Guest Author - Vannie
In Die Another Day, Bond’s mission is to gain access to North Korean terrorist Zao’s compound to get information concerning ‘conflict diamonds’ from Africa*. However, due to circumstances beyond his control, his mission fails and Bond is tortured and held captive in North Korea for months.
When released after a compromising trade and allowed to return home, he does not receive the usual ‘007’welcome. Instead, M (Judi Dench) is not sure that she can continue to trust him. In due course Bond does prove his trustworthiness and is once more welcome in MI6. When he visits Q (John Cleese), he is given among other gadgets, a car that can become invisible at the press of a button.
As always, we are treated to mind-boggling chase scenes, Die Another Day has Bond careening through a live minefield in a tank, exploding mines in back and in front of him. Fires are set off and tanks are blown to smithereens. We get to see a cache of brilliant booby-trapped diamonds exploding everywhere. It is during this spectacular display that master villain Zao (Rick Yune) gets (figuratively and literally) a face full of diamonds.
Bonds travels take him from the North and South Korea, Hong Kong, Cuba and finally to Iceland where infamous diamond broker, Gustave Graves (Toby Stephens), has his headquarters. Graves' headquarters is an actual ice palace and it holds a deadly weapon that is generated by solely by solar heat. Doesn’t an ice palace and solar heat suggest a major catastrophe?
As with all James Bond movies, there are pretty girls; one of them a colleague named Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) seems to have special dislike for Bond from the moment she sets eyes on him. However, Jinx (Halle Berry) has no such feelings. When James first sees Jinx, she is rising from the ocean in a very small bikini, the scene is very reminiscent of the first Bond movie Dr. No (1962) Back then it was Ursula Andress in the bikini rising from the ocean; Andress' is still the face of the quintessential Bond girl. However, Jinx is not just a pretty face, she is a tough and savvy agent, who can handle herself and the bad guys (most of the time). While Jinx is beautiful and tough, she is also a playful 'real girl' type beauty. Halle Berry is a perfect Bond girl.
Madonna wrote and sings the title song. She also appears as the fencing teacher in the movie. Even though Madonna's time on the screen is very short, you can’t miss her, she is wearing her signature 'Madonna" corset-type outfit. Regrettably, we do not see the expected interplay between and Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) which is usually filled with much flirting, smiling and double entendres. However, she does show up near the end of the movie. Miss Moneypenny never had an important role in these films; however, she was essential to the 007 mystique. Die Another Day is Bond film number twenty in the long list of 007 movies and it does not disappoint; it is filled with stunts, gadgets and good looking women.
Pierce Brosnan makes a worthy and credible James Bond. Halle Berry’s strong and independent woman style is the perfect foil for Brosnan who long ago lost his boyishly charming good looks and instead looks handsome, but a bit worn out, much as he did in After the Sunset (2004). Still Die Another Day is a good action movie. You can get the Widescreen Special Edition of Die Another Day from Amazon.
*Read about the real issue of conflict diamonds here: Targeting 'conflict diamonds' in Africa
See the Related Link. What does "MI6" mean?
Vist the Sony Pictures site for information regarding the newest Bond entry Casino Royale