treacherous wife and make it look like a Murder-Suicide- he even had a taped news story made in advance. Bond is too late to save the girl but turns the tables and shoots Dr. Kaufman, at close range, making his death look like the suicide. It's heavily implied that this wasn't the only "suicide" Kaufman was responsible for while working for Carver.
    Doctor Kaufman: I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr. Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze proper effect.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Elliot Carver has his face displayed on as many banners all over the place as your average Soviet dictatorship. Bond gets a few good digs in at his expense on the subject and manages to destroy one or two in creative ways over the course of the film.
  • Manchild: Bond fears commitment in a romantic relationship because he abandons his girlfriend Paris when he realizes that he's falling in love with her. Witness his childish glee as he "drives" his remote-controlled car during the multi-level parking lot chase scene. After Wai Lin compliments Bond on his motorcycle skills, his reply invokes this trope: "Well, that comes from not growing up at all." Q utters "Grow up, 007!" in exasperation.
  • Meaningful Echo: Paris says to Bond, "Don't argue with me, James." Bond would later be thinking about her when he tells Mr. Stamper, "Never argue with a woman; they're always right."
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Subverted because Wai Lin is definitely not subservient to Bond. She is a highly skilled agent whose primary role in the story is being his ally when they attempt to stop Elliot Carver from instigating a war between China and the United Kingdom.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Elliot Carver's Media Group blackmails a 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 (i.e. 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, who based on the evidence, are Always Chaotic Evil and whose uniforms always come with machine guns. All for the sake of its ratings. Carver also apparently 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.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: An unusually fast newspaper article on a ship sinking → starting a war to gain exclusive media rights in China.
  • Minor Major Character: General Chang is Elliot Carver's inside man in the Chinese government and is referred to throughout the film as plotting with Carver to become President of China via eliminating everyone ahead of him in a nuclear strike on Beijing; in exchange for supplying said nuke, Carver would gain exclusive control of China's media once Chang took over. Their relationship is suggested to be a Big Bad Duumvirate... except Chang is only in one scene, where he's seen leaving a meeting with Carver to finalize the plot. This may be down to Chang being a villain of another story; Bond meets Wai Lin as he works Carver's case and she works Chang's, and they team up upon discovering they're Working the Same Case.
  • Misguided Missile: In a variation on the theme, a Tomahawk missile is launched at an Arms Fair in the Pre Titles Sequence. After it's fired, Bond manages to communicate that one of the planes there is armed with a nuclear torpedo, and if the Tomahawk blows that up it will make the fallout from Chernobyl look like spring rain. When the Royal Navy are unable to self-destruct the inbound Tomahawk, he nicks the plane.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Captain Scott of Carver's Stealth Boat. Carver spends the film around the world, but has as his base of operations a Stealth Boat in the South China Sea. Scott runs the boat on Carver's behalf, and is responsible for delegating orders when missions are run directly from the boat. He's casually gunned down with the rest of the control room during Bond's attack on the boat, however.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Kaufman, naturally. Affably Evil but sadistic and cruel underneath. A professor of forensic science, who can zhoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze illusion of suicide. He is also an expert in torture, but he calls that a "hobby".
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Paris Carver becomes this once Bond strips her down to her black panties.
    • Also Inga Bergstrom, one of the most revealing Bond girls.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Carver Media Group Network already had great influence due to its media prowess. But its megalomaniacal leader wanted more, so he influenced a war between China and Britain for his gambit. To help, Carver funds a small army and builds a stealth boat.
  • Never Suicide: Doctor Kaufman, a professor of forensic science, claims to be a master of making it look like a suicide. (He claims he specializes in celebrity overdose cases.) He is also an expert in torture, but he calls that a "just a hobby".)
  • New Era Speech: Elliot Carver gives one to Bond. Bonus points for including the phrase "new world order".
