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Film / Die Another Day

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"So, you live to die another day..."
James Bond

The One With… all that CGI (and the Invisible Aston and Rocket-launcher Jag).

Die Another Day is the twentieth James Bond film and the fourth and last to star Pierce Brosnan. It is also the final film set in the original series started by Eon Productions with Dr. No in 1962 before getting a Continuity Reboot in 2006, as well as the only one in the franchise to be internationally distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Lee Tamahori and came out in November 2002. Madonna performed the Title Theme Tune and has a cameo in the film.

As usual, the film opens with Bond on a mission, this time, the North Koreans have the honor to be the adversaries. Not as usual, however, is that the mission goes awry after Bond is betrayed, and as a result is captured. Freed via a prisoner exchange after 14 months of torture, Bond is aghast to learn his freedom was purchased at the cost of his adversary, a war criminal named Zao (Rick Yune), walking scot-free. Discharged by MI6 and receiving a predictably chilly reception from M, Bond becomes a rogue agent and resumes hunting for his quarry.

Following Zao's trail leads him to Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), a wunderkind entrepreneur who's made a fortune in blood diamonds and is building some kind of space-based sunlight reflector which in no way resembles a death ray.

The film holds many vignettes to previous Bond outings, such as Brosnan playing the "loose cannon" in the tropics (Licence to Kill), Halle Berry exiting the water in Slow Motion (Dr. No), a diamond-encrusted sky laser (Diamonds Are Forever), action scenes bordering on self-parody (Moonraker) and many, many more Mythology Gags for the series's 40th anniversary.

After the film's release, Eon Productions decided a reboot was needed to bring the series back to its more grounded Darker and Grittier roots even going back to the very first Bond novel. Despite being in his early 50s at the time, Pierce Brosnan was still anticipated to reprise the role (Roger Moore played Bond till he was 57, after all). However, in February 2005, Brosnan was told by the producers that he would be replaced, and in October of that year, Daniel Craig was officially announced as the new Bond.

Preceded by The World Is Not Enough and followed by Casino Royale.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The "Ornithology" scene between Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. While its a well known throwback to the famous beach scene in Dr. No, it's also a reference to Remington Steele, which has a scene that is replicated almost beat-for-beat, complete with binoculars, blue shirt, cigar, and plenty of flirtatious sexual innuendos, which adds fuel to the theory that Remington Steele is a secret prequel to Pierce's James Bond.
    • When John Cleese walks behind the invisible car, the light refraction makes him appear for a quick second like he's attempting a Silly Walk. Another for Cleese is the just-mentioned "only a flesh wound."
  • Adaptation Amalgamation:
    • Elements of the film's story were based upon Ian Fleming's original novel Moonraker. As confirmed by Rosamund Pike, Miranda Frost was originally named Gala Brand, which was the name of the Bond girl in the original book. Gustav Graves, meanwhile, is based upon the original novel's version of Sir Hugo Drax.
    • Bond talking to M while separated by glass is a nod to the opening chapter of The Man with the Golden Gun where a brainwashed Bond attempts to assassinate M, only to be foiled by a plate of glass.
    • Colonel Moon was a nod to Colonel Sun. In fact, he was supposed to the same character, but legal reasons prevented this.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Sort of. Graves' modified Antonov An-124 carries a helicopter aboard which Bond manages to launch out of it in mid-air.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In-Universe; Bond has a clearly pained look on his face when he sees Miranda Frost's corpse, even though he had tried to shoot her dead the instant he had learned that she was the traitor at MI6.
  • Always Save the Girl: While Graves and his team are preparing to flee Iceland, Bond's priority after he kills Zao should've been to go after them, but instead he rescues Jinx, who was drowning in the melting ice palace.
  • Artificial Gill: Bond uses a rebreather when scuba-diving his way into the villain's lair.
  • Artistic Licence – Sports: Miranda Frost is described as having won the gold medal in fencing at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games by default, after the real gold medalist's death by drug overdose (the later reveal of her affiliation with Graves implying that Graves played a hand in it). While said substances fit a medal revoking transgression, the fact it involves death screws any veracity: either the original gold drugged herself to death before the podium, or died in the 2 years before the film's events - when the International Olympic Committee only strips medals based on the on-site drug tests, or the infractor's own admittance (such as Marion Jones). The novelisation explains this a little, stating the winner died the night of her victory.
  • Artistic Licence – Biology: The "DNA replacement therapy" manages to top the dubious scientific accuracy of Moonraker, the explanation given by the doctor in charge of it being a textbook example of LEGO Genetics.
  • Artistic Licence – Military: Jinx claims to be an agent from the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA is a signals intelligence agency which does not send agents into the field.
  • Artistic Title: An extremely kinky version in the opening credits, where Bond is being tortured in the background while naked chicks made of ice, fire and electricity are writhing around in the foreground.
  • Attack Hello: Just as Zao opens the door at the ice palace, Jinx gives him this via a karate kick.
  • Bait-and-Switch: How Miranda is revealed to also be an MI6 agent. We see M in her office, telling someone offscreen, "Before you leave on your mission to Iceland...". We naturally assume she's talking to Bond, until the person sits down to reveal it's Miranda, and M continues: "...tell me what you know about James Bond".
