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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #20: Die Another Day

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the following Superficial Bond Review. In this instance, the quality is not primarily a consequence of the Bond movie series having peaked with the movie Goldeneye, and the subsequent drop in interest from the articles' author (me), but rather that my half-assed efforts are still half an ass more than that which is displayed by the movie Die Another Day.
"Shit breeds shit", as they say.

* Die Another Day starts right off with 007 and some other agents actually surfing to a mission at night. There is no way this movie can recover from something as lame as this, and I already know I'm going to hate it.

* Shortly after, there's a bizarre hovercraft chase scene that isn't half bad, but I'm sucked straight back into hate when Madonna delivers the very worst Bond tune of them all. I've suffered through many bad songs before this one, but this is the first title sequence I really, really wanted to skip.
She's an old woman like Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey before her: why doesn't she just scream like a stabbed cow - "Dieee Another Daaaaaayyyyyyuuuuhhhh!" - instead of doing her awful robot voice thingie? "Die. A-no. Ther. Day. Just. Die. A-no. Ther. DAY!"
No, screw that. Die NOW.

- "Glad you could make it, Mister Bond. And I see you brought along
your leather-loving transvestite bodyguard as well - how quaint!"

* James Bond gets captured in the very beginning, and subsequently held in a North Korean prison for 14 months, where he is interrogated and tortured. Hm. Here comes my rant:
You idiots!
I guess I have to school whatever moron came up with this scenario, because it's obvious that he/she/they haven't even understood the significance of the Bond character.
Bond is escapism, Bond is a refuge - James Bond is freedom from fear and responsibility. He doesn't get captured and held for months - he bloody escapes, that's what he does! Whether it's from calling a chick after he's banged her, from deep and troubling emotions or from a jail cell, he gets away clean.
Audiences come to experience a world where the hero is a handsome and invincible boy who doesn't want to grow up, where the bad guy is recognizable and utterly mad, and where international conflicts can be solved by cool toys and fast cars. Gritty realism is fine - just put it in another movie series. And for god's sake, if you do want to make a statement and "reinvent" Bond a little - stay with it! You can't have Bond being tortured in the same film where you have invisible cars and robo-gloves that fire lightning.

* (DAD is kinda all over the place, so I'm having a hard time structuring my review. Please excuse me if I ignore any form of chronology or thematic link between segments).
So how 'bout that Halle Berry, guys? When she walks out of the water in that "we want you to think of Dr. No, so that you believe this is a proper Bond movie too" scene, it's like your erection needs to rent another erection, just to take care of that extra work load. Har har! Woof! Woof!
But there's a disgusting, sweaty sex scene between Berry and Brosnan, and that shit doesn't belong in a Bond movie. "But there's a lot of sex in Bond movies!" you might interject, but then I have to remind you once again that you're an idiot. Sex is more suggested than flaunted - there's the start of sex, the aftermath of sex, hints and winks - never this 80s movie crap that makes me want to find a bucket.
Anyway: a bikini doth not a Honey Ryder make. They try hard to make Berry's character into a strong one, but I just don't care enough about that two-dimensional cardboard chick to be excited when she's trapped inside a melting castle, and Bond has to rescue her in his invisible car.
No, I'm not joking. This movie really is that dumb.

* Normally, I'd wet my pants with joy over the fact that DAD features an Aston Martin Vanquish, but when Q Branch jokingly renames it "Vanish", and introduces some highly implausible technology that can make it invisible, I'm completely turned off.
Later, it's in a car duel on ice with a diamond-faced henchman who's also got a gadget car, for no reason whatsoever. That's before the snowmobiles come out of nowhere, and I guess it's right before the diamond-covered satellite sends its death ray towards Iceland, and then the hotel melts, and Bond has to go inside a plane and fight with bad guy Gustav Graves, who is really a genetically modified Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, who 007 fought with in the beginning of the movie, and later fenced with (as Graves), but now it's Jinx who fences with Miranda Frost (Graves' chick) as Moon/Graves fires bolts of lightning at Bond through the glove of his super suit before Frost is impaled and Graves is sucked out of the plane and into a jet engine, stopping the diamond satellite's death ray.
The end! Wait, WHAT!?

* Die Another Day is the worst mishmash of incompatible elements I have ever seen in Bond movie history:
The original ideas that are actually in here, are all wrong and belong in a completely different category of movies - like, say, a Power Ranger movie or a similar lump of cinematic feces.
The rest is a bunch of stuff they stole from other Bond movies - almost every other Bond movie - and try to pass it off as "tributes" or "references".
Die. A-no. Ther. Day.
Worst. Bond. Mo-vie. E-ver.

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