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Die Another Day (2002) is the twentieth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth and last to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6marker agent James Bond. In the pre-title sequence, Bond leads a mission to North Koreamarker, during which he is found out and, after 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 he follows a trail of clues in an effort to earn redemption by finding his betrayer and learning the intentions of billionaire Gustav Graves, who in typical Bond fashion is not all he seems.

Die Another Day, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and directed by Lee Tamahori, marks the franchise's 40th anniversary (begun in 1962 with Sean Connery starring in Dr. No). It includes references to each of the preceding films and also alludes to several Bond novels.

The film received mixed reviews—some critics praised Lee Tamahori's work on the film, while others pointed out the damage caused to the plot by the excessive use of CGI. In spite of its flaws, it became the highest grossing James Bond film to that date. It was distributed by MGM themselves in North America, and internationally through 20th Century Fox. The MPAA rated this movie (in edited version) PG-13 for Intense Sequences of Action Violence, and Sexual Content including Innuendo.

Plot

James Bond infiltrates a North Koreanmarker 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. A 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 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 M 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. M explains he is to be transported to the Falkland Islandsmarker where he will be detained indefinitely until he is no longer a threat. By intentionally stopping his heart rate, Bond manages to escape his recovery room off the shore of Hong Kongmarker and learns through a Chinese Intelligence contact that Zao is in Havana, Cuba. While in Havana, Bond meets NSAmarker agent Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson.

Bond and Jinx meet in Cuba.


Bond follows Zao and Jinx to a gene therapy clinic where patients can have their appearances altered. 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 billionaire Gustav Graves. Bond later encounters Graves at a 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 posed 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. 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 a 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, 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.

Cast

  • Pierce Brosnan as James Bond 007, an MI6marker agent who is betrayed during a mission and subsequently dismissed under accusations that he leaked information to North Korea. Once reinstated with MI6, he tracks down Zao and uncovers a plot to reunite North and South Korea using military force.
  • Halle Berry as Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson, an NSAmarker agent who collaborates with Bond to track Zao and find his connection to the mysterious Gustav Graves. Berry described her character, Jinx, as "more modern" than her counterparts from previous films, "fashion-forward", and "the next step in the evolution of women in the Bond movies." According to an ITV news poll, Jinx was voted the fourth toughest on-screen girl of all time.
  • Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves, a British entrepreneur, though actually is Colonel Moon, who changed his appearance with the assistance of gene therapy technology and creates a satellite that uses diamonds to bring sunshine to the world at night. His real aim, however, is to assist North Korea's conquest of South Korea by destroying a mine field between the two countries and taking out nuclear warheads fired by North Korea's enemies.
  • Rick Yune as Zao, a North Korean who helps Graves implement his plans and machinations. Yune described Zao as one of the most "extreme" looking Bond villains; Yune's makeup—which included the implantation of real diamonds—required three hours.
  • Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost, a double agent who initially poses as Bond's ally but later reveals herself to be an affiliate of Graves. Of filming her scenes with Brosnan, Pike said "We had pretty fantastic sex." But movie producers decided much of the footage was "too hot" and the sex scenes were trimmed.
  • Judi Dench as M, the strict head of MI6 who revokes Bond's licence to kill when he is released from prison, but later re-enlists him to help foil Graves' scheme.
  • Will Yun Lee as Colonel Moon, a rogue North Korean army colonel who, though Bond thinks him dead after their first encounter, is found to be alive, and has altered his appearance to take on the identity of British billionaire Gustav Graves.
  • Kenneth Tsang as General Moon, Colonel Moon's father. He is a strong advocate of North Korea's peaceful reunion with the South. He opposes his son's plan for reunification through violent conquest and is killed by his son for what the ex-colonel perceives as a lack of vision.
  • John Cleese as Q, MI6's "quartermaster" who supplies Bond with multi-purpose vehicles and gadgets which prove useful in the latter's mission. Having previously played the role of Q's protege "R" in The World Is Not Enough, Cleese takes over the role of Q following Desmond Llewelyn's death.
  • Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny, M's secretary.
  • Lawrence Makoare as Mr. Kil, one of Gustav Graves' henchmen.
  • David Decio as Mr. Kil's PA, Mr. Kil's personal assistant.
  • Emilio Echevarría as Raoul, the manager of a Havana cigar factory, and a British sleeper. He helps Bond find Zao in Cuba.
  • Michael Madsen as Damian Falco, a high-ranking official in the NSA. In a 2002 interview Madsen remarked that "It's not a big role, but it's somewhat pivotal in that it introduces a new recurring character."
  • Madonna as Verity, Bond's fencing instructor.


Production

Filming

The opening sequence was shot with surfers at Peahi, or Jaws, off of the North coast of Maui in December 2001.


The shooting of Die Another Day began on 11 January 2002 at Pinewood studios. The film was shot primarily in the United Kingdom, Icelandmarker, and Cádiz, Spainmarker. Other locations included Pinewood Studios' historic 007 Stagemarker, and scenes shot in Mauimarker, Hawaiimarker, 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, Cornwallmarker. Scenes inside Graves' diamond mine were also filmed in Cornwallmarker, at the Eden Projectmarker. 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 Clubmarker 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, Norwaymarker and Jökulsárlón, Icelandmarker were used for the car chase on the ice with additional scenes filmed at Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norwaymarker and RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershiremarker.



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 Odihammarker 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."

Music

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.

References to other films

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 Gloriamarker 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 (Jökulsárlónmarker) used in the pre-credits sequence of A View to a Kill.

Zao's Jaguar XKR used in Die Another Day, seen at a James Bond convention.
In addition to the film-specific references, Bond's new watch is described as "your twentieth" and the film also references 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. 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.

Marketing tie-ins

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.

Release and reception

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% "Rotten" 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!"

Novelization

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.

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