Die Another Day (2002)

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Die Another Day (2002)

James Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul, who is funding the development of an international space weapon.

Die Another Day is a 2002 spy film and the twentieth film in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Lee Tamahori. The fourth and final film starring Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond, it was also the only film to feature John Cleese as Q, and the last with Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny.

Halle Berry co-stars as NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, the Bond girl. It follows Bond as he attempts to locate a mole in British intelligence who betrayed him and a British billionaire who is later revealed to be connected to a North Korean operative whom Bond seemingly killed. It is an original story, although it takes influence from Bond creator Ian Fleming’s novels Moonraker (1955) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1965).

Die Another Day marked the James Bond franchise’s 40th anniversary. The film includes references to each of the preceding films.[4] The film received mixed reviews; some critics praised Tamahori’s direction, but others criticized its reliance on CGI, product placement and its unoriginal plot, as well as the villain. Nevertheless, Die Another Day was the highest-grossing James Bond film up to that time.

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Die Another Day (2002) Trailer


Die Another Day (2002) Reviews

I realized with a smile, 15 minutes into the new James Bond movie, that I had unconsciously accepted Pierce Brosnan as Bond without thinking about Sean Connery, Roger Moore or anyone else. He has become the landlord, not the tenant. Handsome if a little weary, the edges of an Irish accent curling around the edges of the Queen’s English, he plays a preposterous character but does not seem preposterous playing him.”Die Another Day” is the 20th Bond film in 40 years, not counting “Casino Royale.” Midway through it, Bond’s boss M tells him, “While you were away, the world changed.” She refers to the months he spent imprisoned at the hands of North Korean torturers, but she might also be referring to the world of Bondian thrillers. This movie has the usual impossible stunts, as when Bond surfs down the face of a glacier being melted by a laser beam from space.But it has just as many scenes that are lean and tough enough to fit in any modern action movie. It also has a heroine who benefits from 40 years of progress in the way we view women. When Halle Berry, as Jinx, first appears in the movie there is a deliberate and loving tribute to the first Bond girl, Ursula Andress, in “Dr. No” (1962). In both movies, the woman emerges from the surf wearing a bikini which, in slow motion, seems to be playing catch-up.Even the wide belt is the same. But Jinx is a new kind of Bond girl. She still likes naughty double entendres (Bond says “My friends call me James Bond” and she replies, “Well that’s a mouthful”). But in “Die Another Day” her character is not simply decoration or reward, but a competent and deadly agent who turns the movie at times into almost a buddy picture.

The film opens with an unusual touch: The villains are not fantastical fictions, but real. The North Koreans have for the time being joined the Nazis as reliable villains, and Bond infiltrates in order to–I dunno, deal with some “African Conflict Diamonds,” if I heard correctly, but I wasn’t listening carefully because the diamonds are only the MacGuffin. They do, however, decorate the memorable cheekbones of one of the villains, Zao (Rick Yune), who seems to have skidded face down through a field of them at high impact.A chase scene involving hover tanks in a mine field is somewhat clumsy, the hover tank not being the most graceful of vehicles, and then Bond is captured and tortured for months. He’s freed in a prisoner exchange, only to find that M (Judi Dench) suspects him of having been brainwashed. Is he another Manchurian Candidate? Eventually he proves himself and after a visit to Q (John Cleese) for a new supply of gadgets, including an invisible car, he’s back into action in the usual series of sensational stunt sequences.For the first time in the Bond series, a computer-generated sequence joins the traditional use of stunt men and trick photography; a disintegrating plane in a closing scene is pretty clearly all made of ones and zeroes, but by then we’ve seen too many amazing sights to quibble.The North Koreans are allied with Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), a standard-issue world-dominating Bond villain, whose orbiting space mirror is not exactly original. What is original is Gustav’s decision to house his operation in a vast ice building in Iceland; since his mirror operates to focus heat on the Earth, this seems like asking for trouble, and indeed before long the ice palace is melting down, and Jinx is trapped in a locked room with the water level rising toward the ceiling.

(Exactly why the room itself doesn’t melt is a question countless readers will no doubt answer for me.) Other characters include the deadly Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), whose name is a hint as to which side she is on, and Damian Falco (Michael Madsen), whose name unites two villainous movie dynasties and leaves me looking forward to Freddy Lecter. Oh, and Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond), who seems to have been overlooked, makes a last-minute appearance and virtually seduces Bond.

