Die Another Day

These days, does anybody actually refer to a new James Bond movie by its actual title, or do they just say "The new James Bond movie"? I wonder. Anyway, I wasn't going to see this, because Bond just doesn't do it for me anymore (the last I saw was 1995's GoldenEye, and that was only because I had designed the web site for it), especially with the ho-hum Pierce Brosnan. But it was Christmas, and my Mom wanted to go to the movies. So I went with her.

I am happy to report, at least, that over the past four films, Brosnan has grown into 007's shoes. But really, the gadgets have become so high-tech, and the villains have become so bland, that I can't see how anybody finds this franchise exciting anymore. Sure, stuff blows up, Halle Berry and newcomer Rosamund Pike are easy on the eyes, and there are lots of chases, but there's no real sense of suspense or danger. (Also, title singer Madonna has a cameo as a fencing instructor. Your reaction to this may vary.)

Die Another Day scores a minor coup in terms of topicality by making its villains North Koreans; surely the filmmakers couldn't have foreseen the recent troubles with that country when they developed the idea. But I think what the owners of the Bond franchise should really do is take some of the original Ian Fleming books – the ones wasted by the sloppy Roger Moore outings in the late '70s/early '80s – and remake them, setting them in the early '60s with era-appropriate technology, music, and sexual mores. That might be something to see.