|Die Another Day (2002)
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Judi Dench
Director: Lee Tamahori
Pierce Brosnan returns as the super cool super spy James Bond in the newest installment of the 007 series. But this time around, he's not so cool. Fossilized into a mold that can't be tampered with after 20 films, the Bond series is a lot of the old with none of the new technology.
"Die Another Day" begins with the common opening sequence where Bond takes down some elaborate military plan in a few minutes, this time a diamond-weapon trade with the North Koreans. Losing his touch, Bond is captured and tortured for 14 months, finally set free and rescued by an American and British collaboration. Reprimanded by M (Judi Dench) and imprisoned in a medical facility, 007 finally busts out and then engages in a chase that takes him from sunny Havana to snow-covered Iceland, pitting him up against a couple of international megalomaniacs, played by Rick Yune and Toby Stephens. On the way, Bond meets Jinx (Halle Berry), the US and more PC version of James Bond who, as both a woman and a minority, is still able to do a great deal of damage. Berry is almost enjoyable in this role and, subsequently, there are now rumors of her getting her own Jinx spin-off.
Aside from Berry's appearance, the film takes a giant nosedive in comparison to the earlier Brosnan attempts, aside from the wonderful cameo by Michael Madsen as the head of the NSA. I found it too cluttered with new characters, horrible villains and very crappy special effects. In a film that boasts its spy gadgets with bad special effects, it really puts a damper on the atmosphere of the film. Unless you're a die-hard fan of the Bond series, you might want to skip out on this one. The title may assume that the series will "Die Another Day," but to me, it just flat-lined.