die-another-day-pierce-brosnan-james-bond-007-rosamund-pike-halle-berry-jinx-michael-madsen-judi-dench-movie-review-2002-spy-thriller-2015-spectre

Die Another Day (2002) Movie Review

 

In the cold open to Die Another Day, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) goes undercover in North Korea as an illegal arms dealer trading conflict diamonds for military-grade weaponry. His identity is discovered almost immediately, and an extended hovercraft chase ensues. You read that right. Hovercraft chase.

 

die-another-day-james-bond-pierce-brosnan-007-halle-berry-jinx-movie-review-2015-spectre-rosamund-pike-judi-dench

 

As is standard with these Brosnan films, the chase is littered with fiery explosions and ends with a flat one-liner. Following the chase, Bond is captured by the Koreans and held prisoner. He is later transferred back to MI6 in a prisoner exchange, but MI6 revokes his spying privileges pending an investigation as to whether or not he leaked information to the Koreans.

 

Bond, knowing he is being set up, decides to do some spying anyway. He travels to Cuba, where we meet the unfortunate Jinx Johnson (Halle Berry). There is not even a hint of naturalism to Berry’s line readings, and she and Brosnan lack chemistry throughout the film. Rosamund Pike fares better in the Bond girl role, but she isn’t around enough to make the acting front memorable on a positive level.

 

At times, Die Another Day goes full camp. Exhibit A is the invisible Aston Martin Vanquish.  Other times, it purports to be a serious Bond installment. The film wants to be all that a Bond film can be, and that is simply impossible given the variety of tones available. The tonal inconsistency is too much to balance.

 

die-another-day-james-bond-007-pierce-brosnan-rosamund-pike-halle-berry-movie-review-2015-spectre

 

The Post-Script

Die Another Day is the biggest clunker in the James Bond franchise. The campiest of Roger Moore films do it purposefully and don’t fluctuate in tone too much. The slowest paced of the Sean Connery films may not hold up over time, but at least the acting is noteworthy in some capacity.

 

Die Another Day: D-

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Die Another Day is available to rent/buy on Amazon Video here.

 

  • Die Another Day: D-
  • The World is Not Enough: D+
  • Tomorrow Never Dies: C
  • GoldenEye: A-
  • License to Kill: B+
  • The Living Daylights: B+
  • A View to a Kill: D+
  • Octopussy: C-
  • For Your Eyes Only: C
  • Moonraker: D
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: B-
  • The Man With the Golden Gun: C+
  • Live and Let Die: C+
  • Diamonds Are Forever: C-
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: B+
  • Casino Royale (1967): D+
  • You Only Live Twice: C+
  • Thunderball: C-
  • Goldfinger: A-
  • From Russia With Love: A-
  • Dr. No: B

 

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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