    Carver: Welcome to the new world order, Mr. Bond. Caesar had his legions, Napoleon had his armies; I have my divisions: News, sports, business, entertainment. And these are my foot soldiers: 2000 people working on 14 floors to feed 300 newspapers, 4 cable news networks, 87 magazines, and 29 different cable TV channels - in 35 languages.
  • New Old Flame: Apparently in addition to all the lovely ladies from his adventures, Bond has ex-girlfriends we haven't even seen. Rumors have circulated she was intended to be an established character, possibly Natalya Simonova or Sylvia Trench, but this was nixed due to fearing the bad reception that would come from killing either of them off.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Against M's protests, Admiral Roebuck orders a premature missile strike against the terrorist base Bond is presently infiltrating. Bond refuses to withdraw, and by the time they realize it's because there are a pair of nuclear torpedoes on site, the missile is too far out of range to be aborted. If not for Bond, they would've inadvertently triggered a nuclear disaster on the edge of Russia. Even worse, thanks to the Admiral jumping the gun, Bond was forced to let Gunta get away with the encoder, leading to the main events of the movie.
    • Bond had successfully infiltrated Carver's company and stole the encoder. Just as he was leaving, however, he hears Wai Lin drilling through a door, which triggers the alarm, blowing Bond's cover.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Carver prints and distributes the story of the sailors' deaths within barely three hours of their actual recovery by Vietnamese authorities. Carver certainly got the reaction he was counting on from the British, but he also attracts the attention of MI6 who hadn't even gotten wind of the murders when the story broke out. Not helping Carver is the fact that MI6 discovered one of his satellites interfering with the GPS system when the vessel was reported lost.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Elliot Carver is by admission of the writer a thinly disguised Robert Maxwell (though given how widespread such media moguls are, reviewers compared him to the Australian—Rupert Murdoch—and American—Ted Turner—equivalents). 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.
    • In addition to taking potshots at NewsCorp, Tomorrow bears more than a slight resemblance to Microsoft. (the script even describes "Jones" as "a young guy looking remarkably like Bill Gates", but for obvious reasons it didn't carry on screen.)
      Carver: Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
      Jones: Yes, sir. As requested, it's full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
      Carver: Outstanding!
    • Carver beginning a new media enterprise by announcing a "declaration of principles" is possibly a nod to Citizen Kane. Of course, he's already similar to Kane by virtue of being similar to Hearst.
  • No OSHA Compliance: A number of mooks end up crushed by newspaper printing presses. Later, we see Carver's ship, in which both the Sea Drill and a nuclear missile are stored and launched in the same space as the crew's workstations. There doesn't even appear to be any means of venting exhaust from the rocket motor.
  • Nothing Personal: Dr. Kaufman has murdered Paris Carver and tries to kill Bond as well. When Bond gets the upper hand, the villain pleads:
    Dr. Kaufman: I'm just a professional doing a job.
    Bond: Me too. [BANG!]
  • Obviously Evil:
    • Carver. Not so much in public as when he's talking to his subordinates. His entire organization is based on engineering catastrophes and profiting from them, and he revels in it.
      Elliot Carver: Good morning, my golden retrievers! What kind of havoc shall the Carver Media Group create in the world today? News?
      Newsman: Floods in Pakistan, riots in Paris, and a plane crash in California.
      Elliot Carver: Excellent! Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
      Jones: Yes, sir. As requested, it's full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
      Elliot Carver: Outstanding! Mr. Wallace, call the President. Tell him if he doesn't sign the bill lowering the cable rates, we will release the video of him with the cheerleader in the Chicago motel room.
      Mr. Wallace: Inspired, sir.
      Elliot Carver: And after he signs the bill, release the tape anyway.
      Mr. Wallace: Consider him slimed.
      Elliot Carver: [after the communication ends] There's no news... like bad news.
