A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating:Rated PG 13 For gunfire, explosions and sexual inuendos
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, John Cleese, Judy Dench
Directed By:Lee Tamahori
Late on a Wednesday Night, Michael and I drew straws to see who would watch what film and who would write which review. Michael, drew the short straw and got to see Friday After Next. I on the other hand got to check out the latest installment in the James Bond Legacy. I knew that there was no way I could actually make my way through the crowds and see Bond Movie for free, since Bond fans are a strange breed of people. You see I learned something about the James Bond fans over the last few years. They don’t really care, how bad the plot is, how absurd the ideas are, they just love Bond. And these fans have an amazing capability to breed. And guess what happens when two Bond Fans breed… That’s right. They Breed More Bond fans, keeping the James Bond Era going for yet another generation. All that aside, I made my way through the crowds, and paid (yes I said paid!) for the new Bond flick. By the time I waded through the crowds and found my seat, I wondered if it was really going to be worth my money since I am not a part of NABA (National Association of Bond Admirers.) I don’t believe that club exists, but I’m sure there is some cult of Bond followers who would love to join.
Die Another Day marks the return of James Bond on the big screen. Now unless you have lived in a cave for the last 60+ years of your life, everyone knows who James Bond is. Sean Connery played the Original Bond in what sometimes seems like centuries ago. After Connery began the Bond Legacy he passed the torch to Roger Moore. There were a few more failed attempts until finally James Bond has found a new man to play his character. That man was found in Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan played James Bond for a fourth time in Die Another Day. Soon enough Brosnan will be type cast as James Bond, just like the Connery of old days. But then again who doesn’t want to be James Bond?
The plot for Die Another Day is simple enough. We follow super spy 007 as he tracks down an agent who has betrayed him. This simple task leads Bond through various adventures and explosions in North Korea and Iceland, as he meets up with the Mysterious Jinx (Halle Berry) and a weapon that could destroy the world.
So by the time I left, what did this cranky critic think of Die Another Day ? I know that is what you all want to know. Personally, I have seen a lot of James Bond Movies before, but never all the way through. Some say I am missing out, I may tend to agree, but it’s easy to figure out what is going to happen. Stuff blows up, Bond gets the girl, and the bad guys get what they deserve. So Die Another Day marks a first in Jason’s world. Die Another Day was the First Bond Movie I have ever sat the entire way through! Whoo-hoo for that. Bond fans can be happy because this one is no different than its predecessors. The plot is meaningless action, almost pointless at times, and the script is filled with sexual hints. But isn’t that what Bond is all about? And for all those super crazed Bond fans, we even see subtle hints of humor most would not pick up on. For example, the undercover Bond claims that he is an ornithologist. This seems like no big deal, but for those who follow the Bond Series of Books (yes they were books first. Instead of films we could all read! But that’s no fun.) or know anything of Bond creator Ian Flemming, the character James Bond was the name of a man who wrote a bird book that just happened to be lying on Flemming’s desk. (See isn’t pointless history fun?)
Brosnan is proving that with every film that he too can be James Bond. He is a joy to watch on the screen, even if the plots are dwindling over the years. Brosnan naturally appears to be suave and just the all around “Joe Cool” so to see him dressed up, driving fast cars, sweet talking ladies and firing pistols almost seems like the perfect role. Even if the Bond series is on a downward spiral (which a lot of people think it is) it will not be because of Brosnan, it will be because of time and the 20 films that have been made over the years. Die Another Day brought us Halle Berry as the newest Bond girl. Berry plays Jinx, an NSA agent that has that same sweet spot for adventure that Bond has. The two of them work together to save the day and well… have sex. (It wouldn’t be a Bond film without it!) But Berry as the new Bond girl wasn’t impressive. They have been building Berry up on a pedestal for a year now, and although she is a gifted actress, she really isn’t all that. And as for her character, Jinx, I found Jinx as an annoyance on the screen. Instead of a Bond girl she seemed like a “girl power” James Bond wannabe. Her part screamed, “Look at me! I will be a Bond Spin-off series in years to come!” Frankly I don’t want to see it. For years Bond has been about explosions, fast cars, fast women and fast fun. But in the end it revolved around one man, James Bond. Jinx seemed to almost be stealing the spotlight from our central character and hero, James Bond. Sadly enough it wasn’t from Berry’s performance but the script that was designed to do so.
Die Another Day is all in all worth the cash. In a time where action movies have gone down hill, Die Another Day gives us hope in that genre, even if it is surrounded by films such as Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and Half Past Dead. So head to the box offices, enjoy some pretty looking cars, some explosions and some fun. And if you’re lucky maybe you will pick up some new pick up lines for you to try out while standing in the lines on Welch. What you don’t know what I mean? Well head to Die Another Day and by the end of the film, “you’ll get the thrust of it!”