May 25, 2024



Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Die Another Day is Pierce Brosnan’s fourth and final outing as James Bond. As the fifth actor to take on this role, Brosnan had proven he was more than capable of handling the role as he had not only the looks and charms, but also the ability to mix wit with the right amount of seriousness in his interpretation. This was a big improvement over the campy approach that Roger Moore had taken.

Happily Brosnan’s role in the franchise ends with one of the better Bond outings. Die Another Day may have a rather unimaginative title but this episode certainly takes the cake in terms of innovative gadgets and action sequences. The opening gambit was classic bond and satisfyingly exciting. The grand entrance of a surf board stunt on giant sized waves by 007 and his fellow agents to the shores of North Korea looked amazing. Unlike previous opening gambits which ends with a triumphant escape by Bond, this one deviates from the tradition, and cleverly incorporates the flow of the story into the all important opening credit sequence. The title track is sung by non other than the illustrious Madonna in an upbeat pop number worthy to be remembered as a Bond theme. Madonna must have had a lot of influence with the film makers as she manage to get a cameo role somewhere in the middle of the movie looking smart and sassy. Among the interesting (and funny) ideas for gadgets is the stealth car and a hotel made of ice in where else by Iceland!

Brosnan managed to uphold the series’ sexist character by bedding both his female leads Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike. Both actresses carried their own without looking too much like just accessories or brainless bimbos, even though they were made to dress skimpily for no apparent reasons. Halle Berry’s grand entrance by emerging out from the waves to the beach in a sexy bikini was a tribute to the iconic scene made famous by Ursula Andress in Bond #1 Dr No. However, somehow this just felt staged and despite Berry’s striking physique, it still pales compared to the original.

Taking on the role of the villain is Toby Stephens who has an extended and impressive fencing duel with Bond. No wonder .. as this fight scene was choreographed by a former Olympic fencer, Bon Anderson. Toby unfortunately doesn’t leave a lasting impression and is destined to be a forgotten villains in the series.

Die Another Day is a fun Bond outing as it has non stop action, a witty script, and exotic locales to keep you interested from start to end. Although it does not create anything new to the series, it does however feel like it had set the bar higher technically, as Bond moves in to the 21st century. Pierce Brosnan is certainly not old enough to retire from his role so soon but as destiny has it, he had no chance but to make way for a new Bond, Daniel Craig. Apparently even though I thought Die Another Day was decent entertainment, the film was not well received critically although it was a box office hit. It shall be a long four years before we got to see the next installment in the series, Casino Royale in 2006.

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