Die Another Day

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Inky: ***1/2

Starring Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Toby Stephens

Trailers (yours may vary): Stupid commercials for Body Fantasies, Volvo, and Verb: It’s What You Do, Analyze That, Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, Bulletproof Monk, and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde.

When I emerged from Theater Two, Junior Mints sticking to my pants and my face glistening with sweat, I realized: That was the first Bond movie I’d seen in theaters.
Keep in mind I’ve seen others on DVD (Goooooooldfiiiiiiiingeeeerrrr…..) but never in the theater. And lemme tell you, seeing a Bond movie on a huge screen is quite an experience.

“Die Another Day” is hardly different from any other Bond movies. There’s a good lady (or is she bad?), a bad girl (or is she good?), a villain who steals people faces (channeling Bond super-villain Ernst Blofeld from, most notably, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”), an accomplice that meets a nasty end, a plot for world domination, and a big honkin’ space satellite (sorta kinda channeling “Moonraker.”) All Bond movies follow a formula, and this one’s no exception. It’s mindless, harmless fluff. But man, it’s fun fluff.

The movie opens in a Korean minefield and army base, with Bond breaking in, being discovered, and being tortured for fourteen months (whilst women made of fire and ice dance about him and Madonna music plays, no less.) Halle Berry pops up in Cuba, emerging from the waves like Venus, or more notably, like Ursula Andress in Dr. No, complete with the teeny-weensy bikini (there are a million little winks to former Bond movies in this flick, and I could never mention them all, but they’re fun to spot.) She and Bond share playful banter in a bar, with him telling her he’s an ornithologist and her replying, “Ornithologist? Now that’s a mouthful.” She, of course, delivers the line looking…well, below his waist. We’ll leave it at that. Of course, in the next scene, they make silhouetted, fruit-eating, knife-cutting love. Something about a plot is thrown into the mix and the movie takes off from there.

Kudos to the writes for the best Pierce Brosnan as Bond flick yet. It’s entertaining, big, glitzy, fiery, full of deaths, and pretty appropriate. All the acting is good, Halle Berry is the best Bond girl since Michelle Yeoh (Lord, Yeoh was good in “Tomorrow Never Dies”! Dang, she was good!) and any movie with her throwing knives is good by me (oh, I can’t wait for X2.) Rosamund Pike should get more work after this as well, but her eyes are huge – I mean, to quote my friend, “She has Bambi eyes!” However, an Oxford-trained actress can’t go wrong in a Bond movie, and she holds her own with veterans like Brosnan and Berry. Toby Stephens needs braces and got on my nerves, but maybe that was good since I was supposed to hate him anyway. Rick Yune was chilling as Zao, but hasn’t he heard of tweezers? I’d think it’d be easier to have those diamonds surgically removed than just changing your face. Oh well.

But whoever did the water effects for this movie should be fired. That is the worst CGI water I may have ever seen (with the exception of the “Pirates of Carribean” trailer, of course.) The entire theater broke out in laughter when Brosnan surfed, with a drag-chute and car cover, on a melting iceberg, and I had chilling flashbacks to the old days, seeing Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon “surf” in front of a movie screen.

Brosnan is back on top, after coasting through the paltry “The World Is Not Enough,” and loving it. I’d renew that man’s contract in a heartbeat. He gets saddled with the worst one-liners ever and delivers them as well as I can imagine. I may never get past his Remington Steel days, but I accept him. He’s come into his own and is only second to Sean Connery.

In short, Die Another Day is a solid two hours of entertainment. Definitely a worth-while purchase on DVD, and definitely worth the $6.50 admission price. See it see it see it!
Is that a double entendre,
or are you just happy to see the message boards?