Pierce Brosnan is fondly remembered by Bond fans for brilliant turns in GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough, but his legacy as 007 will always be tainted by Die Another Day.
The actor was 53 when he made his last appearance as the iconic spy back in 2002, and it was a real stinker.
A combination of ropey plot, rubbish villains and rudimentary early-00s CGI ensured Brosnan left the series at a real low point. It was so bad in fact, that the franchise had to be totally rebooted for Casino Royale four years later.
From Madonna’s theme song to THAT surfing scene, these are the ten things that made Die Another Day the worst Bond ever…
The Invisible Car
Bond drove an invisible car in Die Another Day. That’s something that actually happened…
John Cleese made his only solo appearance as Q in the film, and introduced Bond to his new transparent Aston Martin Vanquish – or ‘Vanish’ – in an abandoned tube station. It’s definitely the stupidest gadget ever used in the movie series, and filmmakers wisely did away with Q branch for Casino Royale a few years later.
There have been some brilliant Bond themes over the years, but Madonna’s certainly isn’t one of them. The Queen of Pop’s title song for the movie was all glitchy drum machines and weird robot voices, and it felt totally out of place in the film – particularly as Bond is getting tortured in the background as the titles rolled.
To be fair to Madonna, things didn’t get much better next, after Chris Cornell provided one of the most forgettable themes ever for Casino Royale.
The Like A Prayer singer also made a cameo in the movie, meeting Bond at the Fencing club and asking him to tie up her dress. Bizarre.
Pierce Brosnan’s beard
Bond spends the first chunk of the movie in a North Korean military prison for reasons too stupid to go into. During his time inside, he grows a ridiculous beard, and comes out looking more like Justin Lee Collins than 007. Brosnan’s the only Bond ever to sport a beard in the series, which is probably a good thing.
The VR Sex Scene
Years before the invention of the Oculus Rift, Virtual Reality was the basis of two scenes in Die Another Day. The sequences were used to bookend the 2002 film, with underwhelming results. The first of them sees Bond take out a bad guy as a part of a training exercise, actually shooting his boss M in the neck in the process. The second sees Moneypenny living out a sexual fantasy with Bond, which was one of the most cringe worthy moments in the entire film. Watch it from 7.20 in the clip above.
Racist Face Change
It’s revealed half-way through the film that the movie’s main bad guy Gustav Graves – who has to go down as one of the weakest Bond villains ever – is actually North Korean Colonel Tan-Sun Moon. The Colonel undergoes ‘DNA reconstructing’ and assumes the identity of the posh, white Englishman. Not only is this completely preposterous, it’s also arguably in bad taste, and left some film fans feeling a bit uneasy.
This Awful Laser Fight Scene
Just look at it! Awful!
Halle Berry’s Death-Defying Backflip
A chase scene through a Cuban gene therapy clinic ends with Halle Berry’s Jinx launching herself hundreds of feet off a cliff, backwards, narrowly missing deadly rocks. It’s the first of several woeful moments of CGI, which has aged terribly.
Berry’s performance was actually one of the highlights of the movie – and she was responsible for one of the most iconic Bond girl moments ever too.
The Terrible CGI Surfing Scene
However, that cliff dive has nothing on this… CGI had a long way to go in the early 00s, and the surfing sequence in Die Another Day has to be amongst the worst examples ever seen on film. Graves causes a tsunami after melting the Ice Hotel with his massive sun laser and Bond is forced to speed down a huge wave, dodging icebergs along the way.
Now, we’re spoilt with CGI these days, and it’s perhaps unfair to look back and laugh at this 15 years on. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s really, really bad, and probably represents one of the worst moments in the entire film series.
Rosamund Pike Is Totally Underused As Miranda Frost
Years before Gone Girl turned her into a household name, Rosamund Pike made her big-screen debut in Die Another Day. Despite being one of the good things about the film, she was thoroughly underused as double crossing agent Miranda Frost. Thankfully, the film didn’t have too much of a negative effect on her career and she even won an Empire Award For Best Newcomer for her performance.
Another thing that was slightly odd about the film was the age difference between her and love interest 007. She was just 20 at the time of filming, making that three decades between her and Pierce Brosnan. And you thought Roger Moore was bad!
The Terrible Final Scene With The Diamonds
Has there ever been a naffer ending to a Bond film? We think not.