"Die Another Day": Why the hate?

I just looked at a Life.com feature about Bond girls, and the writer glibly referred to Die Another Day as “the most dreadful Bond movie ever made.” Okay, **Life *magazine hasn’t been a reliable hipness barometer since, I dunno, the invention of color film, but really? “The most dreadful”? I rather enjoyed it; it’s the only Bond movie I ever bought on DVD, and if we’re going to rank Bond movies in order of dreadfulness, this one has to wait in line behind every Moore, Dalton and Lazenby entry and at least two by Connery (Diamonds Are Forever and that awful one with Kim Basinger). I may be misremembering this, but I think it has the best Bond scene ever: Brosnan, bearded and with nothing to his name but the filthy blanket wrapped around him, strolls into the finest hotel in Hong Kong and demands (and gets) their finest room. Balls!

Thing is, I’ve heard this knock before. So Bond fans, sell me on the awfulness of this movie. What’s so bad about it that I never noticed before?

*Live and Let Die excepted, but just barely.

the awful one with Kim Basinger isn’t an official Bond film

To me, Die Another Day just takes most of the worst elements of the Bond movies and dials them up to 11. It’s a fight, with a genetically-altered villain, and his turncoat ice-queen accomplice, on an airplane, that flies through a death ray, and it’s breaking up!!! Jeez guys, tone it down a little. It’s like watching two swarms of bees fighting each other; all furious activity and no development or tension.

Plus, give me a freakin’ invisible car and even I could save the world.

I think the plot was OK, but Halle Berry was one of the worst Bond Girls I’ve ever seen (if not the absolute worst). There was negative screen chemistry between her and Brosnan. The blatant double-entendres in their banter sounded forced rather than smooth, as it does in most of the other movies.

The one I don’t get the hate for is “The World is Not Enough.” A lot of people seem to pick on Denise Richards, who I thought played her role reasonably well, but Oscar-winner Halle Berry was way, way worse, IMHO.

I wouldn’t say it was the worst Bond film ever but it definitely wasn’t much good. I think part of the problem is the story actually had potential, the first fifteen minutes are excellent and set things up nicely but then it all falls apart.

Unlike ‘Robot Arm’ I kind of enjoyed the last fifteen minutes as well even if it was incredibly over the top. I thought the whole genetic alteration thing was interesting as well and it did lead to one well done moment when the Korean general sees his son for the first time after he has transformed himself, “Oh, my son, what have you done…” or similar words.

However a couple of points, Bond fighting the sword-fight instructor (was that Madonna or have I gone insane? Always a distinct possibility…) he loses his temper and starts swinging wildly, that isn’t Bond, Bond is icy-cool and in control even when he’s seething with anger inside.

Also the 500 mph rocket sled that looked as if it was doing about 10 mph and the invisible car which doesn’t work as described (Bonds image would have been projected on the other side) and the car-chase on the ice where the cars can’t actually be damaged even by mortar rounds…oh, and when he’s driving the car on the ice Bond doesn’t engage the handy automatic spiked tyres which he uses to drive up a wall later. Poor show Mr Bond.

Irritating as in my opinion the best Bond is Brosnan, but only in the best Bond movie which is Goldeneye, the fight scene at the end is how Bond fights not flailing around like a five-year old in a temper tantrum.

edited to add I also thought TWINE was a very good Bond film.

“You won’t shoot, you’d miss me!”


“I never miss…”

I haven’t seen every Bond film, or even most of them, but DAD was definitely the worst of the ones I’ve seen. I only saw it once shortly after it came out on home video so I don’t exactly remember specifics of what I hated about it (other than Halle Berry) but I know I thought it was the definite low point of Brosnan’s Bond era.

The worst Bond movie is the one with Tanya Roberts. But DAD is right up there.

DAD was a very good film for the first half. Bond gets captured and tortured, and doesn’t escape, and is suspected by his own side of treason. It goes wrong half way through, and the rest is bad.

The exact moment when it turns from good to bad is the first appearance of the invisible car. That goes far beyond normal suspension of disbelief.