  • Batman Cold Open: Subverted heavily. The film with Bond on a mission in North Korea... which he actually fails. He ends up getting captured and spends a year and a half in a torture camp before his superiors can spring him.
  • Beam Spam: Bond fights Mr. Kil in a room full of out-of-control laser beams.
  • Beard of Sorrow: More a Beard of Imprisonment, but hey.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Played with; Bond is filthy with a shaggy beard and hair after being tortured for 14 months. This is the character at his most unkempt in the entire series, and audiences at the time were a bit shocked to see him in such a dishevelled state. However, Bond is still in remarkably good shape for someone who had endured that type of hell for so long. All it takes are a single shave, a hair cut, a proper dinner, and a change of clothes for him to become sexy again.
    • Miranda slashes Jinx across the stomach during their swordfight. There's no sign of the cut during hers and Bond's love scene even though it would never have healed in such a short time.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: This was expected of Bond after his capture in the opening credits; M admonishes him for not dying for his country quite yet when he's recovered.
  • Big Bad: Gustav Graves/Colonel Moon is the main villain of the film.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The ice palace is made of... ice. Handwaved because it's set in Iceland; it would be cold enough for that to work at least some of the time. Graves melts it to drown Jinx inside.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Miranda gets stabbed through the heart by Jinx, and yet we don't see any blood emerge from the wound.
    • When Graves is sucked into the plane's rotary blades, absolutely no blood sprays out, as if his suit alone was getting shredded.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: When Brosnan fires the gun, the bullet flies at the camera, meaning that Bond has shot up the gun barrel of his opponent.
  • Bond One-Liner: Almost everyone besides Bond seems to be doing it:
    • Jinx does it twice when she kills Frost by stabbing her in the chest with a knife stuck through a book (appropriately enough, The Art of War (Sun Tzu)). First, Frost taunts her:
      Frost: I can read your every move!
      Jinx: (stabs her) Read this! Bitch!
    • Then Bond comes in and sees her, and Jinx has another quip:
      Jinx: I think I broke her heart.
    • Bond gets the tables turned on him at one point:
      Bond: I missed your sparkling personality.
      [Zao punches Bond in the stomach]
      Zao: How's that for a punchline?
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: It's either lampshaded or a spectacularly bad example, albeit not involving Bond himself: Zao and Kil have Jinx at their mercy, and Zao actually proposes shooting her... but Kil wants to do it with lasers, and gets his way, allowing Bond time to arrive and rescue her. Earlier in the film, Bond gets out a Bulletproof Vest and Colonel Moon keeps shooting it until it falls off into the ground.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: After Mr Kil meets his end by way of laser, Bond tries to drag his corpse over to a hand scanner. Jinx decides to cut out the middle man and laser off his hand.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Subverted when Bond adds a C4 charge into the lining of a briefcase full of diamonds which then end up buried in Zao's face when Bond sets it off.
  • Broken Ace: Gustav Graves is charming, talented, and insanely rich (from blood diamonds). However, he is really a North Korean colonel with plastic surgery building a Kill Sat to help his faction finally win the war. He has daddy issues too, and really really hates anything Western. He admits to having based the Graves persona partly on Bond.
  • The Cameo: Madonna cameos as Verity, Miranda Frost and Gustav Graves' fencing instructor. Thus far she's the only theme song singer to make an appearance in the film, unless you count Sheena Easton singing the For Your Eyes Only theme onscreen in said film's opening.
  • Cannot Dream: Gustav Graves was said to be unable to dream. Specifically, he is unable to enter REM sleep, a Real Life condition. He has to use a machine to do it for him, or he'll start suffering from severe psychosis. Well, more severe than his current mental condition.
  • Car Fu: Bond and Zao have a Car Fu Duel, where both characters are driving tricked-out spy cars and trying to kill each other with their various on-board weapons and gadgets. This scene ends with a (failed) ramming attempt.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: Bond's car can do this by projecting the image on one side of the car from the other, presumably adjusting for any distance difference.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Aston's Invisibility Cloak. Bond attempts to use it during the car chase/duel with Zao, only for Zao's Gatling guns to disable it. It gets restored later in the scene and allows Bond to defeat Zao when Zao attempts to ram him.
    • The ultra-high frequency single digit sonic agitator unit ring given to Bond by Q. Q demonstrates it on a pane of unbreakable glass. Bond later uses it to collapse a glass floor to escape his captors and shatter the Aston's windscreen to get Jinx into it so can he revive her.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Bond's sheer panic (and later relief) when he attempts to resuscitate Jinx proves that she's not just a notch on his bedpost.
  • *Click* Hello: Graves enters his office, only for the screen to drop and Bond sitting at the desk pointing a gun at him.
  • Co-Dragons: Zao and Miranda to Moon/Graves.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In the Title Sequence we see Bond repeatedly getting his head shoved into a bucket of ice water, threatened with hot pokers and welding torches, stung with scorpions, and beaten. When the sequence concludes and the movie begins, the caption tells us that Bond has endured this treatment for over a year. Once rescued, we overhear someone talking about what else James went through: he'd be injected with poison and then his torturers would watch the poison take effect for some indeterminate amount of time before injecting the antidote. Multiple times.
