Die Another Day (Q Syndicate)


In the most introspective Bond film ever, Pierce Brosnan returns as the dashing agent, who’s been held hostage in Korea for more than a year. Stripped of his “00” status upon his release for allegedly divulging top-secret information, Bond strikes out alone to uncover the traitor who set him up. Crossing paths repeatedly with the mysterious Jinx (Halle Berry), Bond follows a shrapnel-faced terrorist named Zao (Rick Yune) to the lair of boyish megalomaniac Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), who has devised a diabolical scheme to rule the world. Despite several affectionate nods to bygone Bond flicks, the pulse-quickening thrills, which include high-speed hovercraft and rocket-powered sled chases, are distinctly 21st-century. Only Berry, who trips clumsily over her double-entendre-filled dialogue, mars the near-perfect proceedings. Even so, with guns, gadgets and girls galore, the film delivers the requisite big action and then some.

Grade: B+

Kinsey Scale: 3 (Brosnan, who admits he once thought he might be gay, appeared in the drag fest  Mrs. Doubtfire­­ and with gay icon Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces­­. In addition to singing the title song, another gay icon, Madonna, shows up here as a fencing instructor. Stephens appeared in the gay-themed Possession and played Othello in the gender-bending Orlando. Judi Dench, returning as M, was bisexual novelist Iris Murdoch in Iris and Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest­­.

(Appeared in Q Syndicate)