Other things wrong with it include :

  • re use of plot elements from other films, under the pretence of being “tributes.” A brief showing of Bond’s old jetpack is fine. A long sequence where he is strapped to a table with a laser beam coming to cut him in half is not. Many other parts of the plot are stolen from older films.

  • The guy with diamonds in his face, really they couldn’t remove them?

  • Mr Kil, worst henchman ever, who doesn’t get any bodycount before he dies.

  • ‘Yo mama’ worst line in any Bond film.

  • The fencing match goes on far too long and becomes tedious after a while.

  • The whole idea of a supposedly dead military officer suddenly reappearing in a new identity, with immense wealth, is almost as hard to swallow as the invisible car.
    Is that enough reasons?

1.) No way is Die Another Day anywhere near as bad as Moonraker. Jaws the human Coyote (from Road Runner cartoons)? Jaws’ Pippi Longstocking love interest? The totally unsubtle embedded advertising? The Star Wars-ripoff ending? (Actually, the whole film was a Star Wars-inspired fantasy. The next Bond film was to have been “For Your Eyes Only”, as the credits at the end of “The Spy Who Loved Me” told us.)God, no contest.

2.) And the Spy Who Loved Me was almost as bad (both of them written by the ham-handed Christopher Wood)

3.) DAD really did try to tie in features from every film. A lot of people got turned off by this.

4.) a lot of folks were turned off by Halle Berry, but I have to admit I liked her.

Is that the one that Halle Barry hijacked? There ya go.

Pierce Brosman made exactly one good James Bond film. TWINE was even worse than Die Another Day, but not by much.

I should stay out of this thread, as I have seen only two and a half Bond movies (Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace, and random bits of Goldfinger). But nobody ever said I was wise. Anywho, I didn’t see Bond as actually losing his temper in that scene. He was pretending to lose his temper to goad the other guy into doing so.


As for me, I kinda liked DAD for the thorough over-the-top silliness, but I understand people’s mileage varying.

Almost word-per-word what I came here to say. Not just his imprisonment, but his scenes in Cuba, with him going about armed with just a revolver and a classic convertable, were as good as Bond gets. After that it turned into a cartoon.

Worse moment? The “parasailing”.

I’m having a hard time remembering which was DAD and which was TWINE, but they were both bad.

Dalton generates a lot of hatred, but I consider his two Bond films to be fairly entertaining.

Lazenby’s one chance was actually pretty good, and come on … it had Diana Rigg in it. How bad could it be? On the other hand, it introduced the phrase “The World is Not Enough”, so it’s got that working against it.

“Diamonds Are Forever” was Connery’s worst, but at least it was still Connery (or technically was Connery again). They were starting to experiment with silliness by then, which has never worked well in a Bond film, and yet is something the series keeps returning to. Bastards.

Moore’s worst were “Live and Let Die” and “The Man With Golden Gun”. Maybe I’d add “View to a Kill” to that list. None of the others were in that class.

The beginning of the movie is very good, the whole POW, can’t trust the broken spy angle. Then when it gets to Cuba, it all starts to go down hill. Replacing people’s DNA to make them look like other people? The white English dude, is the same Korean dude that “died” at the beginning? Needless cameo by Madonna. Surfing on Glacial wave, with obvious CGI.

That may be the most disappointing thing in the movie to me, it was the first time they used CGI for the effects that looked totally fake. Bond films always prided themselves on using practical effects, and here they are using crappy CGI.

Is it the worst Bond film? No. Is it the best? Not even close. For me, it ranks just above the bottom 2, You Only Live Twice and Moonraker.

I can forgive the use of CGI. It’s a definite improvement over the effect we used to get. Less fake looking than certain rear view projectionshots, anyway.

I seriously beg to differ. Do you really think Live and let Die is worse than Moonraker? REALLY?

Actually, Ian Fleming’s novel introduced the Bond Family Motto. But this was the film it first appeared in.

As someone who has seen them all, I definitely don’t understand the hate for DAD. The tributes were amusing and it was a thousand times better than almost all of Roger Moore’s output and way, way better than On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Not to mention a disco version of John Barry’s classic Bond theme. (shudder)

The best thing about DAD was Rosamund Pike, yowza. Also the only reason to watch Doom the movie. YMMV.