Running Time 132 minutes Day”

By Gus Bode

3 1/2 Gus heads

‘Die Another Day’ is C double-O L

The film world has once again decided to show us how to enjoy the finer things in life:fencing matches, vodka martinis that are shaken, not stirred, fast cars, faster women, guns, high-tech gadgets, military operations, a heap of diamonds and a gigantic solar death ray controlled by an evil mastermind hell-bent on world domination.


Yes kids, it’s time for another James Bond flick.

“Die Another Day” has the James Bond franchise in its 40th year, it’s 20th movie and it’s fifth Bond. The movies with MI6’s Agent 007 started with 1962’s “Dr. No,” which introduced James Bond as a suave British secret agent with a penchant for action and the finer things in life. Bond was originally played by Sean Connery and since then has been played by George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and, currently, Pierce Brosnan.

While the general consensus among Bond fans (myself included) is that Sean Connery was the best Bond, current Bond watchers can be treated to the best Bond since Connery played the role. Brosnan is everything Bond needs to be and plays the famous ladykiller like he truly is James Bond.

“Die Another Day” has been marketed as a new Bond flick, geared to the 21st century. Modernizing James Bond has been a devilish task, but in today’s cinema, it’s something that has to be done. The problem is to add enough special effects but not overload the film. The Bond creators have to add enough action to the flick without letting it turn into Vin Diesel’s “XXX.” Despite what’s been done with action and CG effects, though, Bond has always been escapist fun, and “D.A.D.” doesn’t disappoint.

This Bond flick is truly overloaded with action sequences and CG, but it is pushed as an over-the-top Bond film. Bond’s famous one-liners have been stuffed into this flick to the extent that it almost seems like a joke itself. More subtly, references to old Bond films have been put in as well. The briefcase from “From Russia with Love” and the jetpack from “Thunderball” sit in a storage room at MI6 headquarters. The most overt reference to an old Bond flick is American secret agent Jinx’s (Halle Berry) bikini, based on a similar one worn by Ursula Andress in “Dr. No.”

“D.A.D” starts off with Bond being captured in North Korea after he is betrayed to the enemy. He is released in a prisoner trade after 14 months (after a truly terrible opening song by Madonna,) but is taken out of action by his commanding agent, M (Dame Judi Dench.) Bond is considered a security risk by his superiors but goes on a quest to clear his name. This brings him to rich diamond magnate Gustav Graves, a personality not unlike Bond himself.

Bond interrupts Grave’s fencing session, and. of course, Graves and Bond end up fencing a little themselves. What follows is a full-out sword fight to first blood, that ends up being one of the coolest hand to hand action sequences in the whole series (and that’s saying something.) The fight is broken up by Graves’ assistant and fencing instructor, Miranda Frost, a stunning character who seems to have femme fatal written all over her.


Bond knows Graves is up to something, and he knows Graves is connected to the Korean villain Zao,one of the guys who got Bond captured in the first place. Zao is a well done variation on the classic Bond thug and has a car chase scene with Bond where Bond’s car isn’t the only one stuffed with gadgets.

Bond ends up in Iceland chasing diamonds, Graves, Zao and trying to get heroine Jinx out of an ice castle that’s melting from a solar death ray that’s firing on them from space. Some of the CG effects are a little overdone, and in the case of a shot with Bond surfing a melting glacier, way overdone.

The film climaxes with the solar death ray from space threatening the demilitarized zone in Korea and Bond and Jinx fighting onto Graves’ plane to save the world from a second Korean War. The sequences are cool, but the plane passes through the solar death ray from space, and the CG of the plane coming apart as the fight goes on is too over the top.

“Die Another Day” is the first good attempt at modernizing James Bond (they try this every decade), and I personally believe that the movie stays good by not ignoring the things that made Bond movies good in the first place. My one fear was that this film would be like 1989’s “License To Kill,” a good action film but a terrible Bond film and one of the other attempts at modernizing Bond.

This one stays true, and while I do believe that Bond flicks should be way over the top with a good dose of W.S.O.D. (Willing Suspension Of Disbelief,) this film’s main shortcoming is that it takes it too far at points. This is not the best Bond film ever, but it’s one that I can happily recommend to audiences.