It’s that time again, folks! The tuxedo is freshly pressed, the martinis are ready to be shaken (or is it stirred?), and the world’s most famous spy is back in action. Die Another Day (2002) is the twentieth official installment in the James Bond franchise, and well, it’s the last one that featured Pierce Brosnan as the heroic super spy. Sure, it’s still a Bond film, but it’s not quite the same in terms of quality.
How to Download Die Another Day
Die Another Day was released on 20 November 2002. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice.
The Movie Review
In this outing, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond is sent on a mission to North Korea, gets captured, endures some creative forms of torture, and then gets disavowed by MI6. He miraculously escapes after 14 months in captivity and sets off on a quest for vengeance against the baddie who set him up. Throw in a DNA-altering weapon and an ice palace in Iceland, and that basically explains the entirety of this film. Not even joking, that’s all there is to it.
The Screenplay and Direction
The screenplay has its moments but is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the dialogue is pure Bond gold, while other lines feel like they were hastily scribbled on cocktail napkins during happy hour. The story gets convoluted at times, and it feels like they didn’t know where to take the story so they just crammed in more and more gadgets to make it seem cooler.
Lee Tamahori takes the director’s chair for this one, and while he does a serviceable job, it lacks the finesse we’ve come to expect. Some of the action sequences are well-executed, but there’s an overindulgence in flashy gimmicks.
Now, to talk about the cast, I will say that Pierce was always a good pick for Bond. You see, his bond does one thing very well, and the same is true for this final outing, he charmed the pants off everyone he met in the movie. Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson was a formidable counterpart, but the chemistry was very lukewarm. It looked as if they didn’t want to challenge one another, which is incredibly important with Bond and his femme fatale companions.
Toby Stephens as the villain Gustav Graves is as menacing as a fluffy kitten with a laser pointer, meanwhile, Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost is underused and underappreciated in my opinion.
Visuals and Effects
The cinematography, particularly in the Ice Palace scenes, is visually stunning. The locations are breathtaking, and the film’s look is one of its strong suits. While the CGI was cutting-edge for its time, some of the effects haven’t aged gracefully. The invisible car, though innovative, now looks like a high-tech game of hide-and-seek. It’s all a bit dated. I do like the action, though.
They deliver the usual Bond excitement, with the standout being the hovercraft chase. But then there’s that absurd sword fight scene in the plane that feels like it was stolen from a cheesy kung fu flick, and I mean that in the most offensive way possible. Like, that was Samurai Cop-type fluff.
The Score and Soundtrack
David Arnold’s Bond score remains a high point. The Bond theme is timeless, and his original compositions always add a dash of excitement to the proceedings. The title track for this film was sung by Madonna, and while I usually love Madonna, Die Another Day was not really a great song, nor did it have those 007 vibes that we expect.
The final film that paved the way for Daniel Craig to take up the mantle (check him out in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2021), Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as 007 was a whimper rather than a bang. It’s not the best of the Bond bunch, but it’s not the worst either.
The film’s strengths lie in Brosnan’s charisma, the striking visuals, and the ever-catchy Bond score. However, the over-the-top action, questionable CGI, and a lackluster villain hold it back. Thankfully, the franchise did not miss a single time after this film.
- Visually stunning cinematography
- Pierce Brosnan's charming performance
- Catchy and timeless Bond soundtrack
- Over-the-top action
- Weak and uninspired villain
- A convoluted and sometimes clunky screenplay