This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.
Agent 007, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is captured by North Korean agents and must serve a grueling prison sentence. Once he is finally released, he is convinced that someone in his own agency betrayed him. When he escapes from custody and travels to Cuba he is soon on the heels of Zao (Rick Yune), the agent who put Bond behind bars. Meanwhile, Bond befriends the beautiful Jinx (Halle Berry), who is an NSA agent, as he uncovers a scheme concocted by Zao and British millionaire Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), involving a highly destructive laser.
This unfortunately is the last of Pierce Brosnan’s four Bond films. So far, Bond actors’ last films have not been very good so I was weary before this one but luckily this film was not as bad to me as others in the past. Like all past Brosnan Bond films, you can usually count on a long (compared to previous films) exciting pre-credit scenes and this one is no different. This one features Bond in North Korea wreaking havoc upon them once his cover is blown. It had some action and featured an exciting car chase which led into what probably are the best opening credits for a Bond film. Of course there are still female silhouettes dancing around but this featured much more. The film’s theme, also called “Die Another Day” by Madonna, was pretty good as well. The plot of the film itself did not make too much sense to me. I could understand that Bond wanted revenge on whoever betrayed him but I couldn’t follow much else beyond that. This film did not have a shortage of action or excitement as it had everything you would want from a Bond film. With the passing of time means better technology and better budgets and these are definitely showing here. In theory, these could only make a film better but this is not the case here, at least not as good as it could have been. These are evident in the action and the special effects but they did not always work as the moments where CGI was used was rather obvious so I found that it took me out of the experience. The acting in this one was all over the place with some good and some bad. Brosnan was as expected, good at action with charm and wittiness in spades. Berry was weird as Jinx because she just seemed out of place in this film and I don’t think she had any chemistry with Brosnan’s Bond at all. Stephens’ Graves was just laughably bad to me as he did not seem like a villain to me at all and the twist involving his character was just stupid. Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost was not as bad but this character did not seem very necessary to me. Overall, this film serves as another example of the adage of style over substance where it looks good but there’s not much else going on here. It isn’t the worst last Bond actor’s film but with the time it was originally released (2002), it could have been better than it was.
Next: Casino Royale