(credit to casiron maiden for the clip)
You know, it's so strange because, I've seen my fair share of, Bond movies. I've seen them literally all from beginning to the end. And I remember this scene, still pretty vividly. I remember watching it with my Dad in the cinema. And it's like one of the very few scenes that really sort of hits you on the head.
And that is that scene with M and James Bond. When he's actually at the medical facility, he's just been rescued from, that Korean prison. He's now resting, he's recovering, and M is going to speak to him. And basically tell him why he's no longer in active duty.
And I mean, for all its faults and cribbles, I always found Die Another Day a real mixed bag of emotions because on one hand, yes, it gets a lot of flack for the overuse of CGI. I mean, let's be absolutely brutally honest here, there is so much CGI. But on the other hand, up till the bit where you see the invisible car, it's actually a bloody good movie!
It's so strange, if somebody put a gun to my head and said, Look, Mr Movie Muscle man, you have either Spectre or even Skyfall or Die Another Day I would say, you know what, it's actually a no brainer, I actually prefer Die Another Day than Skyfall. Seriously, I prefer it than Spectre, and those are like two of the recent movies that have come out.
So, imagine my surprise when I'm seeing a lot of flak and yet this scene is so critical. It's a scene, which for me tells us that M officially is Saying to Bond (brilliantly played by Pierce Brosnan, I mean, it's one of his finest roles here) basically, you're no longer in the field. You're basically redundant.
You're going to Iceland, to be re-evaluated, and that's it. But you know that if you read between the lines, as many, commentators have said, actually she's kind of implying to him, ‘I want you to escape, but I'm not allowed to authorize it. I'll be in trouble'.
And that's clever.
Certainly it's a scene that, for me, in my opinion I think it goes over a lot of people's heads. And it's a shame because I remember saying to him, you know what, I think the Bond franchise is in trouble. That is a really weird, out there, very random Bond film, you know, compared to the previous one (Which was, ‘The World Is Not Enough'). I mean, that was my first intro into the the Bond hemisphere, so to speak.
For me, it was my very first Bond film. I kind of been watching Bond on TV, but that to me was like the pinnacle moment, going from sort of watching it on TV to going to cinema. In my case, the second time. When I watched, ‘The World Is Not Enough', for me, that was a really good Bond flick. But then we had Die Another Day.
Little did we know, it was sort Brosnan's last one. And it was just a kinda really weird take on the character, really weird take on the story. We had Ice Palaces, we had really weird visual effects, which just simply do not hold true in this modern age. Although ironically, I would sort of, (not to contradict myself), prefer that than some of the stuff we get to see now. Some of the stuff now is so cartoonish, it takes me out. But back then, this was like the epitome of brilliant CGI.
Having said that, the premise was brilliant, and at times, very well executed. And at the end, you were left thinking, ‘What the hell was that about', you know?
I always describe Die another Day as in my opinion, a very beautiful mess. It was a mess. Some of the, plot points, I mean, Cryogenic therapy and all sorts.
It's all a bit mad. But I think it's a beautiful mess because there are times when it's actually really visually well shot. And a pretty serious one as well. It was like, it's kind of like Moonraker in a sense. I always say Die Another Day is like the modern take on Moonraker, except not shot in space, shot on the ground.
It has, for the first time in my memory, Bond being captured. Bond being tortured, Bond basically sort of literally almost in trouble, like he's not allowed to go back out and yet there is this, this sort of weird energetic thread that says he's gonna, he knows he's gonna escape, he's gonna perform some magic trick and that's it, off he goes.
Still following sort of the same similar Bond formula, the Bond template, where he meets contact. Gets the gossip and then off you go. Nut still it had the premise of being a really good damn Bond film and for me, it was just such a shame how it ended up really. It's just yeah, it's literally a a massive opportunity lost.
