Review: Die Another Day (2002)

20 - Die Another Day (2002)

“You see Mr. Bond, you can’t kill my dreams. But my dreams can kill you. Time to face destiny.”
– Gustav Graves

MI6 agent James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a North Korean military base. Undercover as a potential weapons buyer, he takes conflict diamonds into the base, stacked with explosives underneath it. Bond’s meeting with Colonel Tan-Sun Moon (Will Yun Lee) was going well enough until his right-hand man, Zao (Rick Yune), informs Moon that Bond is a British assassin. Things go horribly for Bond just then, and he is forced to set off the explosives in the briefcase containing the diamonds. Zao is grievously injured and has diamond fragments in his face. Moon attempts to escape on a hovercraft, but Bond gives chase. Moon doesn’t make it, though Bond does. However, Moon’s father, General Moon (Kenneth Tsang), takes Bond prisoner and submits him to months of torture.

Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan in
“The same person who set me up then has just set me up again, so I’m going after him.” – James Bond

M (Judi Dench) and Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon) and the Americans arrange a prisoner exchange for Bond – Zao for Bond. M revokes his 00 status, and informs him that while in captivity an American agent was murdered, and it suspected that Bond was the one that leaked the information. Bond is furious that he was traded for Zao, who is an incredibly dangerous man. He is more upset, however, that it appears that someone is setting him up, making it look like he leaked information under duress. Bond escapes his MI6 prison to complete the mission he was set. Learning that Zao is in Cuba, Bond sets out immediately.

die another day fencing
“The pleasure of the kill is in the chase.” – Gustav Graves

Bond meets up with NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson (Halle Berry), and the two spend some time together. Bond follows her to a gene therapy clinic just off the island, where he discovers Zao. Patients can change the way they look through DNA restructuring, and he learns that Zao is currently undergoing a face change. Attempting to apprehend or kill Zao, Zao escapes, leaving behind his necklace containing conflict diamonds. Billionaire Gustav Graves’s (Toby Stephens) company crest is engraved on the diamonds, starting the new leg of Bond’s investigation. Who exactly is this mysterious man who emerged from nowhere? Bond hears that Graves enjoys fencing, and challenges him at a club. Bond wins the fight, and Graves invites Bond to join him in Iceland for a scientific demonstration. M gets wind of the fact that Bond is investigating Graves, and reinstates his 00 status as well as offers any and all assistance.

die another day crazy car chase
“He’ll light the fuse on any explosive situation, and be a danger to himself and others.” – Miranda Frost

In Iceland, Bond learns that Graves’s assistant, Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), is an undercover MI6 agent. In Iceland, Bond witnesses the unveiling of Graves’s latest project – Icarus. Icarus is an orbital mirror satellite that can focus solar energy on a small area. There are both pros and cons to this whole issue. Jinx also turns up at the ice palace, and soon they are both in a lot of trouble. Bond still has no idea who the traitor is. Soon Bond finds out that Colonel Moon is still alive, and that he has undergone the gene therapy to alter his appearance and assumed to identity of Gustav Graves, who is intent on using Icarus to reunite North and South Korea by cutting a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Will Bond be able to stop Moon for the second time, this time permanently? Will he figure out who the traitor is that set him up to take the fall for leaked information? Will Bond be able to live completely with what he went through in Korea?

A 4.5/10 for Die Another Day. I don’t know, this movie… no. For one, the effects were damn dodgy, and that is saying something. The camerawork annoyed me no end, and the need to speed up and slow down scenes all the damn time nearly drove me insane. Also, it was just… ridiculous. Let’s put it like that. It was a simply ludicrous Bond film. It starts well enough, what with Bond being captured, taken hostage, spending months being tortured and all that. It even progresses just fine, such as his exchange going down, knowing he is untrusted and bearing the knowledge that someone set him up to look very guilty, just as Colonel Moon was set up, too. Bond makes his escape, and slowly but surely everything goes downhill from there. Well, it started slowly; eventually it was like a free-fall into terrible. There is the case of the Aston Martin Vanquish – who the hell would spend that on a car to hide it? Don’t say some MI6 spy, because it is just getting… oh please. Just no. Then there was the wakeboarding with a parachute thing with icebergs and a massive tsunami? Pffff! The lines in here were cheesy, and the sexual innuendo ran rampant throughout the movie, and I really didn’t appreciate it. It is not necessary to make a great film, please! The puns and punchlines were so lame in here, and not the kind of lame that some action flicks can get away with.

13 thoughts on “Review: Die Another Day (2002)

    1. I feel sorry for watching it, too! GoldenEye was good, just wished they would have utelized their star cast a little bit more! Shame, you had the biggest thrill and disappointment within a few films of one another.

      I am so damn excited to get to Casino Royale, it isn’t even funny!


      1. I cannot wait, I have seen it, and it is my favourite Bond. I have been itching to get to it, and the time has finally come! I don’t even think I will be able to wait until next Thursday to see it, it may very well just happen this weekend!

        🙂 Glad to hear that you think so, too!


  1. Pierce Brosnan looked promising in “GoldenEye”, but who could imagine this fiasco! Daniel Craig was a refreshing change and he indeed raised the level of Bond films, as against his predecessors who were suave “bland” and pokerfaced Bonds. 🙂


    1. Yeah, he showed promise. Die Another Day was really disappointing. Ah, Craig is the answer for me! He brought character to Bond that you only saw more in Dalton.


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