Silent J’s review:
Continuing my journey to see every single 007 film before the release of Skyfall, I just got finished rewatching the twentieth Bond film, Die Another Day which would mark the end to the Brosnan Era.
As I stated in my Goldfinger review, this film and Goldfinger were my two very first Bond films and I remember loving both, but as I grew up, I ended up liking this a lot less. I never realized just how bad it was until now. Now that I've seen every James Bond film, I can easily say this is the worst Bond film ever made. In fact, some will argue that it might be one of the worst films ever made.
The flair Pierce Brosnan had in his last few Bond outings is gone. I don't know what happened, but I no longer look at this guy and think "That's James Bond." The charm is gone as well as that ability he showed in his first two films Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. He's not on autopilot. He's just really bad. Not bad as in "Not as good as his last films". Just bad. I was hoping he would give at least one last good performance before retiring from the role but that clearly is not the case.
The main Bond Girl is Jinx played by Halle Berry. She's not the worst Bond Girl to ever grace the screen but let's just say I'll put her in the bottom 5 with Denise Richards and Tanya Roberts taking the top spots. Berry is nothing more than eye candy and her performance is downright Razzie worthy. I mean, she's usually a solid actress who's known for her great turns in films like Monster's Ball and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge but the script gives her nothing to work with. Jinx is just a bland cariacture who the film wants to make Jame's equal or something, but she isn't interesting and most of the time plays the damsel in distress card. Still, she's stunning to look at if that counts for anything. In this case, it does'nt. If I wanted to see Halle Berry to look good in a film, I would watch a GOOD film with Halle Berry in it.
The main villain is Gustav Graves played by Toby Stephens. Stephens just feels wasted here (as do many actors in this film). He's just a cliched, smug, cocky, generic villain. Not just a generic Bond villain, but a generic villain altogether. The sad thing is I know Stephens can do much better. He was fantastic in Twelfth Night and I remember liking him in The Great Gatsby tv movie. Here he's just given very little to work with. Anyone could have taken the role and got the same generic result.
This is not only the twentieth film in the long running franchise, but the landmark 40th anniversary film which it's so disappointing and bad. It should have felt special, but it just comes off as generic, formulaic, and just bad. The film shoehorns a bunch of homages to past Bond films and some of them feel forced while others feel like the writers got lazy and said "Hey, this worked on one of the last films. Let's put it here and fuck it up...I mean reference it so people like it more, I guess." Also, this Bond film should'nt have been so silly. The opening takes such an interesting, dark, and new turn where bond is captured and tortured for years before being released and when he's released, it becomes an average Bond flick. No internal conflict where Bond is struggling to move on. Just the regular ladies man we've seen in past films with not a shred of pain to deal with. Everything else after the opening is forgettable at best. Speaking of the opening, the opening pop song in the intro is terrible. Worst song in a Bond film ever. The action sequences are just bland and forgettable. There's a fantastic sword fight and some thrilling action in the opening, but that's about it. Everything else is to heavy in CGI, too predictable, too bland, and too bad.
As a landmark event for the Bond franchise, this is diappointing and as a goodbye to Brosnan's Bond, it's damn near insulting. If you want a proper way to remember Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, watch Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies then just skip The World Is Not Enough and this film. Trust me. You'll thank me later.
After this, the entire franchise was rebooted from scratch and while some don't think it was necessary, I for one think after this, it needed a reboot badly. Not just a new Bond but a new film where a new fresh approach was taken with James Bond and thankfully, that's what we got. Now on to the current era, the Craig Era.