James Bond Reviews: #17: Die Another Day

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     Die Another Day is an odd duck in the pantheon of Bond films. Half of the movie is up there with the best, the other half is an unadulterated train wreck. It is a fascinating watch in that it came out the same year as The Bourne Identity and a year after 9/11, so the societal landscape completely changed at that point. Fans in general, myself included, wanted something a little more real, a little more grounded.
     James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) has been captured by the North Koreans, and subjected to about a year and a half of torture. After being exchanged for another prisoner, Bond sets out to redeem himself with the help of American agent Jinx (Halle Berry) where they must stop Gustav Graves (Toby Stevens) from harnessing the power of the sun to melt ice and destroy shit.
     Let me go into the shit that fails miserably. The fucking sun, really? The climax at a fucking ice castle was just plain silly. I don’t give a fuck if they actually exist, it has no business being in a Bond movie. That’s nothing really compared to the invisible car. You would think we’d be past the point of Roger Moore ridiculousness, but no, we get Bond para sailing a fucking tsunami wave. If you’re going to do something that outlandish, make that shit look convincing, you have money! Toby Stevens, a fine actor he may be, is a grating Bond villian. I wanted to punch that guy in the face so badly, with a shrill monotone voice.
     But that opening though! It’s so good. After 20 films, and 40 years worth of Bond films, we finally see 007 get captured. What’s even fucking nuts is that the title song and title sequence actually advance the plot. That’s some bold shit to do. I am a bit bummed out that this was Brosnan’s last film as 007, because he deserved better, even though he was always on top of his game. He is, hands down, the best thing in the movie. He always managed to have a lighthearted spark to his performance while being cold blooded. The ridiculous elements in the movie keep holding back the good elements, which is why Brosnan deserved better for a final outing.

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