Film Review: Die Another Day

Well I knew this day would come. It’s been creeping up on me, getting closer and closer, until last night, it finally arrived. I had reached Die Another Day. I don’t care how many Bond movies you watch, whether you secretly love Pierce Brosnan, or if you simply have the most masochistic personality possible, there is nobody out there who can possibly think Die Another Die is a good film. Because it isn’t.

Everything about it is just wrong. It was released in the middle of The Matrix trilogy at a time when film making, special effects and stunt works had essentially been turned on its head and revolutionised as a result of Neo dodging bullets and a 360 camera pan. As a result, you can see that the production team tasked with creating Die Another Day felt a need to embrace these new principles, to make Bond feel up to date and fresh in it’s style and cinematography and yet, they’ve failed so spectacularly that it doesn’t just ruin the movie, it makes it feel cheap.

Stuttering shots, strange filming angles, you wouldn’t find a first time film maker producing sequences that feel as poor constructed as this. They just don’t fit the style of film you need for a Bond spy film. It’s a spy thriller that’s meant to twist and turn you as it goes forward; not an edgy modern technological sci-fi film. And the worse part it is that, even if they’d shot it in a more tradition style and created the filming of a spy film and not this miss-mash of nonsense they ended up with you’d still have a rubbish film that never should have seen the light of day.

The plot is beyond a joke. There have been some questions ideas over the years. Mainly involving Blofeld and spaceships but this time, Die Another Day ramps the ludicrous way beyond that. DNA replacement and an outer space Archimedes Death Ray on a truly epic scale. Now I don’t know much about DNA but I do know that firstly, it’s not something you can “replace” and secondly, even if you could, it wouldn’t be as simple as a saline drip and a new face.

And the death ray, it’s been proven that in real life it wouldn’t work anyway, and yet Toby Stephens has managed to construct over a period as short as 2 years the world’s largest “mirror” satellite, launch it into orbit, and then find a way to control it using remotely from a glove on his hand. Oh and it can defend itself from rocket attack by using the sun’s rays as a defence rather than an attack weapon. OK, I understand that, but surely it’ll spend 12 hours a day out of the sun’s glare and thus, is screwed!?

And things can continue to get worse, Bond is famous for its theme songs as much as anything else. Listen to a few of them together and you’ll soon realise that they all sound familiar, they all echo towards that famous Bond theme and they all have a sense of timing that allows them to be used through the film as needed. But not this time. This time we give Madonna carte blanche to do whatever she feels like. And if that wasn’t enough, we then allow her to have a cameo in the film as well. And then, just to make sure things really are bad, we let her dress herself. As a result, we end up with a Bond theme that feels so computerised and mechanical that it makes you almost want to break down and scream at the TV where is the orchestra? And just to make sure you will never forget just how out of place, and poor a fit Madonna is to the world of 007 she turns up dressed like she’s about to conduct an bondage session. The only thing she could have possibly done to make things worse is come armed with a conical bra.

R has now become Q and John Cleese is back upping the stupidity and slapstick. Desmond Llewelyn got away with the silliness he brought to Q because he did it with a deadpan face and a sense on seriousness. Cleese brings Monty Python exaggeration to his performance and destroys all credibility along with it. And things are still sliding down. This is the first film since the death of Llewelyn and you can tell that there is a sense of wanting to pay homage to him, to say goodbye on screen and so Q-Branch has been turned into a museum of gadgets. It’s become Llewelyn’s legacy. And this just serves to show how far the franchise is falling and how badly it’s failing rather than as the fitting send off it was obviously meant as.

Then, to make things even worse we have the Aston Martin, or rather we don’t. It’s invisible. Well actually it’s not, it’s using cameras to project images from all around it thus making it appear invisible to the naked eye. OK, granted that type of technology is actually starting to slowly be invented but that’s not my biggest problem. My biggest problem with the invisible car comes when Bond uses it in the field. He drives it invisibly, unnoticed around the snow covered lair that doubles as an ice hotel. Gliding brilliantly into the places he needs to go and yet nobody notices the tyre tracks. And then he parks up goes off exploring and yet NOBODY NOTICES THE TYRE TRACKS. I’m going to stop now. I’m starting to get angry.

I hate everything about this film. It truly is the worse Bond film ever made by a long, long way and I honestly believe, if Daniel Craig hadn’t come along next in Casino Royale and been such a success there is a really chance that the damage done by Die Another Day would have been enough to kill off the franchise and Bond for good.

Please, whatever you do, if you haven’t seen it don’t watch it. And if you have, I hope you’re nodding in agreement of my hatred of it.

4 out of 10 stars (4 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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