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Die Another Day: The Bond Before the Reboot

Background

Die Another Day (2002) is the 20th official Bond movie. It was released 40 years after the first Bond movie release.[i] This movie has references to each of the previous 19 Bond movies.[ii] There was product placement for 20 companies, which paid a record breaking $70 million to show their products.[iii] It was the highest grossing James Bond film with a worldwide gross of almost $432 million.[iv] Despite its box office success many involved with James Bond movies weren’t happy with it. Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) considered the gadgets and special effects overblown and suggested the genre go back to its darker roots with few gadgets and special effects. The franchise was subsequently rebooted as Pierce Brosnan suggested.[v] Former James Bond Roger Moore though the invisible car and other CGI effects were “a low for the franchise”.[vi] Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade admitted they misjudged what the fans wanted. [vii] This article contains spoilers.

The title song reached number eight on the U.S. charts. It was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Golden Raspberry Award. Elton John dubbed it the “worst Bond tune ever”.[viii] The movie caused protests in the Republic of Korea for a scene showing Americans giving orders to Korean soldiers. In South Korea it was 5th on the opening weekend but was out of the top 10 within two weeks. A Seoul theater pulled the movie and some smaller theaters didn’t show it. A love scene in a Buddhist Temple was another source of protest. [ix]


[i] Dr. No (1962)

[ii] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21.

[iii] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21.

[iv] $431,971,116, International Movie Database, Die Another Day (2002) - IMDb, last accessed 4/26/21.

[v] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21.

[vi] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21.

[vii] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21.

[viii] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21. The Raspberry Awards, “Razzies”, are for the worst movie achievements.

[ix] International Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246460/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv, last accessed 4/26/21. The Raspberry Awards, “Razzies”, are for the worst movie achievements.

The Movie

The movie opens with James Bond on a mission in North Korea. He meets Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee) and Zao (Rick Yune) ostensibly for a conflict diamonds for weapons deal. Someone in MI6 betrayed 007. Bond attempts to escape. In the process he disfigures Zao, which gives him the appearance of a Dick Tracy villain. Colonel Moon is believed killed and his father, General Moon (Kenneth Tsang), captures Bond. The titles sequence has scenes of North Koreans, including a beautiful Democratic People’s Republic of Korea soldier (Sarllya), torturing Bond interspersed with dancers depicting fire and ice.

Fourteen months go by then the West exchange Zao for Bond. The exchange is apparently across the “Bridge of No Return” at Panmunjom. MI6 has Bond in an isolated medical facility on a ship. M (Judy Dench) shows no concern that someone in MI6 betrayed him. Her plan is to banish Bond to The Falklands. Bond easily escapes the ship and swims to Hong Kong. With the help of a Chinese agent (Ho Yi), Bond picks up Zao’s trail in Cuba. He also comes across NSA agent Jinx Johnson (Halle Berry). Zao is planning to undergo a revolutionary plastic surgery routine. Bond and Jinx destroy the facility. Bond learns enough to suspect Sir Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens). Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) is Mr. Graves’s publicist and a MI6 agent.

M isn’t impressed with Miranda Frost’s performance. Frost hadn’t turned up anything on Graves even though she had been working closely with him for months. M did appreciate that Frost didn’t believe in office romances and thought little of Bond as a man.

Miranda Frost’s back story is she was an Olympic fencing gold medalist. She is giving a lesson to Graves when Bond has his first meeting with him. This sets up a fencing duel which turns into a swashbuckling type swordfight.

Graves invites Bond to an Ice hotel where he ostensibly plans to unveil his Icarus project. Jinx also shows up. Miranda breaks her rule about office romances with Bond. Miranda beat 007 at using charms as a weapon. She took the bullets out of the gun Bond had under his pillow. Bond confronts Graves only to learn Graves has Frost as an accomplice. Bond manages to escape imminent death. This brings on a wild series of fights inside and outside the melting ice hotel. In the process Jinx and Bond save each other.

