Retroactive Camp 

James Bond 20: An Afterthought


Die Another Day

dir. Tamahori

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After about two hours of workmanlike action/suspense, and a battery of sexual innuendo about as subtle and charming as a herpes sore, the 20th James Bond film finally surrenders to its own muddled identity. What comprises this surrender? A shot straight out of the Batman TV series--after being chased by a giant laser across a vast ice tundra to a sheer cliff, James Bond parachutes down onto the ocean surface, where he then para-surfs his way to safety. The bluescreen effect (or whatever it is) is so all-fired phony and dumb that it makes the whole film, indeed the whole series of films, ring retroactively camp. Likeable Pierce Brosnan has long since outlived his inevitability in the lead role, and takes a turn for the Roger Moore with this film. His heroics, his sexual bravado, his body hair--all seem to indicate an epic disjunction between the supersmooth ultraspy we keep hearing about, and the vaguely handsome tool we see on-screen playing him. Predictably, this film's only real recommendation lies in the stuffing of Halle Berry's wild bikini, but frankly, you can get to that more easily by doing a Google search. Otherwise, Die Another Day is Dumb-dee-dumb-dumb, and all the massive explosions in Hollywood can't make up for that.

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