December 6, 2002

Try Another Way

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Pierce Brosnan’s coy, slicker-than-a-new-Cadillac presence makes Ian Fleming’s timeless character of James Bond a natural fit. Die Another Day is the latest of the most successful movie series in history, and it is Brosnan’s fourth go as the famous spy with all the right moves, the gadgets, and of course the girls. The talented actor displays the confidence and ease that made Sean Connery so successful in the tux drinking those “shaken, not stirred” martinis. The problem with the latest Bond isn’t Brosnan — his acting is actually one of the best things the film has going for it. Die Another Day’s greatest flaw lies in its need to one-up the previous Bonds; not with the actual story, but with gaudy, plot-deviating technology reminiscent of the latest Star Wars mess. The scene where Mr. Bond windsurfs on a broken car door with a parachute was so obviously graphically enhanced that I was having Jar-Jar Binks flashbacks.

The movie opens well with a fast-paced and well-shot chase scene and unexpectedly adds elements of defeat for which James Bond isn’t known. Immediately, Bond is captured and held captive for 14 months by Korean freedom fighters. As the movie progresses, Bond’s rusty spy skills show a few technical flaws and he admits to his problems with maintaining relationships longer than, well