Die Another Day Preview

Published on: March 23rd, 2004

DIE ANOTHER DAY

a Jigsaw Lounge preview

According to the Die Another Day tagline, James Bond has “never been cooler.” And they don’t just mean the fact this time the villain hides out in chilly Iceland. ‘Cool’ Paul Oakenfold has been roped in to revamp the Bond-theme, while Madonna warbles her number-three “hit” song over the titles and pops up in a cameo. The latest Bond babe, of course, is Halle Berry – as sleek and cool as the Oscar she sobbed over back in March.

But is Bond himself still cool? Alongside the pneumatic, youthful, Bond-wannabe likes of Cruise, Damon and Diesel, even a well-preserved 49-year-old like Pierce Brosnan looks geriatric. And it’s no coincidence that before Bond, Brosnan was best known for playing Remington Steele – a fake detective employed only because he looked the part and could pass for the real thing.

Brosnan’s Bond appeals to women who go gooey over Daniel O’Donnell, and to men who watch Jeremy Clarkson: arrested-development victims who actually care what car 007 drives. This is why Ford bid $35m to have Bond back at the wheel of their Aston Martin, Thunderbird and Jaguar models – say what you like about the Star Wars, Rings and Harry Potter franchises, but one thing they can’t be accused of is product-placement. The Bond series, however, have long since stopped being proper films and become two-hour adverts for a conspicuous-consumption, tacky-as-fuck lifestyle – adverts that we pay to watch.

But with capitalism, the consumer is king – and if enough of us stop supporting the bloated Bond behemoth, they’ll soon stop making them. Die Another Day opens in the UK the same week as Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine: a film that manages to be funny, entertaining, thought-provoking and feature hundreds of guns blasting away all over the place. The box-office is now your ballot box. Every vote counts.

8th September, 2002

by Neil Young