Watched Jul 29, 2012
Steve Grzesiak’s review:
This might sound like a bloody stupid thing to say considering this IS a James Bond film at all, but Die Another Day really does use up every iota of good faith that the Bond series had built up to this point in almost one fell swoop.
It is a James Bond film, and as such we all will give it a lot of leeway in terms of what we will allow it to get away with. But this film really does feel as though Lee Tamahori and everyone else involved with the creative ideas behind it are basically testing us to see just how much utter idiocy it can get away with.
So, we get invisible cars, robot suits, ice palaces, genetic reconstructions....and Toby Stephens as the villain. Toby Stephens?! Well, I don't know about you but I'm going to need new pants just thinking about the terror Toby Stephens could cause the world. I'd ask what they were thinking with all this, but clearly they weren't. It really is a case of throwing a load of cack at the screen and seeing what sticks.
They really are bordering on taking the piss at times, so much so that I didn't feel bored by it but just rather annoyed that they did not even seem to be trying. Plot-wise I did not even bother trying to follow it again, but the gene-splicing North Korean defection nonsense gives way to destroying the world something something blah blah, and then throws in a twist with one of the characters which is stolen wholesale from The World Is Not Enough - JUST ONE FILM BEFORE.
For me, it's just a microcosm of what a complete shambles this film is. Halle Berry is miscast and uncomfortable as the main Bond girl, although Rosamund Pike is rather good in a much more traditional Bond girl role - to a point. Stephens is absolutely dreadful, unintentionally hilariously sneering his way through the second half of the film in an attempt to cover the complete lack of menace he conveys. He's arguably the worst Bond villain of all time. Michael Madsen inexplicably pops up, does absolutely nothing, smokes a cigarette, and then buggers off. And John Cleese just doesn't look at all right as Q.
Poor Pierce Brosnan. That was his lot. Four films - the very good Goldeneye, the boring Tomorrow Never Dies, the terrible The World Is Not Enough, and then this frankly lunatic offering. A fine Bond he may well have been, but he really did get the shit end of the stick with his selection of films. He was better off out of it, and he has done really well for himself post-Bond, it's been pleasing to see.
I have no doubt Die Another Day is the most mental Bond of them all, and it does have one or two reasonable moments (the ice palace looks fantastic and the car chase around it is very good, plus the stuff around the prison camp at the beginning was intriguing before that goes to hell also), but once the CGI in the surfing bit rears its head, I was about ready to start self-harming.
Right, Craig? Take a seat.