The film has been directed by Lee Tamahori (whose credits include “Once Were Warriors” and “Mulholland Falls”), from New Zealand, who has tilted the balance away from humor and toward pure action. With “Austin Powers” breathing down the neck of the franchise, he told Sight & Sound magazine, it seemed like looking for trouble to broaden the traditional farcical elements.

“Die Another Day” is still utterly absurd from one end to the other, of course, but in a slightly more understated way. And so it goes, Bond after Bond, as the most durable series in movie history heads for the half-century. There is no reason to believe this franchise will ever die. I suppose that is a blessing.

  • Roger Ebert   –  Roger Ebert
  • Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.


Die Another Day (2002) Credits

Die Another Day movie poster

Die Another Day (2002)

Rated PG-13 For Action Violence and Sexuality

123 minutes


Pierce Brosnan as James Bond

Halle Berry as Jinx

Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves

Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost

Rick Yune as Zao

John Cleese as Q

Judi Dench as M

Directed by

  • Lee Tamahori

Written by

  • Neal Purvis
  • Robert Wade



Die Another Day (2002) Plot

MI6 agent James Bond infiltrates a North Korean military base where Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is trading weapons for African conflict diamonds. After Moon’s right-hand man Zao receives notification of Bond’s real identity, Moon attempts to kill Bond and a hovercraft chase ensues, ending with Moon’s craft tumbling over a waterfall. Bond is captured by North Korean soldiers and imprisoned by the Colonel’s father, General Moon.

After fourteen months of captivity and torture at the hands of the Korean People’s Army, Bond is traded for Zao in a prisoner exchange across the Bridge of No Return. He is sedated and taken to meet M, who informs him that his status as a 00 Agent has been suspended under suspicion of having leaked information under duress to the North Koreans. Bond is convinced that he has been set up by a double agent in the British government.

After escaping MI6 custody, he finds himself in Hong Kong, where he learns from Chang, a Chinese agent and old colleague, that Zao is in Cuba.

In Havana, Bond meets with NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, and follows her to a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Jinx kills Dr. Alvarez, the leader of the therapy, while Bond locates Zao inside the clinic and fights him. Zao escapes, leaving behind a pendant which leads Bond to a cache of conflict diamonds bearing the crest of the company owned by British billionaire Gustav Graves.

Bond learns that Graves only appeared a year prior, apparently discovering a vein of diamonds in Iceland leading to his current wealth and celebrity. At Blades Club in London, Bond meets Graves along with his assistant Miranda Frost, who is also an undercover MI6 agent. After a fencing match that escalates into a claymore duel, Graves invites Bond to Iceland for a scientific demonstration. M restores Bond’s Double-0 status, and Q issues him an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish with active camouflage.

At his ice palace in Iceland, Graves unveils a new orbital mirror satellite, “Icarus”, which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for agriculture. Bond seduces Frost and Jinx infiltrates Graves’ command centre, but is captured by Graves and Zao. Bond rescues her and discovers that Graves is Colonel Moon, who has used the gene therapy technology to change his appearance and amassed his fortune from conflict diamonds as a cover.

Bond confronts Graves, but Frost arrives to reveal herself as the traitor who betrayed him in North Korea, forcing Bond to escape from Graves’ facility. He returns in his Vanquish to rescue Jinx, who has been recaptured in the palace. As Graves uses Icarus to melt the ice palace, Zao pursues Bond into the palace using his Jaguar XKR. Bond kills Zao by causing a giant ice chandelier to fall onto him, and revives Jinx after she has almost drowned.

Bond and Jinx pursue Graves and Frost to the Korean peninsula and stow away on Graves’ An-124 cargo plane. Graves reveals his identity to his father, and the true purpose of the Icarus satellite: to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and unite the peninsula. Horrified, General Moon rejects the plan, but Graves murders him. Bond attempts to shoot Graves, but is prevented by a soldier.