In the final encounter Graves reveals he is Colonel Moon.[i] The climax is aboard a stricken transport aircraft that, despite being in flames, flies reasonably stable for the long fight scenes. The action scenes are exciting but a viewer needs to check reality before watching Die Another Day.


[i] The disguise is a result of an advanced medical procedure.

Other Information

The movie has many tips of the hat to the previous Bond movies. The room where Bond meets Q has gadgets from previous Bond movies. In an underwater sequence Bond uses the same underwater breathing device he used in Thunderball.

Die Another Day was the first time a specially modified 007 car squared off against a specially modified villain car. It was also the first Bond movie where two women fight each other to the death. Considering the genre, it’s surprising such scenes didn’t happen in earlier Bond movies.

Die Another Day had the first love scene between James Bond and Miss Moneypenny. It didn’t get beyond foreplay. It was Miss Moneypenny improperly using a government virtual reality simulation. The love scene between Bond and Jinx is more explicit than previous 007 movies.

A glance between Miranda Frost and her instructor, Verity, (Madonna) indicates they have a personal relationship. Director Lee Tamahori cut a scene where Verity gives Miranda “little touches”.[i]

The film mentions crossing the 38th Parallel. North and South Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel before the Korean War. With the truce both sides disengaged and formed a demilitarized zone (DMZ). Part of North Korea is below the 38th Parallel and part of South Korea is above the 38th Parallel. The film also fails to take into account the DMZ is a heavily wooded area.

[i] International Movie Database, Die Another Day (2002) - Trivia - IMDb, last accessed 5/17/21. A relationship would also appear a plot hole since M was frank about Miranda not having office romances.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Robert Sacchi

Comments

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 24, 2021:

That makes sense.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 24, 2021:

I think grammar is the next step. Before that a learner should be able to use the words with as far as accurate sounds of the words, so that, he/ she can communicate well.

Thank yoj.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 23, 2021:

Thank you for reading and commenting. "Die Another Day" did have a lot going for it. Lots of action and gadgets.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 23, 2021:

One of my favorite installments in the Bond franchise! Looking forward to when No Time to Die hits theaters (or streaming).

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 21, 2021:

My German teacher in college explained to me he had taken some high school French and he was with someone who had college grade French. He explained when speaking with French people he was able to do much better. Speaking happens quick. If someone tries to get the grammar perfect the conversation will be long gone by the time that person is ready to say something.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 20, 2021:

Yes, you are right. A learner can use TV for English language. What I've observed is not all are intersted to learn English in a familiy. Each one wants to watch different shows.

Otherwise, it would be perfect to learn English by saving money and time.

Later on someone is interested, he/she has to go to institution for learning. That needs money and taking any kind of transportation to the institution is not free. And the time taken to travel and strudy every day.

Some know English if they had gone to school. We have two kinds of schools. Government and private.

A person from government background usually does not have good spoken English, some surely has good written English. Example politicians and beaurocrats including media persons have poor spoken English. But surely they are good in reading alone and in writing in English.

People from private schools are better in spoken English, May not be good in written English

There are a group of people who had never been to school, but their English is million times better than the M.A. in English people who speak English!

They are the trekking guides. Some of them, I know personally, they can speak French, Italian, German, Spanish. Japanese... You name it.

One guide I know him, he can speak English, Italian, spanish and French. A rare person! But he can't write! May be he writes only his name for signature. Otherwise it would not have been possible for him to travel U.S. or Europian countires in the past.

Thank you.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 20, 2021:

Learning languges is a talent. I'm amazed at how some people are able to learn new languages. On tip with TV is to turn on the Closed Caption. It's not just the dialogue but they can caption uses correct terms for sounds. Descriptive movies are even better. These are movies that include sound for visually impaired people. A narrator describes the scenes.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 19, 2021:

Vedeo Night in Kathmndu by Pico Ieyer tells the story: How TV sets entered Kathmandu in the later part of 70s.

