Die Another Day
Well, it took 20 tries, but we're here: the worst ever Bond film. It pains me to write that, because Brosnan, in my mind, is second only to Connery. He really does not deserve this mess of a movie. Let's start with the good. There are a handful of great little moments, including Bond turning of an MRI machine and catching a de-magnetized pistol in mid-air and Bond shattering his own windshield to save a submerged Jinx. In general, Brosnan is good here, despite the shoddy script. Even though he looks a bit tired, he's definitely still invested in the role, unlike Connery who phoned in his final (canon) appearance. What else? Rosamund Pike is a great addition, but her character sadly has nowhere to go. Dench as M is good as well, as is Cleese as the new Quartermaster. In fact, the middle act in London is the film's peak, with Bond playing off both M and Q in the underground, off-the-books M16 base. Some nice Easter eggs in there, too, for Bond fans. I also like the sword fight between Bond and Graves. It's a bit unlikely, but I really appreciate the practical effects, especially in a movie awash in clumsy, unconvincing digital effects.
And that brings us to the bad. The movie looks rough. Whether it's a cartoon Halle Berry cliff diving or a cartoon Bond parasailing down an avalanche of water (lord, what were they thinking), or just the flat cinematography, it's lacking any sense of style. There is one shot I adore, which shows Bond walking past a row of sparkling, revolving mirrors, but that is the exception to the rule. Combine the bad special effects, limp photography, and inferior production design, and you have a recipe for disaster. The editing is also a mess. There are several car chase sequences where it's difficult to know where the vehicles are in relation to each other, or the environment. Lots of quick, jumpy cuts too.
The movie is also one of the most indulgent of the series. So many superfluous explosions and perfunctory chases. So many cheesy one-liners and childish innuendo. The stunt casting of Madonna. A space laser, an ice palace, an invisible car, a henchman named Mr. Kil. That final, embarrassing scene with Moneypenny. All those references to classic Bond movies gone by. I don't know if Die Another Day is meant to be a tribute gone horribly wrong or a parody gone horribly right.
Oh, and the theme song is dreadful.
Edit: I've been going back and forth on this score all day. I feel like 3/10 is a little harsh--this is a professional production that can be entertaining in a turn-off-your-brain kind of way--and 4/10 seems too kind. Screw it, it's a 3/10. Sigh, Brosnan deserved so much better. We all did.
1) From Russia With Love
Last edited by Veknoid_Outcast - on 01 March 2020
2) On Her Majesty's Secret Service
4) For Your Eyes Only
5) The Spy Who Loved Me
7) Licence to Kill
8) Dr. No
9) Tomorrow Never Dies
10) The Living Daylights
12) The Man With The Golden Gun
13) The World is Not Enough
15) Live and Let Die
16) You Only Live Twice
18) A View to a Kill
19) Diamonds Are Forever
20) Die Another Day