''Die Another Day'' is a must-see for fall 2002
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT In a year with plenty of spy power (”Goldmember,” ”I Spy,” ”The Tuxedo,” ”Master of Disguise,” ”XXX”), the king of secret agents — Bond…James Bond, or, more accurately, Brosnan…Pierce Brosnan — is back to show all those punk imitators how it’s done.
SOURCE MATERIAL Nineteen previous Bond films and a slew of shoddy knockoffs
PLOT POINTERS The Bond girls (Halle Berry; Madonna in a much-ballyhooed cameo), the car (an Aston Martin Vanquish, though not technically new, is returning for the first time since Brosnan took over as Bond), the villain (”Possession”’s Toby Stephens), the brainy British gadget guy (John Cleese succeeds the departed Desmond Llewelyn), and the locations (Cuba, Iceland, Korea) are all new. Not to mention first-time Bond director Lee Tamahori (”Along Came a Spider”). Oh, the plot? Does that really matter?
BURNING QUESTION Which spy would win in a fight: Brosnan’s Bond or Vin Diesel’s upstart, Xander Cage (”XXX”)? Better yet, who’ll win at the box office?
COME FOR The action scenes that a budget of around $100 million can buy
STAY FOR The steamiest Bond-on-Bond-girl scene to date