  • Collapsing Lair: More like melting lair.
  • Composite Character: Colonel Moon is a weird fusion of the literary version of Hugo Drax with Colonel Sun. In true Bond fashion, subtitles on the Region 2 DVD reveal his full name to be Tan-Sun Moon. The name Tan-Sun also appears as a caption on the Region A Blu-Ray.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Bond visits the new Q's secret lab and discovers many of the old Q's inventions from the previous films. A quick glimpse through the scene and viewers familiar with the franchise can spot the rigged briefcase, Klebb's shoe-knife, the old jetpack, the crocodile submarine, the AcroStar Minijet and the Snooper.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The gadgets in Q's lab, which include the jetpack from Thunderball.
      Bond: Does this still work? [switches the jetpack on]
    • Q also notes that Bond's watch is his twentieth, and implores him to actually return this one.
    • Bond pretends to be an ornithologist, a nod to his origins as he was named after an ornithologist off a book Ian Fleming had. The book Bond picks up in the office of his Cuban contact is the same book - a Collins edition of the Birds of the West Indies by James Bond (the author's name is removed however).
    • Bond calls sex "the coldest weapon of all." He should know, because Elektra King used it against him in The World Is Not Enough.
    • As seen on the Call-Back section, this film — in honour of the franchise's twentieth — references every single other Bond film at least once and several tips of the hat to the original novels.
  • Continuity Porn: Everything from the title onwards is a tongue-in-cheek reference to other films in the series. It was a 20th film Milestone Celebration special.
  • Cool Car: The film marks the return of Bond's ass in the seat of an Aston... but gives Zao a Jaguar XKR equal in gadgets to 007 himself. The resulting duel is considered one of the high points of the film. Meanwhile, Jinx drives a 007 Ford Thunderbird.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Gustav Graves, a billionaire diamond magnate who built his fortune illegally laundering blood diamonds that were payments for arms dealing in order to fund a huge space project: a solar satellite that he can use to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone, allowing North Korea to launch an invasion of South Korea.
  • Creepy-Crawly Torture: While Bond is being tortured in a North Korean prison after his capture in the opening, his interrogators repeatedly have him stung by black scorpions and watch him squirm before administering the anti-venom.
  • Cyanide Pill: M asks Bond why he didn't take his pill when captured. Bond replies that he got rid of it years ago.
  • Darker and Edgier: The intro, bordering on Nightmare Fuel. The intro is used to advance the film's story rather than just hint at its theme. We get various scenes of Bond's torture, which includes waterboarding and beatings, and those customary silhouettes of nubile women aren't titillating Bond, they're either participating in the torture, soothing him, or might just be hallucinations that he's having.
  • Daydream Surprise:
    • After Bond is reinstated back into MI6 and the base is suddenly attacked. He makes his way through shooting the assailants until he gets to one holding M hostage... so he promptly shoots her to get to the assailant. Q suddenly appears and chastises Bond on his performance while taking off the VR glasses. The whole thing being a training simulator.
    • The end abruptly jumps to Bond walking in on Moneypenny in her office, where things quickly begin to get steamy... until Q shows up wondering why Moneypenny is using his virtual reality machine.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Discussed. Jinx is meeting with a surgeon on the Cuban island, discussing a drastic procedure to change her looks. He says that he considers himself an artist, and she remarks that most great artists aren't celebrated until after their deaths, upon which she shoots him.
  • Deadly Sparring: When Bond and Graves first meet, they decide to have a somewhat friendly fencing match. The match grows more and more competitive due to both men's egos — and the fact that Graves is actually the temperamental and vengeful Colonel Moon — eventually escalating into a full-on Sword Fight with the intent to draw blood.
  • Death by Irony: Graves' parachute is sucked into the turbine of his own plane. Though he manages to hold on, Bond electrocutes him with his own gauntlet, sending him into the rotary blades.
  • Death by Looking Up: Bond shoots a giant chandelier, Zao looks up and screams as it crushes him.
  • Death Ray: The Icarus satellite is capable of shooting these kind of rays, made of concentrated sunlight.
  • Deconstruction: The film shows what would happen if James Bond actually got captured in enemy territory; like with most spies, he's disavowed by his government, subject to torture and brutal conditions for a year and later released in a Prisoner Exchange for the same bad guy he was pursuing in the first place.
  • Defiant Captive: Bond is captured by the North Korean military and held in prison for several months, constantly tortured for information. He is finally traded for a North Korean operative, and M tells him that they received intel that someone was leaking information to the North Koreans. They assumed Bond broke under torture, which is why they traded him. Bond reveals he never broke, even though he didn't expect a rescue.
  • Defiant to the End: Noted of Bond when all he has to offer after months of brutal torture is a snarky one-liner.
