Making the Grades
Bond has fought some menacing villains in his time, including every type of "commie" that ever walked the earth. But this time Bond's writers have found a man so evil, that Bond's British government has to team up with the Communist Chinese to beat him. Who could be this bad? How about the owner of a worldwide news network -- Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) -- a media mogul gone mad.
Carver's plan is the exaggeration of every television news director's imagination: If it's a slow newsday, go out and make your own news. But Carver isn't going to be happy with a local fire. Instead, he has plotted a way for the Chinese and the British to begin shooting nuclear missiles at each other thus heralding the start of a new world war, and Carter will be in the right place to begin exclusive live televison coverage. There's only one person who can stop this madman: Bond... James Bond (Pierce Brosnan).
Of course this typical Bond movie, like its many predecessors, is full of sex and violence. That means many people are shot, exploded, or otherwise done away with, all with very little blood or gore. When our hero isn't ridding the world of thugs and tyrants, he's usually romancing a perfectly formed woman who, if she watched any of his previous films, would realize this guy's only after one thing and that she will be but a pawn in his plot.
For Bond buffs, this is one of the better Bond films and certainly Brosnan's best, with edge-of-your-seat action including a motorcycle sequence that rivals some of the best chase scenes put to film. Brosnan seems more comfortable with his godlike role, and brings a flavor of the earlier Roger Moore days to the screen. It's this smooth and cool attitude that helps many of us overlook Bond's promiscuous and violent behaviors. Whether you are fooled or not, remember the script says it is "licensed to kill".