Brosnan typifies Bond in ‘Die Another Day’


Die Another Day (2002)

Directed by Lee Tamahori

6/10  PG-13

The beauty of the James Bond franchise is that every film has a unique flare, yet they all share a common thread that sets them apart from every other spy movie out there. Different actors play the role, different actresses serve as Bond girls, different singers belt out iconic themes, but a Bond film is always a Bond film. And for 50 years, people have argued over which Bond is best. 90s kids like myself (we all love identifying as 90s kids, don’t we?) may not be able to say we lived in the golden era of Bond, though we did live in the GoldenEye era. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I love Pierce Brosnan and I’m not ashamed. When I was a ten-year-old boy obsessed with cool shootouts, Brosnan had his last bow as Bond in “Die Another Day.” Everything about it screamed the 1990s, from the Madonna theme to the unnecessarily large explosions to the outfits. Just ignore the fact that it was actually released in 2002.

Die-Another-Day (1)

Bond has troubles in North Korea when a popular engineer (Toby Stephens) creates a space weapon that harnesses the power of the sun and shoots beams of light more powerful than any amount of nuclear weapons. Bond finds the help of American spy Jinx Johnson (Halle Berry) and fellow MI6 agent Miranda Frost (Rosamond Pike) to stop the developer before he destroys an American base in South Korea and begins a third world war.

With a plot that includes surfing, hovercrafts, and a car chase on ice, “Die Another Day” threw plausibility out the window very early on. Not that Bond has ever been one to take the easy road. But even if the visual effects in 2002 didn’t allow Bond’s invisible Aston Martin to look quite right, you have to love the effort. It’s like “Die Another Day” recycled all of the absurd GoldenEye video game tricks and put them in a movie. And it has a notoriously bad case of the bad guys not being able to shoot anything, though they fire exponentially more rounds than Bond. It has the classic Bond wordplay, too. Brosnan and Berry have an entire conversation made up of playful metaphors and double entendres likening sexual promiscuity to the behavior of predatory animals. “Die Another Day” is full of those one-liners that make you smile and also make you ashamed.


Brosnan himself is, in my opinion, a stellar Bond. Not in the uber-classy, always serious way Daniel Craig is now. No one denies that he has really excelled. But Brosnan shines in a different way, in the cheesy, almost cartoonish way that I see the character of James Bond. Self-aware, always acknowledging his character and his quirks. It’s wonderful. Halle Berry, coming off her Best Actress win for “Monster’s Ball,” is, unfortunately, more reminiscent of her cheesy performance in “The Flintstones.” But she matches Brosnan’s charming wit. And gone girl Rosamond Pike definitely hadn’t hit her Oscar-nominated peak.

“Die Another Day” is classic James Bond, at least when you’re my age. In my mind, Bond can do no wrong. So even an otherwise dud of a movie like “Die Another Day” can live on in history without the ravages of a lethal review. Viva la Bond!

One thought on “Brosnan typifies Bond in ‘Die Another Day’

  1. Good sort of a review, there, old chap.

    Contrary to what the majority of people would say, alongside the modern-day fans who would do anything to detract Pierce Brosnan’s performance as James Bond, to me, like Sean Connery and Roger Moore, he delivered the generic portrayal of the gentleman superspy quite perfectly.

    While I do have some problems with ‘Die Another Day’, such as Bond being captured and tortured like a pansy for 14 months in a North Korean pit, as well as Madonna’s godawful song and main title sequence, the rest of the film bodes well with me and I share no problem with the weak CGI nor the parachute surfing scene, which to this day, I think it is a brilliant and witty Bond move.

    However, I don’t think scientifically Bond should go that far, ‘Die Another Day’ is a once in a while over the top adventure in the cinematic entry that I wholeheartedly enjoy, and like ‘Moonraker’ shouldn’t be repeated one after another. But, I actually would advocate an unbelievable and beyond imagination installment in the same vein once in a decade or two. It’s what made Bond brilliant, starting with ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Thunderball’ which in fact took liberty with Ian Fleming’s franchise and gave the series its template.

    Daniel Craig is a good Bond, like all the others should be, and his first two films were brilliant, with ‘Skyfall’ only does not take a stand in my series due to major issues I have had with the relevance of the story and pace. Apart from the lovely cinematography, it had nothing to offer but pushed down the throat drama and soap opera. But, I am glad to see ‘Spectre’ will revert back to the classics judging by the trailers and on set photos.

    Many thanks.

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