  • Denser and Wackier: Madonna cameo? Check. Invisible car? Check. James Bond surfing a wave of superheated ice as a satellite's laser beam chases him around (a rare sentence)? Check and mate.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Happens when Jinx takes down Miranda Frost while Bond fights Graves. This is surprisingly the first film in the entire series where this trope is present. Most previous female villains in the series are killed in a manner that doesn't directly involve Bond or his leading lady. However, the series has featured occasions where Bond has fought and killed women.
  • Destruction Equals Off-Switch: Once the Icarus control suit is sucked along with Graves into a turbine, the Kill Sat shuts off immediately.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Gustav Graves, a millionaire jeweller who secretly trades in conflict diamonds, passing them off as from a diamond mine in Iceland. He's actually corrupt North Korean colonel Tan-Sun Moon.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: Jinx is covered in nothing but diamonds as she and Bond consummate their relationship in a South Korean Buddhist temple located in a valley.
  • Dies Wide Open: All the bad guys (except Zao who dies offscreen) die with open eyes.
  • Dirty Communists: North Korea's military eagerly supports the conquest of Japan and South Korea through Colonel Moon's plan. It's stated at least once that there was a coup by the hardliners before the invasion, presumably to avoid implicating the entire country as Card-Carrying Villains. Downplayed/averted during the Cuba scenes, even though Fidel Castro was still in charge at the time.
  • Disney Villain Death: Vladimir is sucked out of the plane when the side of it explodes.
  • Disposable Vagrant: Dr. Alvarez provides Magic Plastic Surgery for his patients by re-writing their DNA. This process requires DNA from other people; the doctor mentions that most of this is harvested from vagrants and other people who won't be missed.
  • Disqualification-Induced Victory: Miranda Frost got an Olympic silver medal for fencing, but was upgraded to gold when her opponent overdosed on steroids. Graves, knowing Miranda hated the idea of being second best, arranged for the "accident" in exchange for Miranda becoming his Mole.
  • Downer Beginning: Bond fails his mission into North Korea; the North Koreans are able to identify him as an MI6 Agent because of a mole inside MI6. Bond narrowly manages to assassinate Colonel Moon, but at the cost of his own capture and the rest of his team being killed. He is tortured for more than a year before he is returned as part of a Prisoner Exchange. M believes he cracked and is ready to force him into retirement, so Bond has to clear his name.
  • Distressed Dude: Bond is captured by the North Koreans and spends the title sequence being beaten and tortured.
  • The Dragon: Zao and Miranda Frost, even though Zao kills a total amount of zero people onscreen. However, M does mention to Bond that Zao had murdered three Chinese agents at a summit.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Bond is interrogating Gustav Graves with his Walther P99. Miranda Frost walks up and draws her own Walther P99, which, despite being a hammerless pistol like Glocks are, makes the hammer-cocking sound.
  • Dress Hits Floor: Miranda, as she prepares to sleep with Bond. Leading to a brief shot of Toplessness from the Back... and then followed by Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Ejection Seat: Bond uses it as a propellant to flip his Aston Martin back onto its wheels. Oh, and dodge a missile at high speed.
  • Electric Torture: The opening credits imply that the North Koreans also used electric torture on James Bond during his period of captivity, in addition to regular beatings, poisoning with scorpions, and Water Torture.
  • Enemy Mine: The Chinese have their own reasons for wanting Zao dead, so they are happy to point Bond in his direction so that he can do the job for them when he asks.
  • Energy Weapon: Bond fights Mr Kil in a room full of out-of-control lasers slicing everything up. It's pretty insane and even if impractical, but it's a pretty good visual.
  • Establishing Character Music: Gustav Graves is introduced parachuting out of a plane to receive his knighthood at Buckingham Palace to The Clash's "London Calling".
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: When the hovercraft at the beginning collide into trees, they crumple up (as if they made of cardboard and tin foil) and burst into flames. They're driving over a mine-field, so things exploding with little to no warning does make a little more sense in that scene.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: The producers signed Ford up as their primary vehicular sponsor and as a result, pretty much everything on screen is a Ford brand. James Bond in his Aston Martin Vanquish fights Zao in his Jaguar XKR. Meanwhile, Jinx rolls up to the big gala event in her Ford Thunderbird as Gustav Graves gets chauffeured around in a Range Rover.
  • Evil Counterpart: Gustav Graves claims to be one of Bond.
    Gustav Graves: When your intervention forced me to present the world with a new face, I chose to model the disgusting Gustav Graves on you. I paid attention to details — that unjustifiable swagger, the crass quips, the self-defence mechanism concealing such inadequacy...
  • The Evil Genius: Vladimir Popov, Gustav Graves' personal scientist.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • Having beaten Bond by electrocuting, Graves mockingly throws out one of the two remaining parachutes and brags about how Bond can't kill him, but his dreams can kill Bond. He gets close to Bond as he does this, allowing 007 to pull his parachute cord that sends him out of the plane.
    • During their fight, Miranda cockily tells Jinx that she can read her every move. Except the one that kills her.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The film's second half is full of ice motifs, even taking place in Iceland in a literal ice palace. Incidentally, this is the first hint that Miranda Frost is going to be trouble.
