Movie #316 Die Another Day
(2002, UK, d. Lee Tamahori)
It’s good Brosnan left the series after this film. If this movie were a sign of things to come with him, the Bond franchise would have lost a serious amount of money, though watching it now feels very nostalgic – especially considering the amount of makeover the new Daniel Craig versions have done to the franchise. This is the James Bond we all know and grew to love. He’s the player, he’s the wise-ass, he’s the manipulative, he’s the cunning, he’s the tech-adept, and very athletic Mi-6 agent we’ve seen many times before. Nothing is new here, except perhaps a few more strands of gray on Pierce Brosnan’s head, some new locales, and a very sexy Halle Berry. The film takes us from North Korea, to Hong Kong, to Cuba, and finally to Iceland – where the evil mastermind – hell bent on taking over the world – bases his operations. It will also be of no surprise to discover that this villain is smart, sophisticated, and full of class. In short, he’s your regular Bond hero. The only thing director Tamahori has done with this film has updated it to a more modern sensibility – but perhaps he took it too far. Invisible car anyone? Also thrown is a strange sequence, even for a Bond film, in the beginning. Bond is captured by North Koreans and held there for 14 months, tortured all the while. Does the emotional weight of that play a role in the movie? Not really, but it does serve expositional purposes and it does have a really cool Madonna song playing in the background. All in all, there’s nothing new here. Though if you are a fan of this series, you’ll most easily walk out with a smile on your face.