After that TV got into every home. These days big screen TVs is the pride of a house!!

Then all channels from around the is accessible. Its just finger tips away. English movies and all soap operas can be viewed. CNN, voice of America FOX included.

But the large part popultion is glued to the Hindi Channels. But send their kids to expensive English Medium schools.

They haven't realised yet that English also can be learnt by watching movies on the TV.

Thank you.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 19, 2021:

Do you get movies on television? Do they show foreign films? Are the dubbed or subtitled?

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 19, 2021:

I don't think apart from the elite class know about 007 and Ian Fleming. English language itself was for the elite children only in those years in Nepal

I don't belong to such class. I belong to simple humab group.

Thank you

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 19, 2021:

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I can see why a Catholic school would object to Ian Fleming's Bond books and the Bond movies. By the end of the '60s the Bond movies were tame by U.S. standards. How do these books and movies compare to the standards in Nepal?

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 18, 2021:

I've watched only one movie in a cinema hall during my school days. Catholic priests never allowed us to watch James Bond mobies or read James Bond books.

That's why I stealthy came out from the hostel to go for the morning show 10.am on Sunday after the Mass.

I entered the hall when the light was off and advertisement was going on on the screen.

At the interval when lights were on, I found myself sitting among 29 friends from the hostel who had already come to enjoy the film!

After watching the film, we returned to the hostel through the same route.

No other hostelers knew about us.

I've related my childhood story to explore and refine my writing skill even through commenting.

I have read and I've to reread your to bulid up my language.

I know there is no short cut. Because I'm from defferent land and language.

Thank you very much.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 18, 2021:

I really miss that because feedback is a great asset for a site. It's a good way to help the author and improve the content. That's happened to me a couple of times. I usually look at older works. I know author's older works are often not seen in favor of recent works. I tend to send author feedback through their contact. It's very clunky though.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 18, 2021:

Bob - If it appears on your feed (as in someone, including the author has recently commented on it) you can comment. Otherwise, I don't know. I assume many of the people who follow one another offer forgiveness for not commenting as regularly as they used to because sometimes it's hard to "catch" an article before it goes to a niche site and you can't find it on your feed. It's gone and you're both just out of luck. Anyway, welcome back.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 18, 2021:

Thank you all for reading and commenting:

Liz Westwood - Having a character imprisoned and tortured is a good way to give a film a dark tone. Bond took a comical turn with the Roger Moore era. The comedy was reflected in the Bond girls in Roger Moore's first 3 outings as Bond.

Keith Abt - Brosnan is probably #2 on many 007 lists. He was the one many wanted. It's good when a franchise listens to the fans. Shameless self-promotion I also posted Hubs on the Bond movies of other decades.

Keith Abt from The Garden State on May 18, 2021:

I've been slowly re-visiting the Bond films in order but haven't quite made it to the Brosnan era yet. It's been a while since I've seen this one but I remember enjoying it. Pierce is my 2nd favorite 007 (right behind Connery).

Liz Westwood from UK on May 17, 2021:

I recall seeing this movie at the cinema. It had a different, darker feel to the previous ones. Some with Roger Moore had quite comical scenes. You have done a good analysis and brought it back to my memory. It has been a long wait since the last release in the franchise.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 17, 2021:

Thank you both for reading and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby - Glad you like the review. They are fun movies.

FlourishAnyay - I was tied down with other projects and I'm back to working full time. There are advantages and disadvantages in that category.

Do either of you know how to comment on articles once they go into a Maven niche? While my hits have gone up it makes having a community of Hubbers difficult.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 17, 2021:

Although I do not follow the Bond franchise I liked your account of the storyline. It’s good to see you again!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 17, 2021:

I appreciate your review of this James Bond movie, Robert. It is another awesome James Bond movie, I really like all of the James Bond movies and I enjoyed this review, Robert. Thank you.

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