  • Evil Plan: Gustav Graves, takes a page from Blofeld's book from Diamonds Are Forever and uses a diamond-powered Kill Sat that runs on solar energy. He sought to use it to help North Korea take over the South, as well as Japan and presumably elsewhere (he is actually a corrupt North Korean colonel Faking the Dead and in disguise as a wealthy Corrupt Corporate Executive).
  • Evil Redhead: Graves has red hair. Seems that he really wanted to ensure his transition from Colonel Moon to be drastically different.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Bond in the North Korean prison grows a beard, and then promptly shaves it off when he gets out.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Trapped on the crashing Antonov, Jinx declares to Bond, "Looks like we're going down together!", with a rueful smile that indicates that she's determined to invoke this trope.
  • Failed a Spot Check: M berates Falco for not divulging to them that Miranda Frost had been on the fencing team with Col. Moon at Harvard. But it's very disturbing that MI6 wouldn't have discovered something pretty basic like that during her background check! That in and of itself likely wouldn't eliminate her from service, but you'd think at a minimum someone would've thought to question her when a 00 agent is betrayed and captured during a mission infiltrating her old teammate!!!
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Bond and Frost do this to distract some guards at the ice palace. Being Bond, he has it continue even after the guards leave.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Zao is impaled beneath a large chandelier made of diamonds and icicles.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: Colonel Tan-Sun Moon and his faction in the Korean People's Army turn into pro-North Korean unification terrorists after the former used the revenue from smuggling to arm his faction and create the superweapon called Icarus.
  • Fatal Flaw: Gustav is aware of Bond's, Miranda's and his own Achilles' Heel.
    Graves: You see, I have a gift. An instinct for sensing people's weaknesses. Yours is women. Hers and mine are winning, whatever the cost.
  • Faux Action Girl: Jinx is supposed to be a top NSA agent, and in an early scene she does manage to complete an assassination, but thereafter she only manages to get strapped to a laser Death Trap and almost drown in an ice hotel. In the end, she's given a Designated Girl Fight with Miranda Frost by way of consolation prize.
  • Flynning: Two examples - Bond fights Graves in a delightfully over the top fight in the fencing club, and then Jinx fights Frost on the plane.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The body-altering technology in Cuba, and the savage ferocity with which Gustav Graves attacks Bond in their duel.
    • When Bond introduces himself to Grave, we briefly cut to Miranda's reaction.
  • Freudian Threat: While in Cuba, Bond witnesses his target pointing a gun at a waiter's crotch and threatening him to do as he's told, "unless you want to change your name to Fidel Castrata!"
  • Gatling Good: Zao's Jaguar has a Minigun mounted on top, complete with the usual inaccurate firing rate. Zao must have Steel Eardrums as it's firing from right behind (and just over) his head.
  • Gentleman Snarker: This is Bond's default setting, but Gustav Graves knows it's just a performance: "The unjustifiable swagger, the crass quips, the self-defence mechanisms concealing such inadequacy."
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The friendly fencing match that becomes a not so friendly knock-down-drag-out swordfight.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Jinx is clearly determined to Face Death with Dignity, given her cheerful declaration of "Looks like we're going down together!"
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Zao is holding a case of diamonds rigged with an explosive, which detonates. He survives, but the blast has permanently embedded several of the diamonds in his face.
  • Grand Finale: The film serves as the final entry in the Pierce Brosnan-era Bond series. What's more, as Casino Royale explicitly takes place in a Continuity Reboot, Die Another Day also serves as the finale to the entire film series as it has been from day one. The only thing that remains of the continuity that was is the fourth M.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: conversation takes place in what the characters say is "Icelandic", but is really German.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The DPRK are the ones backing the Big Bad's plan, which involves using a giant Kill Sat to conquer South Korea for North Korea, but the most representation they get is the trio of generals seen on Graves' plane.
  • Gun Stripping: Bond is cleaning his pistol in his office when he hears silenced gunshots outside, reassembles his pistol, and goes to see what's afoot. After Robinson is killed, and Bond shoots through M to get her captor, Q steps through the furniture to reveal the whole scene has been a VR training session.
  • Hall of Mirrors: Bond walk past a slew of mirrors while searching a clinic for Zao. They bear no significance to the plot, it's just one of the numerous references to past Bond films.
  • Harmless Freezing: Jinx drowns in a melting ice palace. James Bond revives her by getting her into a hot spring. He specifically says that the hypothermia "kept her alive" (delayed death by suffocation). This is almost Truth in Television, though she should've also needed rescue breathing.
  • Hate at First Sight: James Bond and Gustav Graves take an instant dislike to each other in their first scene, culminating in an absolutely brutal swordfight. While Bond already suspected Graves of having ties to terrorists and that he deals in conflict diamonds, in Graves' case this turns out to be a subversion. He is actually Colonel Moon, so he has every reason to hold a grudge.
  • Have We Met?: The first thing Graves asks Bond, who replies that he'd remember. "Graves", of course, knows perfectly well who Bond is.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: Possibly the least-justifiable example of this in cinema history. The weapon is a laser. In space. And even though a few fractions of a degree are all that separate its firing angle from its target's location, it somehow can't catch him.
