Die Another Day
No offense to the late great Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, but it looks like producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson are on their way to refining the semi-sure-shot not-so-secret formula that will restore James Bond to the top of the film chain, respect-wise. Director Lee Tamahori executes the "classic" Bond form--hot chicks, cool cars, exotic locations, freaky bad guys, and a dude who can spit "the name's Bond, James Bond" without stuttering--and the next-generation Broccoli roots are showing with the assignation of Theme Song duties to Madonna, who apparently traded her services for some bondage-couture-looking fencing gear and the carefully lit series of closeups in her cameo in this enterprise. Serving in the main "Bond Girl" slot opposite perfectly good double-oh Pierce Brosnan is the Oscar-winning gadong-a-dong-dong Halle Berry, who makes a "Venus rising" entrance à la ur-Bond Bomb Ursula Andress in 1962's Dr. No, sporting practically the same bathing suit, achieving practically the same result--one of many, many nods to the back catalog. There's the usual bullshit Bond-movie bullshit, including eviller-than-evil North Korean Zao (Rick Yune), being the freaky bad guy in the service of superfreaky bad guy Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), who, in the long tradition of James Bond bad guys, undergoes radical surgical procedures to conceal his identity and takes too long to exploit an opportunity to kill 007, even though he had him cold. So it looks like James Bond is gonna die another day, but not any time soon.