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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 Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

Disappointing. DIE ANOTHER DAY, the twentieth picture in the Bond saga, really shows its age. Rather than mile-a-minute puns and non-stop fun, this episode, directed by Lee Tamahori (ALONG CAME A SPIDER), just lumbers along until periodically someone calls for the stunt men and women. When things are being blown up or Bond is using his latest gadgets, the picture captures some of its old magic. Especially neat this time is a hovercraft chase across a minefield and a weapons-laden car chase across a glacier.

We get a hint of the problems with the film from the very beginning when Madonna sings what has to be the worst opening song for any of the Bond movies. She also makes a cameo that is about on par with her SWEPT AWAY disaster.

The action this time occurs in North Korea, in an ice palace and in Cuba. Toby Stephens plays Gustav Graves, the billionaire playboy bent on world domination who goes up against 007. The movie has exactly two twists, and both are so obvious that when they are revealed, most viewers will probably be thinking, "Well, duh!"

As has been much publicized, Halle Berry plays Jinx, the main Bond woman this time. Bond women don't need more than a great body and a healthy dose of sex appeal. Berry supplies these nicely. Her introduction into the story is an imitation of Ursula Andress's entrance in DR. NO. Berry is an overrated, average actress, who does nothing special with her part in DIE ANOTHER DAY. In a ranking of Bond women, she'd probably come out slightly below the midpoint. I hope that the talk of her getting a spin-off series from her role as Jinx remains just talk.

DIE ANOTHER DAY keeps spurting along for almost two and a quarter hours until it finally dies, way past its time. Wait for video when you can personally edit this plump picture down to fighting trim. There is a nice movie buried in the layers of flab.

DIE ANOTHER DAY runs a half hour too long at 2:12. It is rated PG-13 for "action violence and sexuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 13 and a huge Bond fan, gave the movie ****. He loved it. His only complaints were that the story concentrated too much on Jinx so that they could spin her character off and that the blue screen work was frequently bad.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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