    • While probably not an intended Truth in Television, shooting a high energy beam through the atmosphere causes thermal blooming, as the beam is burning all the chemicals between the source and target. Moving the beam after it has punched a hole to the original target means burning more holes, more blooming, and more lost energy on target. Thus, the beam cannot move as quickly as one might imagine.
  • Hidden Weapons: Peaceful has a gun in a holster around her thigh.
  • High-Dive Escape: Jinx is cornered by the police at a cliff. She first strips to her bikini, stunning them, then jumps into the water near a waiting motorboat.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Inverted when Miranda Frost tries to kill 007 after they spend the night together.
  • High-Speed Hijack: Bond escapes Colonel Moon's base by leaping into one of the Mooks' hovercrafts. He leaps in just as it begins moving, but completes the hijack as the craft accelerates.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: Bond dodge one of Zao's missiles (and right his upside-down Aston) with a well-timed Ejection Seat.
  • Hollywood Healing: During the film's climax, Jinx is slashed across the stomach by a sword. Soon after, she and Bond celebrate their victory by having sex, and not a single scar is visible on Jinx's naked body.
  • Honey Trap: Downplayed; at the hotel in Hong Kong a masseuse is sent to Bond, compliments of the management. Bond starts making the moves on her, causing her to remark that she "isn't that kind of masseuse." Bond replies that he "isn't that kind of customer", then reaches down and grabs the gun strapped to her thigh. She's actually been sent to spy on him by the management (all Chinese intelligence), who are hiding behind a mirror in the room (it appears Bond's gotten a bit more cunning since From Russia with Love).
  • Hover Tank: The hovercrafts, which are actually just that, hovercrafts, but armed to the teeth in a way that one wouldn't begrudge a tank.
  • Human Shield: Bond is using a virtual reality training simulation in which a terrorist uses M as a Human Shield. His solution is to shoot M in the arm, causing her to jerk out of the way enough for him to get a clean shot at the terrorist.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The amount of innuendo between Bond and Jinx may drive your head into the screen. Even for a Bond movie, it's a lot.
  • Hypocrite: North Korean Colonel Moon, having Majored in Western Hypocrisy, fits this rather well. He sees Western culture as being beneath him. He also loves Western sports cars, his chief ally is his British girlfriend, and he changed his whole appearance to a Caucasian magnate to further his plot.
  • I Have No Son!: Col. Moon/Graves attempts to explain his Evil Plan to his father General Moon, telling how the Icarus could be used to destroy the Korean Demilitarized Zone, allowing renegade North Korean soldiers to invade and occupy South Korea. But his father, who had hopes of having a peaceful reunion of the two Koreas and hoped his son would act as a bridge between North Korea and the West, simply disowns him by telling that his son died the day he plunged into the waterfall, having realized and ashamed the cold-blooded monster his son has now become. This causes Graves/Moon to kill him out of anger, only for 007 to kill him in rage.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When Jinx is cornered on top of an embankment, she raises her hands in surrender... and executes a perfect backwards swan dive into the water below, then escapes on a waiting speedboat.
  • Icarus Allusion: Icarus is the code name of Gustav Graves solar energy Kill Sat. During the final battle with Bond, Graves is defeated when his plane flies through the beam of solar energy being projected by Icarus.
  • Ice Palace: In a rare non-fantasy and non-Sci-Fi example, Gustav Graves has an ice palace in the middle of Iceland. Needless to say, Bond soon trashes the place.
  • Idiot Ball: Miranda demonstrates to Bond why it is never a good idea to bring a loaded gun to bed with you when you're a former fugitive still tracking down his betrayer. The fact that Bond, a highly experienced agent, didn't notice that his gun was curiously lighter before his confrontation with Frost and Graves is perhaps even more baffling. Also Falco failed to inform MI6 about Miranda Frost had been on the fencing team with Col. Moon at Harvard. .
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Zao is impaled by an ice chandelier about twice his size.
  • Implausible Boarding Skills: In one of the most derided scenes in the movies, Bond uses an improvised surfboard made from the hull of a wrecked ice yacht to para-surf an unconvincing CGI tsunami.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: If the gunbarrel sequence is something to go by, Bond can unholster, whip around, and fire accurately enough to send the bullet straight up the gun of an attacker he previously never saw in one swift, fluid, unplanned movement.
  • Inconvenient Parachute Deployment: During the climactic fight, Bond deploys Graves' parachute, which gets caught by one of the engines of the cargo jet they're in and chews him up. For additional irony, Bond tosses Graves an Ironic Echo of his attempted Pre-Mortem One-Liner as a one-liner of his own and uses Graves' suit's taser function to force him to let go of his handhold.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: During the hovercraft chase in the Action Prologue, Bond manages to immobilize Moon on the giant hovercraft's blower at full speed and lets the vehicle crash through a sanctuary's wooden door, with is situated atop a waterfall. The hovercraft then plummets down the waterfall, while Bond managed to grab the rope of the sanctuary's bell.
  • Informed Ability: Miranda Frost. Said to be a gold medal standard fencer, in her one battle she swings wildly with minimal effect and is killed for her trouble.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Though what they're doing is hardly innocent, the end sequence of Bond and Jinx playing with diamonds is made to sound like something else from outside.