We didn't see much mental scarring from Bond, despite being captured and tortured for, was it over 12 months or over a year? I can't remember now. But still it was a really, really good beginning sort of effort. And I think when you look back at this scene where he's in the bed, he's waken up for the first time in shall we say, more nicer surroundings. He's got M, brilliantly played by Judy Dench, who I absolutely miss. To this very day. I miss Dench so much. She's such a brilliant actress. She is just fantastic. And I'll never say a bad thing towards her.
She is just, so frigging awesome, but fanboying to one side, it's a really crucial scene. I think it's a scene that for me, I remember seeing it and I'm thinking to myself, this is really good. I won't spoil it. He does escape in a very weird fashion, I may add. And you look back at it, and at the time it was quite cool, but then you look back at it, and it's like, it's not aged very well.
But as a kid, I watched it and I thought it was a pretty cool scene how he escapes. He actually has to jump into water and then get back out again. But I'm not gonna give it away too much. Just watch the movie.
But this scene really is quite critical where you've got the dialogue as well, very sharp, between M and Bond. I mean, those two have had interactions all the way through the franchise, of course, and there's always been the old argy bargy pudding and pie between them.
You know, does she trust him? Does she not trust him? Does he trust her? Does he not trust her? Is she gonna be cold? Is she gonna be cold, but you know, with a motherly vibe, you know, tough love, but no more than that. It's just, it's just a brilliant scene. And I think the acting between Pierce Brosnan and Judi Dench is just, really really crisp.
And you need that, you need to be that sort of crisp. So yeah, it's a scene which I feel, does go over people's heads. And it's a shame because it's a really profound scene. Bond essentially has to sort of, back down, he is captured, he has been rescued, and yet, I mean, you try being tortured and then sort of saying, you know, I'd rather die out there than live.
That takes a lot of balls to say that. And I think the script writing in this instance here was actually really, really sharp, credit to the screenwriters. So, it's a great scene, and one for me that really shines out hard in an otherwise sort of pretty average, Bond flick.
But having said that, and I've said this before and I'll say it again, I would rather watch Die Another Day than watch Skyfall.
For me, Skyfall is overrated, it really is. I'm sorry, you can shoot me if you want, that's absolutely fine. I've always found the recent films, from Craig, a little bit on the boring side. Great for the purists, but for those of us who want to be, just have a good Rollercoaster, romp, a little bit dull and boring.
That's just my opinion. But, so, you know, yes, Skyfall has its moments, of course. And the acting is absolutely just stunning. But, I will choose Die Another Day any day of the week. Because I just find it so much more colourful, glamorous. Yes, a little bit over the top at times. And this is what ultimately led to its negative reception.
But still, it was just up to the bit with the invisible car. It was going along really, really well. It was holding its own is what I'm saying. So I do recommend you check it out. I wouldn't do these reviews otherwise.
It was a scene that deserved a mention. I saw it and I thought, you know what, I'm gonna do a proper review here, because back in the day, for all its flack and all its, like, downcast sort of scenes, there are parts that shine, and they shine hard. And this is one of them. When Bond needs to escape from a medical facility, and M is basically, she's sort of saying to him officially, how dare you naughty boy, you stay there, do as you're told.
But unofficially, if you read between the lines, she's really saying to him, ‘Look, I can't allow you to go out there to get him. But, that doesn't mean to say that you can't escape'. You gotta listen, like, read through the lines. It's a really clever witty, sharp, incineratory dialogue.
And that's credit to the scriptwriters. I do recommend you watch the movie. It's, like I said, it's so mad. Looking back at it now, I wasn't at first thrilled about it. But maybe the bar is quite low in my books. Maybe it's not. I mean, everybody has their own opinion on Daniel Craig. And I thought, I love Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
As much as I miss Pierce Brosnan, I do like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. And even in Quantum Of Solace. I know that gets a lot of flack, but I actually don't mind Quantum Of Solace. I think it's quite a good take to be fair to Mark Foster. But anyway, check out the the movie.
Take care. Ciao for now.