Saturday, November 15, 2008

Die Another Day

To celebrate his 40th anniversary, the creators of James Bond promised us an outstanding movie that would change the franchise. However, while the film itself tries to be something, it gives us the feeling that it just came out straight from a Hollywood studio after we've gone halfway through Die Another Day. Here's one word to describe the film: action.

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent in North Korea in order to find a link between the smuggling of conflict diamonds and colonel Moon. Betrayed and held in captivity by the North Korean regime for fourteen months, he's set free but is traded for Zao (Rick Yune). After he's released, Bond goes after Zao and is led to a millionaire, Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), who possesses a satellite that can project a laser beam.

At the beginning, one may have many hopes that Die Another Day can be the best movie of the franchise. After all, we had the right to expect it given the bitter taste left by Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is not Enough. With that said, we expect in this movie more character development just to see how James Bond lives his post-captivity period, because the movie obeys too much to the same formula that has been applied in previous James Bond movies. Therefore, this movie just confirms that scriptwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade should have been fired a long time ago. In fact, while the story is extremely exciting, everything tends to become quite predictable in the middle. Besides, add to that the excessive focus on action scenes. In the end, while the movie progresses, one wouldn't care that much for the characters, but would rather wait for the action scenes to come.

Of course, one would probably say that few people watch a James Bond movie for a sophisticated script.

Hopefully, the performance delivered by the cast is just what you would normally expect from a James Bond movie: a very ordinary performance. Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye) manages more or less to find a balance between a humour à la Roger Moore (The Spy who Loved Me) and a roughness à la Sean Connery (From Russia with Love). All in all, you should just expect Brosnan to display a line of incisive lines and shooting some bad guys. Halle Berry (Monster's Ball), who plays Jynx, just looks more like an ornament who delivers an ordinary performance.

In the end, if you really like entertainment, this movie should appeal to you. However, while Die Another Day is entertaining, it certainly won't revolutionize the franchise. After all, here are what you should expect from this movie: bland vilains, amazing action scenes, a thin script and an ordinary performance by the cast. All in all, Die Another Day is also a proof (before Casino Royale came out) that the franchise is getting exhausted and needs a reality check (because of its formula).

Rating: 3/5

Die Another Day
UK/USA (2002)
Length: 132 minutes
Genre: Espionage
Screenplay: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
Director: Lee Tamahori
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens, Rick Yune and Rosamund Pike

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