'Die Another Day' is under review in November's MI6 Bondathon
To celebrate the spate of upcoming Bond film anniversaries and the pave the way to Bond 23, we thought it was high-time the forum (Keeping The British End Up) pulled together for an official review of the whole series
A film will be presented each month for viewing, discussion and review; running in conjunction with the main site, overall ratings and a selection of the best reviews will be published at the end of the month on mi6-hq.com.
James Bond defies gaverty in "Die Another Day", Brosnan's 007 swan song Bondathon
In the midst of MGMâs current financial struggles and in the month where MI6 is traditionally treated to an all-new Bond, it seems almost ironic that one of the most controversial Bond films in the series most recent history â âDie Another Dayâ â is to be reviewed as part of the Bondathon this November. âDie Another Dayâ attracted both high praise and insufferable criticism from the media soon after it opened in November 2002; whereas some critics praised Lee Tamahoriâs direction most critics lauded the borderline fantastical CGI that prompted Roger Moore to exclaim, âI though it just went too far, and thatâs coming from me â the first Bond in space!â Having firmly divided the forum it appears beyond doubt to suggest that any Bond fan, casual or diehard, should partake in the Bondathon and judge âDie Another Dayâ for themselvesâ¦
From the outset, the audience are treated to one of the most unique openings to a James Bond film where 007 is imprisoned and tortured after assassinating North Korean Colonel Moon; cue repartee, a debauched use of diamonds and a hovercraft chase over the De-Militarised Zone and everything appears in line with the seriesâ heightened sense of reality. The film eschewed predictability and daringly placed James without any get out clause or gadget with his existence denied by âgood old Blighty.â His release prompts the motivation behind âDie Another Dayâ; who set Bond up? In a rip-roaring adventure through Cuba, Iceland and South-East Asia punctuated by bullets and, on the seriesâ 40-year anniversary, a tangerine bikini, everything appears in order.
Bond encounters the mysterious NSA agent Giacinta âJinxâ Johnson, literally fleshed out by Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry in homage to Ursula Andress, and suitably icy MI6 operative Miranda Frost, played with considerable skill and aplomb by the first Oxford-educated Bond Girl, Rosamund Pike, in his pursuit of Gustav Graves; a self-made billionaire and playboy confidently portrayed by the enigmatic Toby Stephens.
Shot in the wastelands of North Korea, the equally stunning and striking glaciers of Iceland for a spot of melt water surfing and subterfuge among Gravesâ ice palace and futuristic diamond mine, whose exterior belongs to the biomes of the worldâs largest greenhouse, âThe Eden Project,â Die Another Day is one of the most attractive films to date that outlandishly deals with conflict diamonds and renewable energy to the Clashâs âLondon Calling.â Admittedly, the existence of an MI6 facility in an abandoned London Underground station, an invisible Aston Martin Vanquish dubbed the âVanish,â the destruction of a gene therapy clinic and a cameo by Madonna at the height of her anglophilia borders on farcical but can be attributed to the Bond universe and make for quintessential escapism.
Regardless of its rank upon your own favourite Bond films, Die Another Days proves to be an unforgettable romp that prompted James Bond to return in an altogether more rough-hewn guise sans the editing softwareâ¦ but with a loaded P99.
Introduction by Toby Craddock
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