Die Another Day

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune, Judi Dench
Director: Lee Tamahori

So, another movie milestone is reached- the 40th year of everyone’s favourite secret agent and the 20th film. By this time you would think that receptiveness had set in. You’re right in a way, but this is more of a return than a repeat, a return to the great Connery films of the early 60’s, a throwback to when villains were not merely part of the larger equation but larger than life themselves. When the Cold War was indeed ‘cold’ and Britain had an empire. The fact that we “Brits still think we are the police force of the world” is a line taken from this excellent new entry of the most popular series of films in history, but could easily be taken directly.

DIE ANOTHER DAY possess a tight script which although has elements science fiction writers, never mind Fleming, would have dreamed of in 1962, it also isn’t afraid to name check itself and look back fondly with a wink of an eye. Jinx (Halle Berry) emerging from the sea is Honey (Ursula Andress) from DR NO, the Q branch has all the old props from previous adventures – Bond even reads Birds of the West Indies, written by the real James Bond.

The plot itself is virtually a direct remake of DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, but with enough changes to keep the fans happy, in the same way THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is recognised as the best Moore effort although in itself, it’s a remake of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, with the addition of sea replacing space as the possessions of super powers are ‘swallowed’ by mysterious forces (a tanker on the ocean and a spaceship in the cosmos).

The story itself begins in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea with a spectacular high-speed hovercraft chase and continues via Hong Kong to Cuba and London where Bond meets up with the two ladies who are to play such important and differing roles in his quest to unmask a traitor and to prevent a war of catastrophic consequence. Hot on the trail of the principal villains, Bond travels to Iceland where he experiences at first hand the power of an amazing new weapon before a dramatic confrontation with his main adversary back in Korea where it all started.

Bar a few visual misdemeanours (we love the fact that Bond has previously had ‘real’ stunts not CGI, but CGI is used on a couple of occasions here) this is Bond in top form. Brosnan has taken the role to a new level while retaining the darker side of Bond’s character so evident in the books. The first 20 minutes are very dark for a Bond film and while it may shock some, it’s a sigh of relief to the hardcore fans expecting something special. Every single cast member is excellent and this boasts the best performances for many a long time in a Bond movie (although I preferred Miranda Frost to Jinx as a Bond girl). This is the best Brosnan effort since GOLDENEYE and, with time, will I’m sure become a favourite of not only the general public, but also those who worried about Bond’s role in the new millennium. No need to fear, James Bond is here.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: A great film, which ignoring the CGI side, could be a classic.

6 out of 6 stars

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