  • Insecurity Camera: Bond actually discovers a hidden doorway by looking at a security camera that is pointed straight at an "empty" spot in the wall, and completely blind to the rest of the corridor, making it easy to disable.
  • The Insomniac: Gustav Graves as a result of gene therapy used to change his look. He seems pretty unaffected on the whole, though he claims to need to spend a few hours using a "dream machine" each day to stay sane.
  • Interesting Situation Duel:
    • Bond and Mr. Kil fight to the death inside a room full of out-of-control laser beams and must dodge the deadly beams while they're in the middle of trying to kill each other.
    • Bond and Graves fight on a plane that's disintegrating due to the Icarus.
  • Interrogated for Nothing: Bond is put through a who's who of torture methods, and it's later revealed that he was intentionally given an incomplete briefing by MI6 for his mission, just in case he was captured. They do trade Zao for his return though, which he never expected to happen, and calls them out on.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Between MI6 and the NSA, although most of it is on the NSA's part. Toward the climax of the movie M chews out Falco for thinking this way and withholding relevant information, noting that they would have had an easier time finding Colonel Moon's mole in MI6 had they known that Moon and Miranda Frost had been on the Harvard fencing team together.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Bond's Aston Martin "Vanish", which even he can't help but compliment without a hint of snark.
    Bond: Oh, very good.
  • Ironic Echo: Frost says she's heard all about the infamous James Bond; "sex for dinner and death for breakfast!" She sleeps with Bond that night and tries to kill him the next day, pointing out that it really is death for breakfast.
  • Irony: One of the soldiers torturing Bond is a fairly attractive Korean female officer. Take that, you decadent Western womanizer!
  • It's Personal: Bond desires very strongly to avenge himself on Zao and the person who betrayed him during his mission in North Korea.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Reversed when Bond pulls out his gun, and Miranda comes in, reveals that she has been working with Graves all along and that she had sabotaged the firing pin of Bond's gun after sleeping with him. Otherwise, we would have James Bond not realizing that his gun was empty.
  • Jerkass: Mr. Krug, the obnoxious man in Cuba who unintentionally provides Bond with a way into the gene therapy clinic. He's a womanizer, loud and boorish, and threatens to shoot a poor waiter's testicles off if he doesn't do exactly what he says.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Graves' plane undergoes an explosive decompression that sucks everyone minus Bond, Graves, Miranda and Jinx from the aircraft, and none of them undergo the potentially fatal effects of hypoxia at the plane's sustained altitude. Plus, most planes today are designed so that bullets alone cannot trigger such a catastrophic event.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: In the epic sword-fight between Bond and Gustav Graves, at one point Graves gets hold of a katana and promptly chops Bond's sabre in half with a single blow. Curiously, they both pass up katanas in favour of longswords for the final duel.
  • Kill Sat: The Icarus, which fires a concentrated beam of sunlight. (Tempting Fate with that name much?)
  • Kingpin in His Gym:
    • Colonel Moon, whom we meet using Tae Kwan Do to take out his frustrations on the punching bag he's sewn his anger management therapist in.
    • Gustav Graves also has some fun at a fencing club. We later find that they're the same person.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: At the end of the movie, Moneypenny is caught experimenting with a pair of VR goggles...
  • Kung-Shui: It's cheerfully lampshaded when Bond and Gustav Graves trash a fencing club during a duel which gets out of hand; after the fight, as various ruined furnishings are carried out, a bellhop remarks, "The place needed redecorating anyway."
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: Jinx has a Designated Girl Fight with Miranda Frost while Bond takes on Big Bad Gustav Graves during the climax.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "New watch — this'll be your twentieth, I believe?" This joke works on two levels, as Bond is glib about returning all of Q's hardware in pieces.
  • Made of Explodium: Everything at Colonel Moon's base becomes this once Bond whips out the big guns. An especially egregious moment comes during the hovercraft chase when one craft Bond has blown away lands harmlessly next to a bunker that proceeds to explode seemingly on its own.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: A major plot point for two characters:
    • Colonel Moon, thought to be dead, disguises himself by using groundbreaking gene therapy to alter his entire ethnicity, to change from a North Korean colonel into a snobby British playboy, with the new identity of Gustav Graves. The Graves identity supposedly hailed from Argentina and moved to Iceland where he found diamonds and built a mine (it's actually a phony mine, used to launder African conflict diamonds obtained as payment for illegal arms trading.) It's actually one of the more convincing examples, as the process requires a battery of painful gene therapy (replacing bone marrow from substitutes harvested from unwilling donors) and causing no end of side-effects, including chronic insomnia. It's almost within the bounds of plausibility that one could be made to look like the other with Real Life facial reconstruction surgery, albeit only after multiple surgeries with long recovery periods in between.
    • Zao is in the middle of such a procedure, and is left with no hair, pale skin, ice-blue eyes, and a bunch of diamonds stuck in his face (they'd been put there by a C4 explosion, but you'd think that taking them out would have been the first thing the surgeon would do). Bond interrupts his operation in Cuba, forcing him to make do with the Sinéad O'Connor look.
