"Die Another Day"


Pierce Brosnan stars in "Die Another Day," the 20th film in the James Bond franchise. (MGM)
Pierce Brosnan proves that he should have been Bond during that sad period when Timothy Dalton was 007. Brosnan is funny and frightening, and he has now placed his signature on the series with this movie.

"Die Another Day" opens with Bond infiltrating a North Korean compound in the demilitarized zone near the 38th Parallel. He is there to stop the shipment of some weapons that are destabilizing the Korean peninsula. This leads to one of those signature chase scenes, which ultimately leads to Bond's capture. It seems that somebody has sold Bond out. 

Being a 00 means that if caught, all knowledge of you is disavowed. Bond spends 14 months being tortured in a North Korean prison. These scenes are brutal and help us understand the PG-13 rating.   

Bond later is freed in a prisoner exchange. But his freedom is short lived because those on the other side take him into custody. There are worries that he has broken and talked or that he is carrying some toxin.   

Bond being Bond escapes and uses his knowledge to pursue the one who caused him to be captured. This leads to all points on the globe. We meet an agent named Jinx, named thus because she was born on Friday the 13th, and a terrorist named Zao, who has diamonds permanently encrusted in his face.   

There are DNA swaps that lead to new identities, giant mirrors in space that can melt the polar ice caps, and a sword-fight scene with laughs and gasps. We see all the things that one would expect in a Bond movie. John Cleese is aboard now as the new Q. His scenes with Bond are truly funny.  

Pierce Brosnan proves that he should have been Bond during that sad period when Timothy Dalton was 007. Brosnan is funny and frightening, and he has now placed his signature on the series with this movie. 

"Day" is better than most of the recent Bond installments because here the formula, followed for over four decades, actually works. It has new life. One improvement is paying homage to the other films. I saw at least five references in the showing I watched, and I am sure there were more.  

They remind those of us who have watched all of the Bond movies what it was like to see them the first time. 

Mike Parnell is pastor of Burgaw Baptist Church in Burgaw, N.C.

 

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action violence and sexuality

 

Director: Lee Tamahori

 

Writers: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade

 

Cast: James Bond: Pierce Brosnan; Jinx: Halle Berry; Gustav Graves: Toby Stephens; Miranda Frost: Rosamund Pike; Zao: Rick Yune; Q: John Cleese; M: Judi Dench

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