The Playboy magazine of movies comes out with its latest hi-gloss release, "Die Another Day", the 20th film in the James Bond series. This movie follows the original recipe created by the unaccredited Ian Fleming, about an international super spy who saves the world in cool British style.
I've always thought Pierce Brosnan makes for a great James Bond however the "Die Another Day" script doesn't play up to the characters strengths. Sure we see James Bond in a lot of tough guy extreme sports kind of action, but we don't see him being really clever or smart. There's lots of groaning puns and enough innuendo to make you feel like you're on 9th grade field trip, but the genius of James Bond seems absent this time around.
Despite this, "Die Another Day" follows the rest of the Bond formula and is chock full of enough gadgets, glam and Bond-ism's to entertain. Madonna shows up to promote her new single and show us the latest fetish wear. And John Cleese who seems to have signed up for the role of the returning character in a number of serial movies these days steps up as Q, the gadget wizard of MI6.
You almost expect Halle Barry to be still holding onto her Oscar as she emerges from the water during slow sexy sendup of the first Bond girls entrance in "Dr. No". Berry's character, Jinx sports some fine eveningwear and weaponry and reminds us all just how nice form fitting lycra can be.
And don't forget about the cars. On display and available at a dealer near you we see the new Ford Thunderbird, Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and the Jaguar XKR roll through, but it's the classic Ford Fairlane convertible Bond cruises Cuba with that takes the cake. What it lacks in missiles and plastics, it makes up for in years of style.
And of course this Bond films serves up another disfigured villain that we can love to hate with Rick Yune as Zao,. Zao is the diamond scarred strongman for Toby Stephens character Gustav Graves, who's evil plan for taking over the world may as well have involved sharks with laser beams on their heads, because we know you know who will save the day.
On a final note, is it a creepy coincidence that the movies villains were Korean or are those the creaky wheels of the propaganda machine I hear turning? I'm not sure, but as this latest Bond film reaches out to Generation "XXX", with more hi polished action and a less filling plot, we can surely expect to see James Bond live to "Die Another Day".
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2002 - Purple - Air Date: 11/20/02
Die Another Day
UK / USA - 2002