    • Carver is so blatant in his villainy it's a wonder he's only being investigated now. As Bond points out, Carver released news of the dead sailors so early that there's no way he could have learned of it from any official military or government sources. When he tries to have Bond killed, he's already produced a segment to report on it which will be on the air an hour after Bond has died.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Bond has this reaction as he's walking back to his hotel room and listens to a news report playing in his room, which states that Paris Carver has been found dead in a hotel room, murdered by an unidentified man who was found there with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
    • This is also the reaction in the situation room during the prologue when everybody realises exactly why Bond was trying to warn them about what the parked jet was carrying.
  • Old Media Are Evil: Elliot Carver is a poorly disguised version of Robert Maxwell, evident at the end when M says they'll make his death look like he committed suicide on his yacht, which is how Maxwell may have died (he either killed himself or had an accident, but he allegedly- and with some evidence- may have been killed by foreign intelligence agents- Mossad in this case-, just as Carver is killed by James Bond). Carver is worse than any of them, of course, since he brings the world to the brink of war for ratings and has numerous people- including his own wife- tortured and killed, par the course for a Bond villain.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: Elliot Carver has a room like this — fitting for a villain who's a media baron.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Paris is murdered, Bond calls Elliot Carver by his given name instead of his surname as a sign of disrespect and of how much more personal the conflict between them has become because Bond had truly loved Paris. He had only done this once before with a villain (Alec Trevelyan, who used to be his best friend).
  • Outrun the Fireball: Bond flies a jet through the fireball. The example is slightly more plausible than the usual fare - assuming that it was a (relatively cold) kerosene/gasoline fire from the trucks and aircraft that were in front of him, and he was flying fast enough, it is entirely possible that James could fly through with no or few ill-effects. It is the same principle as quickly moving one's hand through a (yellow!) bunsen or candle flame. So long as you do it fast enough, you'll be fine.
  • Parking Garage: Bond has a car chase/gunfight inside a parking garage in Hamburg. It culminates in Bond driving his car (via remote control) off the roof, sending it crashing into the front of a rental car office.
  • Playing Both Sides: This is exactly what Elliot Carver's plan is. He intends to use the impending war between Britain and China to gain exclusive broadcast rights in China for himself, deliberately amping up the tension himself the entire time.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Carver mocks Wai Lin by making exaggerated karate-chop/kung-fu moves and yelling Kiai, all the while gloating about his Evil Plan.
  • Pop the Tires: Played straight and subverted. Bond drives over his own caltrops (to be fair, he didn't have much choice) and promptly activates a mechanism that seals up the holes and reinflates the tires in seconds flat!
  • Porn Stash: Bond breaks into Gupta's safe and finds heroin and porn magazines, in addition to the encoder.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: After Bond kills Carver, Stamper shows up with Wai Lin as his hostage and tries to drown her and finish him off. Bond traps him in the missile firing mechanism and leaves him to die while he saves her.
  • 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.
      Gupta: Press the magic button, Beijing disappears!
      Carver: Then it seems you've outlived your contract.
    • Bond also has one, seen in Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • Carver also gives one to the entire British and Chinese armadas when he, in his stealth ship, orders his men to fire missiles at both to provoke a battle:
      Carver: Let the mayhem begin.
    • As Bond is about to execute Dr. Kaufman, who had just killed Paris Carver:
      Kaufman: Wait! I'm just a professional doing a job!
      Bond: Me too. [shoots Kaufman]
  • Prevent the War: Bond and Wai Lin try to stop Carver from manipulating the United Kingdom and China into war for better ratings and exclusive media rights in the latter.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Bond overheard a conversation between Gupta and some mooks talking about a satellite standing in the middle of a room, which was explicitly stated to be worth $300 million. Naturally that was the first thing he broke when he was escaping from said mooks.
  • Professional Killer: Both Kaufman and Bond claim to be such—see above.
