Die Another Day (2002): James Bond No. 20, Starring Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry

From Our Vaults:Lee Tamahori directed Die Another Day, the 20th film in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

It is the fourth and final film to star Pierce Brosnan as MI6 agent James Bond; it was also the only film to have John Cleese as Q, and the last with Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny.

Halle Berry co-stars as NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson, the Bond girl.

The plot follows Bond as he attempts to locate a mole in British intelligence who betrayed him and a British billionaire who is later revealed to be connected to a North Korean operative that he seemingly killed.

As Die Another Day marked the James Bond franchise’s 40th anniversary, it includes references to each of the preceding films.

The film received mixed reviews; some critics praised Tamahori’s direction, while others disliked the over-reliance on CGI and unoriginal plot.

Nevertheless, Die Another Day was the highest-grossing James Bond film up to that time–unadjusted for inflation.

MI6 agent James Bond infiltrates a North Korean military base where Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is illegally trading weapons for African conflict diamonds. After Moon’s right-hand man Zao is contacted by an unknown source who reveals Bond’s true identity, Moon attempts to kill Bond and a hovercraft chase ensues, ending with Colonel Moon accidentally driving his craft off a cliff. Bond survives but is captured by North Korean soldiers and imprisoned by the Colonel’s father, General Moon.

After months of captivity and torture at the hands of the Korean People’s Army, Bond is traded for Zao in a prisoner exchange. He is sedated and taken to meet M, who informs him that his status as a 00 Agent has been suspended under suspicion of having leaked information under duress to the North Koreans. Bond is convinced that he has been set up by a double agent in the British government. After escaping MI6 custody, he discovers that he is in Hong Kong, where he learns from Chang, a Chinese agent and old colleague, that Zao is in Cuba.

In Havana, Bond meets NSA agent Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson and the two have a one night stand. Bond later follows her to a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Bond locates Zao inside the clinic and attempts to kill him, but Zao escapes after a scuffle, leaving behind a pendant which leads Bond to a cache of diamonds, identified as conflict diamonds, but bearing the crest of the company owned by British billionaire businessman Gustav Graves. Bond learns that Graves only appeared a year prior, apparently discovering a vein of diamonds in Iceland leading to his current wealth, celebrity, and philanthropy from its assets.

At Blades Club in London, Bond meets Graves along with his assistant Miranda Frost, who is also an undercover MI6 agent. After a fencing battle, Bond is invited by Graves to Iceland for a scientific demonstration. Shortly afterwards, M tells Bond of MI6’s doubts about Graves, restores Bond’s Double-0 status and offers assistance in the investigation.

At his ice palace adjacent to the diamond mine site in Iceland, Graves unveils a new orbital mirror satellite, “Icarus”, which is able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development. Bond seduces Frost and Jinx infiltrates Graves’ command centre, but is captured by Graves and Zao. Bond rescues her and discovers that Graves is in fact Colonel Moon, who has used the gene therapy technology to change his appearance and amassed his fortune from sale of the conflict diamonds as a cover for his true plans.

Bond confronts Graves, but Frost arrives to reveal herself as the traitor who betrayed Bond in North Korea, forcing Bond to escape from Graves’ facility. Bond returns in his Aston Martin V12 Vanquish to rescue Jinx, who has been recaptured in the palace. As Graves uses Icarus to melt the ice palace, Zao pursues Bond into the palace using his Jaguar XKR. Bond kills Zao by causing a giant ice chandelier to fall onto him, and revives Jinx after she has almost drowned.

Bond and Jinx pursue Graves and Frost to the Korean peninsula and stow away on Graves’ cargo plane. Graves reveals his identity to his father, and the true purpose of the Icarus satellite: to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing Korean troops to invade South Korea, defeat the UN Command forces of both U.S. and South Korean troops, and unite the peninsula under the flag of the DPRK.

Horrified that it would potentially trigger World War III with the United States, General Moon tries to stop the plan, but Graves murders him.

Bond attempts to shoot Graves, and in their struggle, a gunshot pierces the fuselage, causing the plane to descend rapidly. Bond and Graves engage in a fist fight, and Jinx attempts to regain control of the plane. Frost attacks Jinx, forcing her to defend herself in a sword duel.

After the plane passes through the Icarus beam and is damaged, Jinx kills Frost.

Graves attempts to escape, but Bond opens the parachute, pulling Graves out of the plane and into one of its engines, killing him and disabling the Icarus beam.

In the end, Bond and Jinx escape from the plane in a helicopter from the cargo hold, carrying away Graves’ stash of diamonds.

Cast
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, an MI6 agent.
Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson, an NSA agent.
Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves, a British entrepreneur, alter ego of Colonel Moon.
Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost, undercover MI6 agent and double agent.
Rick Yune as Tang Ling Zao, a terrorist working for Moon and living as exile in North Korea.
Judi Dench as M, the head of MI6.
John Cleese as Q, MI6’s quartermaster and armorer.
Madonna as Verity, Graves and Frost’s fencing instructor.
Michael Madsen as Damian Falco, Jinx’s superior in the NSA.
Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny, M’s secretary.
Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson, M’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
Will Yun Lee as Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, a rogue North Korean army colonel
Kenneth Tsang as General Moon, Colonel Moon’s father.
Michael Gorevoy as Vladimir Popov, Gustav Graves’ scientist
Lawrence Makoare as Mr. Kil, one of Gustav Graves’ henchmen.
Ho Yi as the hotel manager and Chinese agent Mr. Chang.
Rachel Grant as Peaceful Fountains of Desire, a Chinese agent working for Mr. Chang, undercover as a masseuse.
Emilio Echevarría as Raoul, manager of Havana cigar factory, and British sleeper agent.
Vincent Wong as General Li
Joaquin Martinez as an elderly cigar factory worker
Simón Andreu as Doctor Álvarez
Deborah Moore (daughter of Roger Moore) as an airline hostess
Mark Dymond as Mr. Van Bierk
Oliver Skeete as a concierge at the fencing club