Thursday, August 20, 2015
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) | Women
Language professor Inga Bergstrom isn't a character, she's a joke. Literally. She's just there to show Bond in bed with a woman ('cause that's how he do) and to set up really old puns about tongues and cunnilingus.
I've mostly said my piece on Paris Carver, but there's one more thing I want to point out. As much as I dislike retconning in "important" relationships to give a story weight, there's a way to do it well. Tomorrow Never Dies doesn't.
And it's Teri Hatcher's fault. I couldn't be a bigger fan of her from Lois and Clark, but there's no vulnerability in her performance as Paris. At all. She's so guarded when she asks Bond, "Did I get too close?" I get that she's pissed at him for most of the time she's on screen, but if we're ever going to feel any emotion for these two as a couple, that should be the moment that creates it. Instead, when Bond says, "Yes," I don't believe him. There's nothing ever between the two of them that sells them as ever having had a deep connection.
Wai Lin is fantastic. She's played by Michelle Yeoh, which helps a lot, but I love the way she's written, too. Unlike similar characters (looking at you, Amasova and Goodhead), she doesn't let Bond take over the whole mission. They're equal partners and their romance is an afterthought once the job is done. There's no pretense that it's anything but a hook up, but after the unconvincing "depth" of Paris, that's refreshing.
Wai Lin totally makes the Top Ten, pushing out Mary Goodnight. That makes me sad, because Goodnight's generally underrated, but the list is getting competitive and Wai Lin even makes my Top Five.
My Favorite Bond Women
1. Tracy Bond (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
2. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only)
3. Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
4. Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
5. Paula Caplan (Thunderball)
6. Tatiana Romanova (From Russia With Love)
7. Natalya Simonova (GoldenEye)
8. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
9. Domino Derval (Thunderball)
10. Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)