Die Another Day: the good, the mixed, the bad

edited November 24 in Bond Movies Posts: 456
Okay, let's dissect this controversial entry.

Good
  • One of Brosnan's best performances; he does both the funny and serious parts of the role convincingly, and seems comfortable in the role.
  • Halle Berry. She's tough, sexy, charismatic, can fight and has good chemistry with Brosnan.
  • The concept of North Koreans assimilating to Western society, disguising themselves and then using the wealth from capitalism to help North Korea.
  • Zao as a henchman
  • The overall first half of the film has serious moments (the torture, hotel scene, Bond going rogue, M is more of a hardass here than the previous films, and this leads up to her portrayal in the Craig era.)
  • Diverse color palette; somewhat psychedelic and abstract.
  • The fencing scene

Mixed
  • The gadgets. Not believable at the slightest, but they sure are entertaining
  • Mr. Kil is derivative, stupid and unnecessary; but kinda funny because the film is self-aware of that

Bad
  • The plot is extremely derivative and unoriginal.
  • The film forces as many tropes and references from past Bond films as possible; a film should have its own identity and should be looking forward; not back.
  • The Icarus Project. It's a cliche, already been done before. And is farfetched.
  • Gustav Graves as a villain. His performance is neither charismatic, nor terrifying.
  • Graves' speech about how his company will save the world. It's a tired Bond trope by now... Please retire it!
  • Frost is boring and forgettable. And coming after TWINE, it's not too surprising that not every person Bond sleeps with is trustworthy. (Yes, we get it, Bond's kryptonite is women; can we bury this cliche already?)
  • Moneypenny VR scene
  • Awful quality CGI all-around
  • The gunbarrel. Why...
  • The kite surfing scene

What surprised me was how sudden the shift in the film was. It wasn't gradual. It went from a bleak conversation between Bond and M to an invisible car, straight at the 1-hour mark.

For the most part, there's a pattern here in the likes and dislikes. I like the aspects of this film that are unique. And I dislike the aspects that are rehashed.

Die Another Day came at a weird time. 2002 was a bit late for comedic action films, the world was moving toward gritty post-911 films. Yet 2002 was too early for a CGI-laden film (those would later get better in the 2010's). But it still sold very well.

While this film is in the lower half of my ranking, I think I'm kinder to it than a lot of other Bond fans out there. It's decent action film if you're willing to turn your brain off.

Comments

  • DraxCucumberSandwichDraxCucumberSandwich United Kingdom
    edited November 24 Posts: 197
    I’m actually quite fond of DAD. It’s certainly more entertaining for me to watch than TND, but I agree with pretty much everything above

    In particular I absolutely agree about Brosnan’s performance here. It was the first time I was utterly convinced by him as Bond. It’s not just that he’s comfortable in the funny and the serious parts, it’s that he is much more successful at balancing them to get a rounded performance that doesn’t jar with distracting tonal shifts from scene to scene. He is far and away the best thing about the movie

    Another big negative i would add - the Moneypenny VR scene. Gross and very disrespectful to the character. It displays a complete misunderstanding of what makes her such a great character. It was all the worst impulses of the Brosnan era right there - 90s lads mag humour, no subtlety, just a cheap and obvious ‘gag’ with no point to it
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited November 24 Posts: 3,816
    The good:

    2 Disc SE with sleeve and Dutch booklet. Extra's subtiteld include commentary. Double side cover.
    Dutch dvd release date remain on 7 May 2003.

    Average / Mixed:
    The cinema delay in The Netherlands. Average because it is only movie i watched on release date of 09 January 2003.

    40 years future is missing on the dvd.

    Bad:
    Pierce Brosnan not get a 5th movie / backlash of this.
    Some backlash remain with release of CR, i am almoost missing CR in the cinema. It was not realy plant, but positive thing be is that i watched it in 2007. Not releasing CR in 2007 was mist option.

    ;)

    Soon i wil be back with other ones. I look or i can find a earlier review so i can do better reflection opnion. I only have seen movie 5-6 times, it dated very fast and backlash does not help. Creative DC era and the times helps to let some thinga go but i stil missing Brosnan as Bond.
  • Posts: 456
    Another big negative i would add - the Moneypenny VR scene. Gross and very disrespectful to the character.

    Yeah, I agree. I added that. The problem is that it's forced. It has nothing to do with the plot of the film or the themes.

    This was just made for the sake of checking boxes. Moneypenny falls for Bond just like in the Connery films, check. Movie needs a campy joke about Bond as a sex symbol, check. It's so cringe.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited November 24 Posts: 179
    The Good:
    David Tatersall's cinematography. Compared to the "realistic" look of the previous 20 years of Bond movies , DAD has a glossy, glamorous look that harkens back to the 60s Bonds.
    The ice palace. It's one of my favorite sets and a nice nod to Stromberg's Atlantis without being a direct copy.
    The opening. It was genuinely a surprise when Bond gets captured and the villains immediately order him to be executed instead of stashing him away somewhere he can escape from.
    Gustav Graves. I know he's not a popular villain, but I like him and think Toby Stephens did a great job playing a parody of James Bond.
    Miranda Frost. I wish she'd been the heroine and Jinx had been traitor.
    The underlying theme of Bond's identity, his relationship with England compared with the imposter's. Wish it'd been developed more, but it's there.
    The reference to 9/11 and Bond replying that the world hasn't changed for him.
    Bond and R in the underground lab. One of the funniest "Q" scenes in the series with plenty of good banter.

    The Mixed:
    Brosnan. Great in some scenes, awkward in others due to obviously not being directed properly.
    The action. The hovercraft chase, sword fight, and car battle are standouts, but the fight with Zao is hokey and the less said about the plane stuff at the end, the better.
    The special effects. TBH they're not all that bad, especially for 2002. I didn't even mind the tidal wave, but I did think the shot of the rocket car (whatever it's called) going over the edge of the glacier was horrible.
    David Arnold. Always hits the mark when he's using an orchestra, but there's way too much techno-noise in this one.

    The Bad:
    Lee Tamahori, Jinx, the robo-suit, Madonna, the editing, the VR sequence, the dick jokes. Enough's been said about these.
    But also Bond's escape from the British warship, specifically how Brosnan literally just jumps off the (fake-looking) set and we hear a splash. I mean, seriously? They couldn't actually shoot a stuntman jumping off an actual ship? And Bond climbing out of the bay was nearly as fake-looking.
    Oh, and the Chinese agents hiding in a closet that anyone can access. lol
This discussion has been closed.