Let’s make it today, please

29 Aug

Kill me first, James

James Bond – Die Another Day is on TV at the moment. Technically, I’m watching it, but despite the fact that it is now the film’s climax — Halle Berry appears to have drowned! Oh no! Will she make it?? Please Halle! Come back to us!!!!! Oh wow that was a close one. Don’t worry, she’s coughing and spluttering now and delivering an obvious one-liner. Whew!

Where was I? Oh yes, this is the climax, but I appear not to be that gripped by it. This is in spite of the fact that the film opened with spies big-wave surfing into a fortified North Korean coastline in order to blow up ludicrous amounts of stuff, and recently had genetically altered characters fist-fighting while deadly laser beams sliced around the room (Halle also needed to have her helpless heiney saved then). It’s so darned exciting that I just can’t not take my eyes off it.

So, yes, there is almost no tension when you don’t care about the characters, and no amount of explosions can get you to care for a character. The big blockbuster mistake.

By the way, the two ‘Bond girls’ are now swordfighting in tank tops in a jet liner that is being torn apart by a sun-beam-shooting space satellite. Did no alarm bells go up when they were writing this?

But allow me to draw your attention to the biggest travesty of this film: the title track by Madonna. Yes, it’s tacky, mindless dance music, and not even much good by the standards of that endlessly forgiving genre. But the song contains these lyrics:

Can I allow that to sink in for a moment.

A full 50% (unverified statistic) of the script consists in one-liners and bad puns. I worked out the identity of the mystery informant about 45 minutes before James Bond did. There is a waterfall in the movie, and the bad guy falls down it but miraculously survives. There is a jet engine in the movie, and the bad guy does get sucked into it. For goodness sake, after James and Halle end up in bed at the end, and James says something suggestive about not knowing whether she really is bad or good, the movie ends with the words:

H: “I’m sooo good.”

J: “Especially when you’re bad.”

I’m gonna avoid the cliche? That was them avoiding the cliche?

I’m gonna avoid the cliche and give Die Another Day two thumbs down.

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