|Die Another Day|
|James Bond||Pierce Brosnan|
|Also starring||Halle Berry
Will Yun Lee
|Directed by||Lee Tamahori|
|Produced by||Michael G. Wilson
|Novel/Story by||Neal Purvis
|Screenplay by||Neal Purvis
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Main theme||Die Another Day|
|Editing by||Christian Wagner|
Sony Pictures Entertainment
|Release date(s)||November 20, 2002|
|Running time||133 minutes|
|Worldwide gross||$431,971,116 |
|Preceded by||The World Is Not Enough|
|Followed by||Casino Royale|
Die Another Day (2002) is the twentieth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth and last film to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond; it is also the last Bond film of the original timeline with the series being rebooted with Casino Royale. In the pre-title sequence, Bond leads a mission to North Korea, during which he is found out and, after seemingly killing a rogue North Korean colonel, he is captured and imprisoned. More than a year later, Bond is released as part of a prisoner exchange, and, surmising that someone within the British government betrayed him, he follows a trail of clues in an effort to earn redemption by finding his betrayer and learning the intentions of Gustav Graves, who in typical Bond fashion, is not all that he seems.
Die Another Day, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Lee Tamahori, marks the franchise's 40th anniversary. The series began in 1962 with Sean Connery starring as Bond in Dr. No. Die Another Day includes references to each of the preceding films and also alludes to several Bond novels.
The 2002 film received mixed reviews—some critics praised Lee Tamahori's work on the film, while others claimed the plot was damaged by excessive use of CGI. Thus lauded by some and despite criticism, it was the highest-grossing James Bond film to that date.
James Bond infiltrates a North Korean military base belonging to Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, and poses as an arms dealer trading African conflict diamonds for weaponry. Bond attempts to assassinate Moon, but has his true identity revealed by Zao, Moon’s assistant, during the transaction when someone transmits Bond's top-secret MI6 personnel file to Zao. A hovercraft chase results in the disfiguring of Zao’s face and the apparent death of Colonel Moon after Bond runs him off a cliff. Bond is captured and imprisoned by the Colonel’s father, General Moon, and subsequently tortured.
After fourteen months of captivity, Bond is traded, on the Korean border, for Zao in a prisoner exchange. Bond is informed by M that his 00 status has been suspended. His freedom was a result of the Americans and MI6 believing he was hemorrhaging sensitive information to North Korea during his torture and they wanted to get him back under their control before he was able let out any more information. Bond, knowing that he never revealed any information, instead surmises that someone within MI6 betrayed him, first by revealing his identity to Moon and Zao, and then by revealing the identities of deep-cover operatives who were subsequently assassinated, attributed to his "breaking" under torture.
Nonetheless, M explains he is to be transported to the Falkland Islands where he will be detained indefinitely until he is no longer a threat. By intentionally stopping his heart rate through meditation, Bond manages to escape his recovery room off the shore of Hong Kong and learns through a Chinese Intelligence contact that Zao is in Havana, Cuba. While in Havana, Bond meets NSA agent Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson. They have sex in a hotel room.
Bond follows Zao and Jinx to a gene therapy clinic where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Jinx is posing as a client to find information on Zao, but Bond finds him first. Zao escapes Bond and Jinx, but leaves evidence of several conflict diamonds bearing the laser signature of British tycoon Sir Gustav Graves. Bond later encounters Graves at a London fencing club along with his assistant Miranda Frost, also an undercover MI6 agent. Bond is invited to Iceland for a scientific demonstration after showing Graves one of his diamonds.
At the demonstration in Iceland, Graves unveils a new orbital mirror satellite (dubbed “Icarus”) the ostensible purpose of which is to harness solar energy and focus it to areas of earth to provide day- and year-round sunshine for crop development. Jinx, who is at the ceremony posing now as a journalist, infiltrates the command center of the Iceland mansion and locates Zao, who is using the same gene therapy equipment found in Cuba. When Jinx tries to infiltrate she is given an electric shock and is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up she finds a laser beam to kill her. Bond arrives and rescues Jinx after being captured by the henchman Mr. Kil. After seeing Zao, Bond realizes that Colonel Moon survived their original encounter and is using the technology to assume the identity and appearance of Gustav Graves.
