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After a spectacular opening sequence surfing into North Korea which ends in a chase in armed hovercraft over the mine-laden DMZ, Bond fails to escape and ends up being interrogated and brutalised for 14 months in a North Korean gaol. When he's finally exchanged for Zao, Rick Yune, M, Judi Dench doesn't believe he hasn't cracked under the pressure, he's relieved of his 00 status. But our James is determined to track down the people who betrayed him. Which leads him to Cuba where he meets up with an American agent Jinx, Halle Berry, rising from the waves just like Ursula Andress in Dr. No, and then to Iceland where the megolomaniac Gustav Graves , Toby Stephens, is of course planning to take over the world. Graves' right hand man is Zao and his PR is run by Miss Frost, Rosamund Pike. There's a lot of frolic in ice and snow with an invisible car supplied by Q, John Cleese and close encounters of the secondary kind. Very obviously working with digital special effects this really Is just another Bond movie, no more, no less. I felt that Michael Apted added to the genre with the last in the series The World is Not Enough, unfortunately Die Another Day relies very heavily on the self-parody and doesn't take Bond nearly seriously enough, he's not a character any more, he's just going through the motions. You won't be majorly disappointed by the film but you won't be especially exhilarated either.Comments From David StrattonAfter 40 years and 20 films, the James Bond franchise is getting a bit long in the tooth. The puns and double entendres are more excruciating than ever and there's a slight feeling of desperation about finding new places for Bond to go and new action highlights. After a bright opening (if the surfing in North Korea is really as good as this I wonder they don't make Blue Crush 2 there), the film begins to slip when Bond is captured at the top of a waterfall (hasn't he seen The Fugitive? If Harrison Ford could do it, surely James Bond could!) And when the gimmick Q gives 007 is an Aston Martin that can be made invisible, all the needed credibility flies out of the window. Brosnan is a good Bond, and the film has some fine sequences, but it should have been a lot better.

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