Movie review

Die Another Day
Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby
Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune

Director : Lee Tamahori

Die Another DayMeet the new James Bond. Same as the old Bond? Hardly. I can hear Ian Fleming rolling in his grave from here . . . trying to get a better look at the screen.
    Methinks the Broccoli camp may have had one eye on XXX for the editing of Die Another Day. Whereas Bond was once suave, bold and complex, he is now cool, brave and a lot simpler to follow . . . in a suave, bold kind of fashion. Somebody has hit the turbo button on this one and firmly put XXX's Xander Cage where he belongs.

Bond with long hair and a beard? Bond betrayed by the very country he serves . . . all this and more! The enemy is certainly obvious this time around - it's good to see those clunky storylines of olde hit the dirt to be replaced by the recent spate of dynamic scripting and plotting. This is Brosnan's best Bond yet and hopefully not his last either. He really hits his stride and the producers have utilised his ability to be so much more than a sex object. The one-liners have been cut back and gadgets minimised, although those present more than adequately do the job. An invisible Aston Martin? Hey I've got one of those too!
    Die Another Day has a lot to shout about; from the cool Madonna theme tune, right down to the fact that it's the first Bond movie to break the formula. There's some Matrix-like camera-work, and, as was hinted at in Tomorrow Never Dies, M and Moneypenny are finding more of a foothold in the franchise than ever before - even John Cleese has settled into his role. And for some reason, London is featuring very heavily these days which is good to see. Maybe in the sea of international spies, it's good to be reminded of Bond's Britishness.
    I'm not big on Halle Berry (Jinx); I don't get what all the fuss is about. She puts in a good enough performance, but I just don't find her sexy enough to pull the role off . . . but I'm being picky, and Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost more than makes up for it! Then you also have Toby Stephens and Rick Yune as the bad guys making some of the best villains since Blofeld bit the big one. If you ever had any doubts that Bond could have at least another ten years in him, put them away now. You'll only end up looking foolish.

There are fantastic fencing sequences, car chases and stunts, fist fights, dog fights, cat fights - you name it, there is nothing missing from this movie that you could possibly want to see. So a tip of the hat must go to director Lee Tamahori - the man who put the greatest car stunt ever on to the screen in Along Came A Spider. Tamahori's vision for Bond is almost Peter Jackson-esque . . . somebody, anybody, please, please give him the next one; because this one is stunning.
    Honestly, watching Die Another Day is like sitting through the last two Bond movies rolled into one. Satiated . . . and then some.

:: Sion Smith

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