Die Another Day (2002)
The final Bond movie by Pierce Brosnan involves North and South Korea, space-aged identity changes and Madonna. Starting out strong and doing all of the right things to be a memorable addition to the series, Die Another Day falls off immediately as soon as the Ice Palace is introduced. I’m not sure what happened with the writing but once Bond gets invited to the palace the movie completely changes to a rushed, action movie with convenient escapes for 007. Pierce Brosnan does a pretty good job as James Bond, being placed into predicaments that we have never seen him in before. Bond is tortured with scorpion venom, burned, drowned and beaten to an inch of his life for over a year. We see him with a full beard, starved and filthy which unlike his tuxedoed, Martini swilling norm, brings him down to earth a bit in the vulnerability department.
Bond Girl Jinx (Halle Berry) is as beautiful as she is deadly and her character leaves you wanting to know more (at least me) but the weak dialogue that Bond uses to get her into bed along with her deer in the headlights expression when excited, reduced the impact of an otherwise perfect Bond girl. Borrowing the legendary beach reveal that Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) made in Dr. No, Jinx was quite a sight but once she starts speaking and playing mambo in the bed with James, she loses her appeal quickly. Rosamund Pike plays the second Bond girl in Miranda Frost, a world champion fencer and a pretty good Bond girl on her own. Like Sophie Marceau in The World is Not Enough, Rosamund steals the show as the superior talent of the two. The problem however was that her screen time was even less than Jinx’s.
While Die Another Day had all the elements of James bond 007, the familiarity of it all, the new try at making a techno Bond song and the overall weak story led to a very sober reception. Even with Halle Berry, cool gadgets and a really awesome scene involving Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) near the end, this is a pretty low addition to the series. Die Another Day’s poor CGI effects, invisible car and convenient, situational events made the final half hour or so, pretty terrible. Grab this movie only if you are collecting Bond, if you want to see it out of curiosity just know that it may disappoint.
Bond-o-meter Score (ranges from 1-10)
James Bond (6): This isn’t the Brosnan from Goldeneye – this is a tired Brosnan.
Story (5): The invincible spy is kidnapped tortured then invited to an ice palace. No thanks.
Bond Girl (7): Jinx was hot, likeable and interesting; too bad her screen time was limited.
Bond Toys (7): Even with an invisible car and a glass shattering ring, the toys felt boring.
The Villain (4): The bizarre “badguy” and his diamond faced buddy was more comical than imposing.