  • Psycho for Hire: Dr. Kaufman really seems to enjoy the opportunity that being both a Professional Killer and having knowledge of forensic medicine brings to him, plus noting that torture is a "hobby" for him. Later in the film, it's revealed that this included chakra torture.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Subverted: after Dr. Kaufman claims, "I am just a professional doing his job!" James Bond replies, "Me too", and just shoots him. The guy had just killed Paris and was clearly a Psycho for Hire.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Two: one during Bond's infiltration of Carver's building, in which a minor mook just laughs after two punches to the face (but falls with the third), and Stamper, a straighter example whose feelings of pain and pleasure are reversed, with predictable results.
  • Race Against the Clock: James Bond has 48 hours to stop a global war from starting.
  • Ramp Jump: Bond jumps from one building to another on a motorcycle... over a helicopter full of bad guys with guns which is hovering in the street... while he's handcuffed to Wai Lin. There is a nod towards reality when Bond asks said agent to move further back to balance the bike. Not much, but...
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Elliot Carver writes news stories, controls video-conferences and basically runs his entire empire by flailing madly at a small, hand-held computer console. This is one of the few instances where you can actually see words coming up on the screen as Elliot types, though he is still typing far too fast. Could be explained logically, in that Carver's company is also partly an evil parody of Microsoft, meaning he may have his own special "evil villain" control software that interfaces entirely through rapid fire typing.
  • Rare Guns:
    • Bond uses a heavily modified assault carbine version of an Armalite AR-18 in the opening scene.
    • Calico Light Weapon Systems appear in the Vietnam scenes.
  • Rare Vehicles: The stealth boat is modeled after Sea Shadow, a prototype stealth boat made for the U.S. Navy in 1984.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The plot was supposed to be about the reunification of Hong Kong and China, but someone realised they wouldn't be able to get the film done in time, resulting in rewrites that caused the last act to be all action and barely any plot.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Bond poses as a banker named James Bond and actually has a fake employment record, but is given away as a spy because it is too perfect to be true, and because he is asking too many questions, not because of his name. Of course, making a number of blatant references about Carver's actions to his face doesn't help his case...
  • Red China: This is probably the only film thus far which uses the Red and Rich version of the trope. To be sure, China exists as a possible enemy, but agent Wai Lin and Bond never really discuss or debate politics, and they do collaborate to uncover the evil plan of the week. Both China and the UK were being manipulated into war by a third party, and in the end the villain was exposed, his own forces destroyed, and everyone just went home.
  • Refuge in Audacity: While cavorting with his party guests, Carver laughs off rumors that he engineered the Mad Cow Disease scare because a British beef magnate lost a £10,000 bet and refused to pay him, and that the French paid him to continue running the stories. After seeing the dirty tactics he uses to spin exciting headlines, one suspects these are more than just rumors.
  • Renegade Russian: General Chang was to be conveniently delayed by traffic when Beijing was to be struck by a nuke previously stolen from a British warship, whereupon he would launch a coup and take command of the Chinese government. (In the novelization, the Chinese government sends their agent to find Chang, since he stole a high-tech radar system. He is later arrested for the theft and treason.)
  • Rental Car Abuse: Played with. The car is technically 007's, but Q is disguised as an Avis rental clerk, and sarcastically offers Bond all the requisite insurance requirements. Bond returns the car by piloting it off of the highest floor of a parking garage and into the window of the local Avis office.
  • Revenge: Wai Lin asks Bond if he's interested in peace or revenge, and he replies that he wants to stop a war. However, the audience knows that he's also driven by his hatred towards Elliot for ordering Paris' murder.
  • Rousing Speech: Carver was in the middle of one before being taken off the air by Bond.
  • Rule of Cool: A good explanation for why Bond lights a goon's cigarette (or possible joint) and then punches him.
  • Rule of Sexy: The first few buttons of the blue shirt Bond wears in Saigon are undone, so much of his chest is exposed. Ditto for the black shirt he sports under his combat vest during the final battle. In fact, Bond displays more skin than Wai Lin throughout the entire movie! This is probably the first time in the franchise where 007 is objectified more than a Bond Girl.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Bond and Wai Lin who are chained together escape the villain by performing a Super Window Jump out of a highrise. It looks like suicide until the next shot when we see them land on a deck one floor below.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Bond declines rescue from the Royal Navy in the South China Sea so he can continue to make out with Wai Lin.
