Die Another Day (2002)

All things come to an end with Bond, as this is the last Pierce Brosnan movie. It’s packed with product placement — even more than many Bond films — and was nearly the pilot for a series of films with Halle Berry’s Jinx Johnson character. MGM wanted to move on to a new series, to the dismay of Eon. It would have been interesting.

This film starts with Bond enduring 14 months of torture in North Korea and stripped of his 00 status after MI6 believes that he gave up information under torture. This puts him on the case of Gustav Graves, a seller of conflict diamonds who ends up being the very same Colonel Moon who held him as a POW.

For all of the derision tossed the way of this film, the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish ice castle sequence is — for me — on par with the Lotus Espirit scene in The Spy Who Loved Me. Roger Moore disliked both these scene and the CGI in this film, calling it a franchise low. This is the man who made A View to a Kill, so just imagine that.

Piling on the scorn, Elton John claimed that the Madonna theme for this film was the “worst Bond tune ever.” Madonna also shows up in a brief cameo.

Director Lee Tamahori has an interesting resume, with everything from Once Were Warriors, xXX: State of the Union and Along Came a Spider on his IMDB list.

As this film was released on the fortieth anniversary of Dr. No, former Bond actors Moore, George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton joined Brosnan at the premiere. Connery was busy filming The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

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