Bond confronts Graves, but Frost arrives to reveal herself as the traitor and the one who exposed Bond in North Korea. Frost has also tampered with Bond’s gun when they slept together the night before. Bond escapes and is pursued by the solar beam of the Icarus satellite, controlled by Moon. Bond escapes and returns to the facility to rescue Jinx, where he is discovered and chased by Zao. Zao dies after Bond tricks him into crashing his car into a flooded portion of the facility and a chandelier subsequently collapses on him. Bond then rescues an unconscious Jinx from drowning when she was trapped in Frost's bedroom and revives her.
Bond and Jinx then pursue Grave and Frost to the Korean peninsula and end up stowing away on Graves' cargo plane. Graves reveals his true identity to his father, General Moon, and the purpose of the Icarus satellite. He plans to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with Concentrated Sun Light, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and reunite the countries through force. General Moon draws a gun to maintain peace, but is then murdered by his son.
Bond advances on Graves to stop the attack while Jinx attempts to regain control of the plane. Frost finds and attacks Jinx, but is killed in the fight after being stabbed in the chest. Meanwhile, Bond and Graves engage in a fist fight. Graves gains the upper hand against Bond and after the plane is severely damaged from passing through the beam, Bond is able to pull a ripcord from Graves' attached parachute (which draws him closer to the door) and then electrocute him, which sends him flying out the plane, only to be ingested by the engine. Bond and Jinx escape the crashing plane via a helicopter in the cargo hold along with the entire stash of Graves’ diamonds. They take shelter and roll around in them. But they are disappointed because they must return the diamonds as they are illegal.
Principal photography of Die Another Day began on 11 January 2002 at Pinewood studios. The film was shot primarily in the United Kingdom, Iceland, and Cádiz, Spain. Other locations included Pinewood Studios' historic 007 Stage, and scenes shot in Maui, Hawaii, in December 2001. Laird Hamilton and other professional surfers were hired to perform in the pre-title surfing scene, which was shot near Cádiz and Newquay, Cornwall. Scenes inside Graves' diamond mine were also filmed in Cornwall, at the Eden Project. The scenes involving the Cuban locations Havana and the fictional Isla Los Organos were filmed at La Caleta, Spain.
The scenes featuring Berry in a bikini were shot in Cádiz; the location was reportedly cold and windy, and footage has been released of Berry wrapped in thick towels between takes to avoid catching a chill. Berry was injured during filming when debris from a smoke grenade flew into her eye. The debris was removed in a 30-minute operation.
In London, the Reform Club was used to shoot several places in the film, including the lobby at the Blades Club, MI6 Headquarters, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, and Westminster. Svalbard, Norway and Jökulsárlón, Iceland were used for the car chase on the ice with additional scenes filmed at Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway and RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire.
The scene where Bond surfs the wave that Icarus created when Graves was trying to kill Bond was shot on the blue screen. The waves and all of the glaciers in the scene were digitally produced.
The hangar interior of the "US Air Base in South Korea", shown crowded with Chinook helicopters, was filmed at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, UK, as were the helicopter interior shots during the Switchblade sequence although this took place entirely on the ground with the sky background being added post-shooting using blue screen techniques. Although in the plot the base is American, in reality all the aircraft and personnel in the shot are British. In the film, a Switchblade (one-man glider shaped like a fighter jet) is used by Bond and Jinx to enter North Korea undetected. The Switchblade was based on a workable model called "PHASST" (Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport). Kinetic Aerospace Inc.'s lead designer, Jack McCornack was impressed by director Lee Tamahori's way of conducting the Switchblade scene and said, "It's brief, but realistic. The good guys get in unobserved, thanks to a fast cruise, good glide performance, and minimal radar signature. It's a wonderful promotion for the PHASST." Also, Graves' plane was a 20-foot wide model that was controlled by a computer. When the plane flew through the Icarus beam, engineers cut the plane away piece by piece so that it looked like it was burning and falling apart.
The sex scene between Bond and Jinx—the first time onscreen in the series in which Bond is depicted actually having sex as opposed to a post-coital scenario—had to be trimmed for the American market. An early cut of Die Another Day featured a brief moment—seven seconds in length—in which Jinx is heard moaning strongly. The MPAA ordered that the scene be trimmed so that Die Another Day could get the expected PG-13 rating. The scene was cut as requested, earning the film a PG-13 rating for "action violence and sexuality."
