Flashback Review: Die Another Day

After “The World Is Not Enough” came out in 1999, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM for short) developed another installment of the James Bond series by mapping out a 2002 release date to celebrate Bond’s 40th birthday since “Dr. No” was the first movie released on the big screen in 1962. The actual year Tom Cruise was born & Spider-Man made his first appearance. Pierce Brosnan reprises his role as James Bond one last time. The 20th movie is titled, “Die Another Day.”

Die Another Day was released in 2002. (same year Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets came out) It received mixed to negative reviews from critics, fans and movie goers alike. Although a critical flop, it managed to make enough money at the box office.

Die Another Day is the final film starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond as well as the final film in the original series since it began with Dr. No. James Bond was officially rebooted in 2006 with Daniel Craig portraying Bond as a newly established 00 Agent in “Casino Royale.” The first installment of the resurrected series establishing Bond as a character driven narrative. Daniel will play Bond one last time in “No Time To Die” slated to come out on April 2020.

Today’s review contains SPOILERS. Let’s face it, every James Bond movie minus Daniel Craig’s Bond & Goldeneye recycle plot elements without adding anything new. It’s been done since 1962.

Positive & Negative Aspects

Positive: Pierce Brosnan did a fantastic job for his performance as James Bond.

Other Cast Members such as Rosamund Pike, Michael Madsen, Judi Dench & John Cleese (taking over Desmond Llewelyn’s role as Q) all did a solid job for their respective performances.

Action Sequences were adequate.

Cinematography was ok. Never had any technical issues.

Opening Scene felt strong, until the rest of the movie ruined the essence.

James Bond ain’t the only one with a spy related movie released in 2002. Many spy movies such as “The Sum Of All Fears,” “Austin Powers In Goldmember,” The Bourne Identity,” “Men In Black II,” “I Spy,” “Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams,” “The Tuxedo,” “Clockstoppers” etc.

Graves’ death predates the jet turbine scene in the pilot episode from “Lost.”

Negative: Halle Berry didn’t do so well for her performance as Jinx. A spin-off film was in the works with Halle scheduled to reprise her role as Jinx. Thank god it never happened. Halle will never live it down for her portrayal as “Catwoman.”

Madonna contributed to the theme song. Unlike catchy Bond theme songs, Die Another Day has got to be the most irritating song since Disney’s Peter Pan’s “Following The Leader.” I admit, Peter Pan’s song is the most annoying song I’ve ever heard in my life. To put salt in the wound, Madonna makes a cameo appearance. I have nothing against her, I like her music, not Die Another Day.

A henchman is named Mr. Kill, what’s next, somebody named Mr. Pibb?

Once again, incompetent henchmen never instantly kill a designated target, prefer to use an over-the-top death trap. Dr. Evil is more logical than these big buffoons!

The film lacks logic. For example, Jinx is wearing a sexy dress while inside an icy place. Nobody wears a dress in the cold in real life. It broke my Suspension Of Disbelief.

Computer Animation hasn’t aged well for a film that came out in 2002. Let’s face it, this was back when C.G.I. was growing slowly. Pretty jarring to see Gollum as a groundbreaking C.G.I. character responsible for winning an Oscar for “Best Visual Effects.”

The Icy Expo’s interior decoration gave me flashbacks of “Batman & Robin.” Oh how the mighty have fallen! Oh wait, both Batman & Bond were defibrillated by Christopher Nolan & Martin Campbell!

After Bond was rescue by MI6, I thought Die Another Day was gonna go with a new direction in a darker tone with Bond going hellbent on the people who tortured him for an entire year. Can’t believe MGM wasted a golden opportunity to see Pierce’s Bond as an unapologetic anti-hero who refuses to let anybody get in his way. Thank you Daniel Craig for saving the franchise.

An invisible car didn’t seem quite right for a Bond movie. “Moonraker” was an excuse, because producers wanted to follow Star Wars’ box office success. I didn’t mind Moonraker. As for Die Another Day, it crossed the line when it comes to fugly visual effects. Speaking of Moonraker, the late Roger Moore hated an invisible car.

During a battle between Bond & Graves, how the actual fudge is Bond able to survive from electrocution? He’s not Luke Skywalker able to survive Emperor Palpatine’s force lightning.

The worst death trap in my opinion is multiple frickin’ laser beams attempting to replicate Goldfinger’s infamous death trap with Bond about to be sliced in half by a laser. One laser is enough, cranking an iconic scene up to eleven, doesn’t mean it will improve. Would you care to explain the 1997 re-release versions of Star Wars’ Original Trilogy & the 2002 re-release of “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial?”

The worst part of the movie is obviously Bond surfing in a rejected PlayStation 2 tie-in to “Blue Crush.” Blue Screen is very fake as in Tara Reid’s breast implants. As a loyal Bond fan, I have to Double Down this con as the crowning moment of nearly destroying a beloved franchise.

Moneypenny’s virtual simulation of her making out with Bond, felt outta place, yet it doesn’t contribute to the plot whatsoever.

Jinx’s wound is somewhat healed at the end of the film. When did she acquired Wolverine’s healing factor?

The Final Verdict: D-

As a fan of James Bond since Goldeneye’s video game on Nintendo 64, Die Another Day is arguably the worst film in the series. I’m so happy MGM rebooted Bond in Casino Royale as a less experienced 00 Agent in a realistic setting. Thank god Daniel Craig knocked it out of the park. If you’re a huge Bond fan like me, do not watch Die Another Day, it’ll make you feel sick to your stomach. If you want to see Pierce Brosnan’s proper farewell, I highly recommend the video game “Everything Or Nothing.” That’ll keep you invested.

By the way, Moonraker is one of my guilty pleasures, at least MGM tried something different.

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