  • Sexy Scandinavian: Inga Bergstrom is a Danish teacher that has a fling with James Bond and spends her entire appearance wrapped in a bedsheet.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: Wai Lin under the shower. There are also scenes of Bond with a wet shirt.
  • She's Got Legs: The very first shot of Paris after she and Bond have sex is her rearranging her garters.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Bond under a shower with Wai Lin. And with Wai Lin in a Sexy Soaked Shirt, equal opportunity fanservice!
    • Bond's bare chest can also be seen when he's in bed with the Danish professor and after he and Paris sleep together.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Bond uses both variants. He first fries a code lock to open a door (toward Gupta's bureau), then shoots another lock on a ceiling hatch to seal it so Carver's minions can't pursue him. The door was about to lock itself anyway; Bond shot the lock so that the bad guys couldn't open it from their side.
  • Shoot the Builder: Elliot Carver shooting Henry Gupta dead once Gupta reports the system's complete, depriving Bond of his Human Shield.
  • Shoot the Hostage: A villainous example when Bond has taken Henry Gupta hostage, Carver combines this trope with You Have Outlived Your Usefulness and shoots Gupta once he's confirmed that he no longer needs his immediate help (he can always hire another IT guy later).
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shower Scene: Bond and Wai Lin end up under an outdoor shower during their Chained Heat sequence.
  • Shrine to Self: Elliot Carver has enough posters of himself prominently displayed in the various offices of his media empire to make your average Soviet dictator feel a bit embarrassed. Naturally, Bond gets a few good quips in at his expense on the subject and destroys several of them in creative ways.
  • Sic 'em: "Mister Stamper, would you please kill those bastards?"
  • Sink The Life Boats: On Carver's orders, Stamper shoots the surviving sailors from HMS Devonshire, so that their deaths can be blamed on the Chinese, and the fact that any survivors would contradict his story.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Bond calls smoking a filthy habit.
  • The Sociopath: Elliot Carver is willing to start World War III just to boost his TV network's ratings and gain broadcasting rights in China.
  • Spotting the Thread: Gupta immediately uncovers Bond's secret identity. He calls it "Gupta's Law of Creative Anomaly", and explains that anyone's personnel record is bound to have errors and flaws. Bond's fake banker profile is too perfect, meaning he's obviously a government agent.
  • Spy Catsuit: Wai Lin wears a wetsuit for the final battle on board a warship, but then again so did Bond.
  • Static Stun Gun: Bond's mobile phone includes, besides its signature ability to remote-control his BMW, a two-pronged electroshock weapon activated by pressing the Recall button. In a memorable case of this, Bond overcomes Dr. Kaufman by tricking him into zapping himself with it.
  • Stocking Filler: Paris Carver is first shown having them when Bond strips her down and she's shown Topless from the Back. The very first shot of her after she and Bond have sex is her rearranging her garters.
  • Strawman News Media: Elliot Carver, head of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN), is trying to start a war between Britain and China in order to get exclusive broadcast rights in China.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: Paris. Not literally, but left in the hotel bedroom for Bond to find.
  • Super Multi-Purpose Room: Wai Lin has a run-down bike repair-shop which transforms into a full-blown spy lair.
  • Suspiciously Clean Criminal Record: Gupta is able to quickly figure out that James Bond's not a banker but a government spy this way.
    Henry Gupta: He's got a perfect record. Crossed every "t", dotted every "i".
    Elliot Carver: Which means...?
    Henry Gupta: Government agent. When it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: James Bond sleeps with Paris Carver, an old girlfriend who is now married to Elliot Carver. Paris comes to him to warn him that her husband is onto the fact that he is a spy, and the next morning gives him information even over his protests, despite believing that her media baron husband will find and kill her wherever she goes if she doesn't go back to him. Unknown to her, Carver has already decided to have her killed for not telling him that she knew who Bond was, and when Bond gets back to his hotel room she has already been murdered by one of his assassins.
