Film Review: Die Another Day (2001)

Brosnan reaches an ignomious end as Die Another Day buckles under the weight of sponsorship deals, retrospective nods and that invisible car

“So, this is where they keep the old relics, then, eh?”

From opening surfing sequences to invisible cars, Die Another Day really does ask a lot of its audience, not least where Bond himself is concerned. Brosnan is 49 here and against co-leads Halle Berry (35), Toby Stephens (33) and Rosamund Pike (22), you feel it. Throw in an inordinate amount of product placement, random gadgetry and a misguided attempt to go dark in its opening segment, and the struggle is real.

What really hamstrings Lee Tamahori’s film though is the 40th anniversary of it all, the production choosing to acknowledge and explicitly reference the 19 films that went before. This further detracts from establishing any kind of workable, engaging plot or, more significantly, caring a jot about what is happening. My finger was hovering on the fast forward button for a considerable portion of the two hours plus, especially with John Cleese’s Q and his insufferable injokes – I couldn’t possibly recommend rewatching.

Bond women 

Halle Berry’s Jinx may be introduced in the Ursula Andress fashion and finds herself in bed with Bond within minutes but at least she gets to flirt just as hard as him beforehand with the kind of clunky innuendo that is sadly the franchise’s hallmark at this point. She gets more to do than the regular sidekick but the luminous Rosamund Pike, making her cinematic debut here, fares better as Miranda Frost as its always more interesting to be duplicitous, but did her top really need to fall off for her climactic fight?

Theme song

An interesting one this, as Madonna caught a lot of a heat for diverting way off track with ‘Die Another Day’, very much a Madonna track influenced by Bond rather than a Bond theme as we’ve come to know it. I like it as a Madonna song and watching the film, it actually works really well in the credit sequence so maybe we all worried just a little too much. We should have been more concerned about her parlaying her contribution into a cameo in the film as well, yikes…!

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