The soundtrack was composed by David Arnold and released on Warner Bros. Records. He again made use of electronic rhythm elements in his score, and included two of the new themes created for The World is not Enough. The first, originally used as Renard's theme, is heard during the mammoth "Antonov" cue on the recording, and is written for piano. The second new theme, used in the "Christmas in Turkey" track of The World Is not Enough, is reused in the "Going Down Together" track.
The title song for Die Another Day was written and sung by Madonna, who also had a cameo in the film as a fencing instructor. This is the first Bond theme to directly depict the film's plot since Dr. No; all of the other previous Bond titles are stand-alone set pieces. The concept of the title sequence is to represent Bond trying to survive 14 months of torture at the hands of the North Koreans. Critics' opinions of the song were sharply divided—it was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, but also for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song of 2002. In a MORI poll for the Channel 4 programme "James Bond's Greatest Hits", the song was voted 9th out of 22, and also came in as an "overwhelming number one" favorite among those under the age of 24.
To acknowledge that Die Another Day marked the 40th anniversary of the James Bond film series and was the 20th entry in the official series, references to every one of the preceding nineteen films were incorporated. The smuggling of diamonds and the use of a satellite with a powerful laser, and the villain surviving the pre-title sequence and returning with a new identity were the themes lifted from Diamonds Are Forever. So is Gustav Graves' comment that "diamonds are for everyone" and the clear, ovate, cross-hatched floor in his office, which was last seen in Willard Whyte's penthouse lair. The Venice fight scene in Moonraker wherein display cases and other valuable artifacts are destroyed, was also remade as the fencing match. The exterior of Graves' command center is a tropical forest, also akin to Moonraker. The revocation of Bond's licence to kill and his loss of double-0 status traced its origin to Licence to Kill. Graves' starting a man-made ice mountain avalanche to kill Bond is from On Her Majesty's Secret Service; the uniforms worn by the guards at Graves' ice palace also resemble the ones worn by Blofeld's men at Piz Gloria in that film. There are several gadgets that appear in Q's laboratory, such as the shoe blade and trick attaché case that appeared in From Russia with Love, the jet-pack and the underwater rebreather from Thunderball, the 'Snooper' device from A View to a Kill, and the Acro-jet and the alligator submarine from Octopussy. Also, the scene in the Hong Kong hotel room where Bond catches Chang trying to film him making love is a reference to Grant and Klebb filming the same scene in From Russia with Love. Like Honey Rider in Dr. No, Jinx is first seen rising out of the sea, wearing a bikini, knife, and belt. The gunbarrel sound from Dr. No can be heard in the background as Bond climbs up the side of a dock after escaping a hospital ship. Jinx is strapped to a table and threatened with a laser in a reference to Goldfinger. The Union Jack parachute that Graves uses echoes Bond's parachute in The Spy Who Loved Me. Bond going through a room filled with mirrors while chasing Zao in the gene clinic, and M meeting Bond inside a wrecked ship are both from The Man With The Golden Gun. Bond eating some grapes after a kill inside the clinic is similar to the Thunderball pre-title sequence. Q's line from Goldfinger, "I never joke about my work," is also reprised. The Aston Martin car chase on the ice and the climax inside a cargo jet plane are reminiscent of similar sequences in The Living Daylights, while a shot-by-shot reference to the ending of Goldfinger (someone shoots a bullet through a plane window, causing cabin depressurisation and eventually Graves' death through the open window) is used. The ice chase takes place on the same glacial lagoon location (Jökulsárlón) used in the pre-credits sequence of A View to a Kill.