  • Take the Wheel: Bond and Wai Lin, further complicated by the fact that they are on a motorcycle and handcuffed together.
  • Tap on the Head: While stealing a fighter jet, Bond knocks out the navigator in the rear seat. Unfortunately he revives shortly afterwards, and tries to garrote Bond just as they've being fired on by a second fighter plane.
  • Technobabble: Subverted. When Elliot Carver comes in to ask Henry Gupta about Bond, he stops him before he can go into a longwinded explanation. He even uses the trope name.
    Elliot Carver: What did you find?
    Henry Gupta: I hacked into the mainframe at the bank, they're using an SSL 2 encryption, a hundred and tw-
    Elliot Carver: Spare me the technobabble, please.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Played with; after Bond and Wai Lin are captured by Carver's goons, he's eager to be her ally, but she is resistant to the idea at first. She later accepts being his partner after they determine what Elliot's Evil Plan might be at her safehouse.
  • Television Geography: The scene with the chase in the parking-house next to the Hotel Atlantic ends with the car crashing through the wall and falling several stories into Mönckebergstraße - at a spot which is actually about half a kilometer away from the hotel.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Amusingly, snippets on the score not of the Sheryl Crow theme, but by the k. d. lang one on the end credits (since score composer David Arnold co-wrote that).
  • This Is a Drill: A drill torpedo is used by Carver to sink the Devonshire — and later by James Bond to kill Carver.
  • Title Drop: The film itself doesn't have one, but the Playstation video game does: After being beaten by Bond in their shootout, Elliot Carver' last words before succumbing to his injuries are ironically "Tomorrow never dies."
  • To the Pain: Carver shows off his antique chakra torture tools to Bond and Lin, with the intent of having them used on them.
    According to Eastern philosophy, the body has seven different chakra points. The Energy centers, like the heart, or genitals. The purpose of these implements is to probe those organs, inflicting the maximum amount of pain whilst keeping the victim alive for as long as possible.
  • Today, X. Tomorrow, the World!: "The front pages today, tomorrow the world!"
  • Toplessness from the Back: Paris Carver is seen this way. For bonus points, she combines it with Stocking Filler.
  • Torture Technician: Dr. Kaufman and his protege Mr. Stamper have a whole torture system involving chakras, the point being to torture the person to death as slowly as possible. Dr. Kaufman describes it as his hobby, and has a record of keeping someone alive during it for 52 hours.
  • Touché: Bond kills time before his backup plan activates by getting Carver to rant about how Bond won't be able to beat him, in the midst of which Bond kills the mook trying to sneak up on him overhead.
    Bond: Sorry. I tuned out there for a minute, Elliot.
    Carver: Touché.
  • Treachery Cover Up: M orders the coverup of Elliot Carver's death as a "boating accident", a bit of karmic irony considering his mass-media manipulation based plan. (What had actually happened is that Bond killed Carver with his giant drill after foiling his attempt at War for Fun and Profit.)
  • Trophy Wife: Paris Carver is one for Elliot. And once he finds out Bond is taking advantage of her...
  • Truth in Television: If you thought a media company wouldn't really engineer a war for ratings, you'd actually be wrong. Back in The '60s, CBS subsidized a planned mercenary coup of Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier for the purpose of shooting a television documentary. The FBI foiled the invasion plot, and CBS was chewed out by the FCC and the House Commerce Committee over the incident.
  • Under the Truck: James Bond slides his motorcycle underneath a helicopter that has its rotor blades tilted downwards.
  • Underwater Kiss: After trapping Stamper and leaving him to his doom, Bond dives after Wai Lin to give her some air mouth-to-mouth.
