The final James Bond film with Pierce Brosnan as 007 and well I will say the special effects definitely are not the best (the opening shot alone) I would not say the film is bad. Spoiler alert as always. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
James Bond infiltrates a North Korean military base where he is quickly identified as an agent by Colonial Tan Sun-Moon (Will Yun Lee) and his assistant Zao (Rick Yune) during the illegal trading of weapons for African conflict diamonds. Despite attempts to kill him Bond seemingly kills Moon instead. Bond is captured by General Moon, the Colonial’s father, and is held in North Korea for 14 months, until he is traded for Zao. M (Judi Dench) informs Bond that his double 00 status has been suspended due to information leaked out. Bond believes a double agent has set him up and decides to go after Zao. He finds Zao in Cuba, along with the lovely NSA agent Giacinta Johnson aka Jinx (Halle Berry). He finds Zao at a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearance altered. Bond tries to kill Zao in therapy but he escaped. However Zao leaves a conflict diamond behind with an engraving identifying them as the diamonds owned by Gustav Graves (Toby Stevens) a billionaire within the last year. Bond also meets Gustav’s assistant Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) who is an undercover MI6 agent. M sends Bond to get close to Graves at his ice palace in Iceland (P.S. beautifully crafted). Graves’s plans include a satellite known as Icarus, focusing solar energy year round for crops, however Bond and Jinx (who has joined in on the mission) soon realize the truth: Graves is the not so dead Colonial Moon and Frost is working with him. Their plans are to use Icarus to cut a path into the Korean Demilitarized Zone which would allow North Korea to invade South Korea; reuniting the countries by force and essentially starting a nuclear war with the U.S. Bond and Jinx are making sure that was not gonna happen.
For his final turn as 007 Brosnan I thought did pretty well, but in comparison to the three previous this one is not his best. My thoughts on Berry will be later so I am moving on to the other characters. Moon or Gustav whatever you want to call him is out of the Brosnan villains the weakest out of the four as he is just greedy, power hungry and just wants to impress Daddy (it does NOT go over well). As far as bad guys go Frost and Zao are actually more memorable than the main villain. Zao not only looks creepy but is more than happy to kill when given the opportunity, especially at Bond. Frost starts off as the assistant, then MI6 agent and then evil femme fatale pretty quickly who is just as quick as Zao to use whatever at her disposal to get the job done. Judi Dench is once again the coolest and smartest head in the room in this one and it would also be the last time we would see Samantha Bond as Moneypenny (admittedly not her best work in the role at the end) and Jon Cleese as the new Q after the death of Desmond Llewellyn. Also keep an eye out for the Queen of Pop Madonna in a somewhat memorable role, along with her song in the movie. The action was decent (love the car in this one of course) as is the writing, but I get why this film does get a bad reputation with the special effects. This would be the last Bond film for nearly four years, until it was rebooted, but I’m getting ahead of myself. If you like the Bond franchise, specifically Brosnan’s, then I would say watch Die Another Day.