YMMV: Die Another Day


  • Americans Hate Tingle: The film did poorly in South Korea; audiences there resented the film's portrayal of the South Korean military taking orders from Americans. There was also some outrage over the decision to have a sex scene in the vicinity of a statue of Buddha.
  • Broken Base: Fans of the campier elements of the series loved this film, while fans of the more serious films (and novels) hated it.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite generally mediocre reviews, it was a huge box-office success, something all the more impressive when you consider that 2002 had perhaps the most competitive holiday season of the modern era, with The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, among many others. However, the producers realized that this was more in spite of the film than because of it, and decided to shake things up big-time for the next entry.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The female Torture Technician became this behind the scenes, as Lee Tamahori said with chagrin in the commentary - his 14-year-old son was more interested in her than in meeting James Bond!
    • Miranda Frost is considered by many to be a better and more interesting Bond Girl than Jinx. The film was also Rosamund Pike's Star-Making Role.
  • Evil Is Cool / Evil Is Sexy: All three of the main villains.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Gustav Graves
  • Fetish Retardant: During the opening theme, at one point Madonna moans "Sigmund Freud" in a rather... sexual tone. Mmhmm, interesting implications there.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger" tie-in video for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Basil Exposition mentions that Madonna has already seduced 007 and 008. And now she gets to be the theme singer and have a cameo in an actual Bond film.
  • Ho Yay: Moon and Zao. Also Madonna's character has a clear Les Yay attraction towards Frost.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Zigged zagged trope. It's a mild surprise that Bond gets captured and horrifically tortured instead of making a daring escape, but nobody believed for a minute Bond was being sent in front of a firing squad. Or, that Moneypenny would get killed.
  • Love It or Hate It: Madonna's title theme is a somewhat divisive song. Those who dislike it cite the horrific autotune, and those who like it seem to treat it as Narm Charm.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Gustav Graves.
  • Misblamed: While director Lee Tamahori tends to get all the blame for the film's various faults, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have admitted that they're really the ones at fault for the film's tone and storyline, and that they completely misjudged what the fans wanted from the series.
  • Narm:
    • Every single line out of Jinx's mouth. Between the hurricanes of double entendres, pointless references to her nickname, whining about Bond not saving her quickly enough, and awkward blaxploitation one-liners, the character simply doesn't have well-written dialogue.
    • The completely serious use of laser beams to threaten Bond with, five years after Austin Powers made this impossible to take seriously.
    • The invisible car is damn near impossible to take any way seriously.
    • Madonna's title song, which is autotuned within an inch of its life and goes to some pretty bizarre places (Sigmund Freud? Really?). At times it seems rather apt that it plays over scenes of Bond being tortured.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Though Toby Stephens was a successful actor before this, he's best-known nowadays for playing Mr. Rochester in the BBC remake of Jane Eyre. Interestingly, the first version had Timothy Dalton in that role.
  • The Scrappy: It's common for people who dislike the film to cite Jinx as a major reason why, particularly the film's tendency to push her as Bond's equal without really showing it, and prefer that Miranda Frost, who was based on a character from the books, had been the love interest instead. It doesn't help that they were planning on giving Jinx her own spin-off film series, which was thankfully axed when her reception made it clear it wouldn't make much money.
  • Sequelitis: Generally regarded as Brosnan's worst Bond film, and among the worst overall in the official canon. What's worse, it was his last one on screen. (His true final role was the PS2 Video Game, Everything or Nothing.)
  • So Bad, It's Good: Some opinions of the film, by no means one of the best Bond films of the franchise, but offset by its ridiculous premise alone that makes for some fun watching.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Never have a screamingly obvious CGI tidal wave and surfer in a movie that's already featured actual surfing earlier.
    • Another example comes right before the CGI surfing: when Bond's sled falls of the ice cliff, it's very obvious that it's a scale model.
    • To a lesser extent, Jinx's backward dive off the cliff.
    • And the clearly-CGI cars sticking out of the ground in one piece after falling from a plane. In real life, they would have been reduced to millions of tiny pieces.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Colonel Moon is a more interesting and threatening psycho than Gustav Graves even though they are the same man.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Bond has been tortured for the past year and a half, and rather becoming the dangerous man he was in Licence to Kill, he quickly readjusts back into his normal personality (earns him inummerable Badass points, though).
    • The Bond producers were clearly trying to use Moonraker's original plot (that is, the plot from the novel) but Die Another Day never ends up being as interesting as the novel.
    • The idea of a James Bond film full of Call Backs and Continuity Nods to all of the earlier films had a lot of potential, especially given that it was the 40th anniversary of the series and a lot of media was being produced at the time that celebrated the franchise's long history. However, given that most of the "references" in the film were just brief visual cues (doing a close-up of some plot-relevant diamonds for a few seconds is apparently a sufficient enough allusion to Diamonds Are Forever, for example), the move came off as more distracting and unnecessary than clever.
  • Values Dissonance: Jinx being an NSA agent, given that agency's current Big Brother Is Watching reputation.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The spectacular (and epically kinky) opening credits.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Gustav Graves in Power Glove, Laser-Tag vest, and Virtual Boy headset. On the other hand, it makes him the otaku to end all otaku.