  • Unflinching Faith in the Brakes: Bond and Q stand in front of a remote controlled BMW 750i, the remote of which Bond was using for the very first time, steering towards them at at least 30 mph. Bond makes the car brake (break it he does, too, but later) and the two-ton vehicle stops very close to their shins. Makes Q quip: "Grow up, 007!"
  • Villainous Plan Inertia: Killing Elliot Carver doesn't stop the countdown on the nuclear missile he has aimed at China.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Elliot Carver attempt to start a war between the United Kingdom and China, by sinking a British frigate sent off-course into Chinese waters, while shooting down a Chinese fighter plane sent to investigate. China wouldn't grant him broadcast rights, you see.
  • Warhawk: Carver tries to trigger warfare between the United Kingdom and the Republic of China so that his news network can broadcast all the gruesome fighting and monopolize the industry.
  • Weapon Running Time: Bond has to get an aircraft clear from an Arms Fair before a Tomahawk hits the place.
  • Weaponized Car: Bond's BMW 750iL. It has missiles, caltrops, bulletproof armor, self-sealing reinflating tires, and can be remote-controlled.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Bond traps Stamper's foot on the missile gantry so he gets caught in the backblast as the missile prepares to fire.
  • Welcome to Evil Mart: In the Cold Opening, James Bond infiltrates one of these. Cue Stuff Blowing Up and an escape in a fighter jet.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Bond is somewhat mortified when he discovers that M knows about his past sexual encounters (almost like a naughty boy who has been caught by his stern mother), and he even tries to defend his promiscuous behaviour with, "That was a long time ago, M, before [Paris] was married."
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: Carver does this in front of the captured Wai Lin, making lots of karate chop moves and yelling Kiai all the while. He's supposed to be showing how "pathetic" her moves are, but it comes across as Narm. Which is kinda the point; he's mocking her since his Mooks have, y'know, guns.
  • When Harry Met Svetlana: Significantly downplayed: the film takes place in a moment of fairly amicable relations between China and the West, and Bond and Wai Lin's task boils down to maintaining these.
  • With Friends Like These...: Bond had already snuck into Carter's office when Wai Lin breaks in, which sets off the alarm. As Bond is shot at by SMG-toting mooks, he looks up and sees Lin climbing down a wall while cheerfully waving at Bond as he draws off the men who'd normally be chasing after her. He even takes a moment to grimace at Lin in irritation before he scurries off.
  • Women Are Wiser: Bond, of all people, invokes this when he informs Mr. Stamper, "Never argue with a woman; they're always right" after Wai Lin tosses the detonation fuses to him and insists that Bond complete their mission at the expense of her life. GoldenEye had already established that Bond carries a deep psychological need to Always Save the Girl, so by respecting Wai Lin's wishes, he's also respecting her as a fellow soldier.
  • Working the Same Case: Bond and Wai Lin initially are separately investigating Carver on behalf of the British and Chinese governments.
  • Worst Aid: Wai Lin spends quite some time in the water before Bond dives in and gives her a Kiss of Life while still submerged.
  • Wronski Feint: Bond does this to destroy some missiles fired at him by a pursuing fighter, though the fighter itself manages to pull away in time. Pretty ordinary for Bond, right? Only at the time he was piloting by holding the joystick with his knees, because he was trying to stop himself from being garotted by the mook in the rear seat of his own fighter.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Gupta reports that the missile aimed at Beijing is ready for launch, Carver says "Then it seems you have outlived your contract." before shooting him dead. This is done partially to deny Bond his hostage.
  • You're Insane!: Bond to Carver. Carver shrugs it off.
    Carver: By midnight tonight, I'll have reached more people than anyone in the history of this planet, save God himself. [beat] And the best He ever managed was the Sermon on the Mount.
    Bond: Hm. You really are quite insane.
    Carver: [stares at Bond] The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
  • Your Favorite: Flipped when Bond attempt to order Paris' favourite drink only to find she wants champagne instead.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report