Living Hell Extra!

Movie Review

JAMES BOND FORTY-- in years since DR. NO, that is-- pairs Pierce
Brosnan with Halley Berry, the latter as an assassin that Mr. Li-
cense to Kill meets in Cuba while chasing North Korean bad guys.
As casting choices go-- his fourth Bond movie, her first-- the two
are fine physical specimens, though I wouldn't call theirs' chemis-
try.  (There's more electricity in Berry's bikini-clad first appear-
ance, rising from the surf in campy slow-motion.  Yeah baby!)  DIE
ANOTHER DAY is long on plot, with Double O tracking the traitor re-
sponsible for his eighteen-month Red Army torture session that pas-
ses during the title credits.  (And which is accompanied by a lame
title song sung by Madonna and, frankly, which sounds like a stereo
system on the fritz.)  The pre-credits sequence is an explosive hov-
ercraft chase with too much CGI and too many shoddy marksmen.  Ear-
rattling pyrotechnics ensue.  Most are the stuff of yawns, but the
odd blast is impressive.  And once the story gets down to the brass
tacks of spy games and sex scenes, there are smaller delights to be
had-- the sight of Brosnan behind the wheel of a classic convertible
in Cuba, John Cleese officially adopting the role of Q (and channel-
ing a bit of Basil Fawlty with it), and Madonna cameo (as a fencing
instructor!) with the "actress" trying her hardest to do just that.
Dame Judi Densch's M has more scenes, too, though most are mostly
dour.  And the scenery's awfully good, when not obviously computer-
enhanced.  Nice, too, the vintage gadgetry in Q's quarters-- Bond's
old jetpack, a knife-popping shoe, etc.  Regrettably, not a bit of
it is necessarily compelling.  Just the usual sound and fury signi-
fying nothing and, now, four for four for Brosnan making bad Bond
movies.  I left after 90 minutes.

Copyright 2002 by Michael J. Legeros


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