Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Toby Stephens, Rick Yune, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Madsen
Director: Lee Tamahori
Screenwriters: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Time to put this franchise to bed … permanently! It used to be that Bond villains were distinct and thus memorable. No more. It used to be that the usual banter between Bond and his girlfriends and/or foes was sharp, now it’s just tacky and trivial. Equally tiring is having Bond abuse the good graces of weapons genius “Q” (John Cleese). You’d think, by now, Bond would be a little bit grateful to the old guy for having saved his butt so many times. It used to be that Bond films were known for their great opening stunt sequences. As of this film, the stunts seem to have turned the Bond character into more of a comic book figure than any of the superheroes we’ve seen on screen lately. As for Brosnan, although seemingly fit, he’s starting to look particularly rough around the edges. Saving the world isn’t what it used to be. If you ask me, it isn’t just Bond’s martini that needs some shaking up.
The Lowdown: After having been betrayed during a mission in North Korea, James Bond is tortured and imprisoned for 14 months. After gaining his release, he comes back with a vengeance to seek his betrayer and solve the latest global catastrophe involving evil mastermind Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) and the sale of conflict diamonds disguised as legit ones from Graves’ mine in Iceland. Graves, who’s also developing a powerful satellite weapon, has ties to North Korea and Bond’s arch foe Zao (Rick Yune). In his quest, Bond meets up with Jinx (Halle Berry) and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike).
Lotta says: The best thing is watching Bond get tortured (nothing too graphic) and seeing him end up looking like a homeless bum for once. The worst is the stupid surfing scene at the beginning. Judi Dench remains an excellent choice to head up the spy agency. Her no-nonsense approach is a breath of fresh air amid the stagnation.