In addition to the film-specific references, Bond's new watch is described as "your twentieth" and the film also refers to the creation of the name "James Bond". When 007 picks up the book Birds of the West Indies, it is a nod to the author of the book, James Bond, whose name Ian Fleming used. The film also mentions land and water speed racer Donald Campbell; post-Fleming Bond author John Pearson wrote a book about him entitled Bluebird and the Dead Lake. Die Another Day is the first film since 1989's Licence to Kill to include notable elements from the James Bond novels. In particular, the name of the North Korean villain Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, traces its origins to that of Kingsley Amis' novel Colonel Sun. A number of elements from Fleming's original novel Moonraker are also included; in both of these, a villain adopts a new identity of a British millionaire and creates a desirable space-device but actually intends to use it for destructive purposes. In addition, the club called Blades, a fencing club in the film, was featured as a card club in Moonraker. According to actress Rosamund Pike in her DVD commentary track for the film, her character Miranda Frost was originally named Gala Brand, which was the name of a character in the Moonraker novel, but this was changed before filming began.
MGM and Eon Productions granted Mattel the license to sell a line of Barbie dolls based around the franchise. Mattel announced that the Bond Barbies will be at her "stylish best", clad in evening dress and red shawl. Lindy Hemming created the dress, which is slashed to the thigh to reveal a telephone strapped to Barbie's leg. The doll was sold in a gift set, with Barbie's boyfriend Ken posing as Bond in a tuxedo designed by the Italian fashion house Brioni.
Revlon also collaborated with the makers of Die Another Day to create a cosmetics line based round the character Jinx. The limited edition 007 Colour Collection was launched on 7 November 2002 to coincide with the film's release. The product names were loaded with puns and innuendo, with shades and textures ranging from the warm to cool and frosted.
Carrera, a slot car manufacturer, sold a 1:43 scale slot car set based on the film which included an Aston Martin Vanquish and a Jaguar XKR as well as track. Corgi, a well known British toy car manufacturer released 1:30 scale replicas of the Vanquish & Jaguar XKR.
Die Another Day was released on November 20, 2002 in both the United States and London. The Queen and Prince Philip were guests of honour at the world premiere, which was the second to be attended by the Queen after You Only Live Twice. The Royal Albert Hall had a make-over for the screening and had been transformed into an ice palace. Proceeds from premiere, about £500,000, were donated to the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund of which the Queen is patron. On the first day, ticket sales reached £1.2 million. Die Another Day was the highest grossing James Bond film until the release of Casino Royale. It earned $432 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest grossing film of 2002.
Die Another Day became a controversial subject in eastern Asia. The North Korean government disliked the portrayal of their state as brutal and war-hungry. The South Koreans boycotted 145 theaters where it was released on 31 December 2002, as they were offended by a scene where an American officer issues orders to the South Korean army in the defense of their homeland, and by a lovemaking scene near a statue of the Buddha. The "Jogye" Buddhist Order issued a statement that the film was "disrespectful to our religion and does not reflect our values and ethics." The Washington Post reported growing resentment in the nation towards the United States. An official of the South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism said that Die Another Day was "the wrong film at the wrong time."
The amount of product placement in the film was a point of speculation, specifically from various news outlets such as the BBC, Time and Reuters who all used the pun "Buy Another Day". Reportedly 20 companies paying $70 million had their products featured in the film, a record at the time, although USA Today reported that number to be as high as $100 million. By choice, the number of companies involved in product placement dwindled to only eight for the next Bond film Casino Royale in 2006.
Rotten Tomatoes listed Die Another Day with a 59% rating. Metacritic gave the film a 56 out of 100 rating, representing "Mixed or average reviews." 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." 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." Entertainment Weekly magazine also gave a positive reaction, saying that Tamahori, "a true filmmaker", has reestablished the series' pop sensuality. Dana Stevens of The New York Times called the film the best of the James Bond series since The Spy Who Loved Me. 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." According to a ITV news poll Jinx was voted the fourth toughest girl on screen of all time.
However, Die Another Day was strongly criticised for relying too much 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." 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 center stage while the Bond character is almost relegated to second string." Roger Moore remarked, "I thought it just went too far — and that’s from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!"
The novelization to Die Another Day was written by the then-current official James Bond writer, Raymond Benson, based on the screenplay by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Fan reaction to it was above average. Months after its publication, Benson retired as the official James Bond novelist. A new series featuring the secret agent's adventures as a teenager, by Charlie Higson was launched in 2005. As a result, the novel Die Another Day was the final literary work featuring Bond as originally conceived by Ian Fleming until the announcement of another novel scheduled for publication in 2008 to mark the 100th anniversary of Fleming's birth, Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks.
The World Is Not Enough
|James Bond Films
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