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Die Another Day

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Die Another Day

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry
Director: Lee Tamahori
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 132 Minutes
Release Date: November 2002
Genres: Action, Suspense, 007

*Also starring: Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune, Michael Madsen, Judi Dench, Lawrence Makoare, Madonna, Toby Stephens, John Cleese

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Over the past 40 years, this is the 20th explosive James Bond action-adventure - so what's new? The opening sequence, which traditionally has featured seductive women gyrating to music, now also serves as a prologue, showing Bond (Pierce Brosnan) betrayed, captured and tortured by the North Koreans. When he's is finally released 14 months later in a prisoner exchange, his 00 'license to kill' is rescinded by M (Judi Dench) because, "You're no use to anyone now." So Bond, seeking redemption, heads for Cuba, where he discovers Jinx (Halle Berry) rising from the sea, clad in a bikini - in homage to the unforgettable Ursula Andress in "Dr. No." Jinx is an American spy who's also tracking Zao (Rick Yune), a ruthless North Korean terrorist. But there's an even more awesome adversary, Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens, son of Maggie Smith and the late Robert Stephens), a diamond tycoon who descends to Buckingham Palace on a Union Jack parachute for a meeting with the Queen. The fencing duel between Bond and Graves offers the most exciting combat, incorporating an unbilled cameo by Madonna, who co-wrote and warbles the title song. But when the fast-paced action shifts to Graves' ice palace in Iceland, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, along with director Lee Tamahori, seem to run out of originality, relying on a duplicitous blonde (Rosamund Pike) and Q's (John Cleese) cutting-edge gadgets and hi-tech gizmos, the most impressive of which is an invisibility cloak for Bond's Aston Martin. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Die Another Day" is visually stylish, spectacular 8. While product placement is now an accepted income-generator for film producers, this superspy venture takes blatant tie-ins to an extreme, making one think it might be subtitled: 'Buy Another Day.'

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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