In their struggle, a gunshot pierces the fuselage, causing the plane to decompress and descend rapidly. Bond and Graves engage in a fistfight, and Jinx attempts to regain control of the plane. Frost attacks Jinx, forcing her to defend herself in a sword duel. After the plane passes through the Icarus beam and is further damaged, Jinx kills Frost. Graves attempts to escape by parachute, but Bond opens the parachute, pulling Graves out of the plane and into one of its engines, disabling the Icarus beam.

Bond and Jinx escape from the disintegrating plane in a helicopter from the cargo hold, with Graves’ stash of diamonds. Later, they spend a romantic evening at a Buddhist temple.



Die Another Day (2002) Box office

On the first day of release, ticket sales reached £1.2 million at the UK box office.[34] Die Another Day grossed $47 million on its opening weekend in the US and Canada and was ranked number one at the box office.[35] The film would compete against Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Santa Clause 2 during the Thanksgiving weekend. Moreover, all three films were able to defeat the underperforming animated film Treasure Planet.

Later on, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Die Another Day would simultaneously reclaim the number one spot at the box office.[36] For six months, they were both the latest films to return to the top spot at the box office until Finding Nemo joined the group in June 2003.[37] The film earned $160.9 million in the US and Canada, and $431.9 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2002. Not adjusting for inflation, Die Another Day was the highest-grossing James Bond film until the release of Casino Royale in 2006.

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Die Another Day (2002) Critical Response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 56% based on 220 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Its action may be a bit too over-the-top for some, but Die Another Day is lavishly crafted and succeeds in evoking classic Bond themes from the franchise’s earlier installments.”[39] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100 based on 43 critics, indicating “mixed and average reviews”.[40] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade “A−” on scale of A to F.[41]

Michael Dequina of Film Threat praised the film as the best of the series to star Pierce Brosnan and “the most satisfying installment of the franchise in recent memory.”[40] Larry Carroll of CountingDown.com praised Lee Tamahori for having “magnificently balanced the film so that it keeps true to the Bond legend, makes reference to the classic films that preceded it, but also injects a new zest to it all.”[42] Entertainment Weekly magazine also gave a positive reaction, saying that Tamahori, “a true filmmaker”, has re-established the series’ pop sensuality.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times called the film the best of the James Bond series since The Spy Who Loved Me.[40] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who gave the film three stars out of four, stated “This movie has the usual impossible stunts … But it has just as many scenes that are lean and tough enough to fit in any modern action movie”.[44] Kyle Bell of Movie Freaks 365 stated in his review that the “first half of Die Another Day is classic Bond”, but that “Things start to go downhill when the ice palace gets introduced.”[45]

Several reviewers felt the film relied too heavily on gadgets and special effects, with the plot being neglected. James Berardinelli of Reelviews.net said, “This is a train wreck of an action film – a stupefying attempt by the filmmakers to force-feed James Bond into the mindless XXX mold and throw 40 years of cinematic history down the toilet in favor of bright flashes and loud bangs.” Of the action sequences, he said, “Die Another Day is an exercise in loud explosions and excruciatingly bad special effects.

The CGI work in this movie is an order of magnitude worse than anything I have seen in a major motion picture. Coupled with lousy production design, Die Another Day looks like it was done on the cheap.”[46] Gary Brown of the Houston Community Newspapers also described the weak point of the film as “the seemingly non-stop action sequences and loud explosions that appear to take centre stage while the Bond character is almost relegated to second string.

“Roger Moore, who played Bond in earlier films, said: “I thought it just went too far – and that’s from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!”[48]

The amount of product placement in Die Another Day had been a contemporaneous point of criticism, with the BBC, Time and Reuters referring mockingly to the film using the title “Buy Another Day”.[25][26] The producers subsequently chose to limit the number of companies involved in product placement to eight for the next Bond film, Casino Royale, in 2006.


Die Another Day (2002) Accolades


Die Another Day (2002) Movie Info

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is captured by North Korean agents and must serve a grueling prison sentence. He’s finally released, and is convinced that someone in his own agency betrayed him. He escapes from custody and travels to Cuba, hot on the heels of Zao (Rick Yune), the agent who put Bond behind bars. Meanwhile, Bond begins romancing NSA agent Jinx (Halle Berry) as he uncovers a scheme concocted by Zao and British millionaire Graves (Toby Stephens), involving a highly destructive laser.

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