  • Majored in Western Hypocrisy: Colonel Moon, the Trope Namer. What's even funnier about the line is that he speaks it with an air of someone who sees the Western world and its inhabitants as completely beneath him (Truth in Television as this is the cultural attitude of North Korea). Adding to his hypocrisy is his collection of Western-imported sports cars, a British girlfriend in the form of Miranda Frost, and his undergoing plastic surgery that transforms him into a British playboy with the intent of furthering his scheme of destroying the land mines in the demilitarized zone so that North Korea can retake South Korea. That the reason he received an education in the West in the first place was because his father wanted him to be a bridge between the West and North Korea makes it a bit sad.
    Colonel Moon: I know all about the UN. I studied at Oxford and Harvard. Majored in Western hypocrisy.
  • Master of Your Domain: Bond is able to lower his heart rate to the point where it appeared that he was dying.
  • Master Swordsman: Yes, he's James Bond. No, it's unlikely that either his military or his MI6 training included anything on using several different types of longswords. The same can be said for Gustav Graves, who, despite having a fencing instructor around, would not have learned anything useful about heavy sabres, katanas, hand-and-a-halfs, etc. As above, what Miranda Frost would actually be good at, Olympic fencing, has very little inherently to do with battle-grade weapons.
  • Meaningful Name
  • Messy Hair: Bond was a prisoner in North Korea for 14 months, so naturally his hair becomes untidy and long without any grooming.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Subverted. After Bond arrives in Hong Kong and has had a proper shave and some new clothes, it seems like he tries to seduce the Asian masseuse who was sent to his room. Then he takes her gun and reveals her as a Chinese operative.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Rogue North Korean colonel trades in smuggled diamonds for weapons but is presumably killed → plot by said rogue colonel, who was previously thought to have died, to use solar-powered Kill Sat to cut a path through the Korean DMZ, allowing North Korea to launch an invasion of South Korea.
  • The Mole: Miranda Frost was the one who revealed Bond's true identity in North Korea.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.
  • Nepotism: It's pretty obvious that the main reason why Colonel Moon even holds such a high rank in the North Korean military, a position that he then abuses for his own gain, is because his father is a General.
  • New Era Speech: Graves gives one when he presents the power of Icarus to General Moon.
  • No Brows: Zao does not have eyebrows, due to having subjected himself to a gene procedure that was interrupted by Bond. It underpins his Red Right Hand status.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: It's believed that Gustav Graves was inspired by Richard Branson.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The diamond lasers at the ice fortress apparently have some sort of Party Mode, where pressing a button will cause them all to turn on and start spinning around wildly.
  • Not-So-Abandoned Building: It's revealed that MI6 has taken over a disused (and fictitious) Underground station under the Houses of Parliament.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Gustav Graves states that his persona is based on James Bond. Ironically, it's made him the toast of England.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: For once, Bond ends up on the receiving end of this.
  • Novelization: The last of three films to be novelised by Raymond Benson.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: It's a Freeze-Frame Bonus, but at one point during the Graves/Bond swordfight, we get a glimpse of the doubles for both actors.
  • Offstage Villainy: During Bond's captivity, Zao attempts to blow up a summit between China and South Korea, killing three Chinese agents before being captured.
  • Oh, Crap!: Zao when Bond shoots down the chandelier above his head, letting out a scream before it impales him.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Gustav Graves is a younger Shadow Archetype to Bond, what with having his own gadgets, Dark Action Girl, and dangerous exotic lifestyle. Zao - about the same age as he is - even has his own Bond car.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The epic theme for Icarus.
  • Only One Plausible Suspect: We find out there's a mole inside the MI6 who has, among other things, informed the bad guys who Bond is. Now, obviously the mole can't be Bond himself, nor M or Q or Moneypenny, as they are all mainstays of the franchise. Besides them, there is only one other major MI6 character in the movie, who — surprise, surprise! — does turn out to be the mole.
  • Overt Operative: Nicely subverted with the hotel manager who (as usual) knows Bond well enough to recognize him (even with a Beard of Barbarism). Then it turns out the manager is with Chinese intelligence and knows who Bond ''really' is (and vice versa).
  • Patricide: Graves/Colonel Moon shoots dead his own father after the man dreads what his son has become and tries to stop his plan that will plunge the world into war.
  • Percussive Therapy: Colonel Moon is introduced to the audience while beating on a punching bag to work out some frustrations—then the punching bag is unzipped, revealing that he'd stuffed his anger management therapist in there.
  • Pillow Pistol: It's used against Bond when Miranda unloads it during the night.
  • Point Defenceless: The Icarus is programmed to automatically target and destroy incoming missiles. When Vlad tells Graves of the anti-satellite missile launched at Icarus, he isn't worried at all and just lets Icarus do its thing. It was only one missile.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Colonel Moon's plot would never have got off the ground had the NSA not withheld vital information about his time outside North Korea. The NSA knew of Miranda Frost's association with Moon/Graves through the Harvard fencing team, but kept it from MI6 because they feared there was a mole in their organisation, thereby preventing them from fingering her as the very mole the NSA feared.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: In addition to being a celebration of the series' fortieth anniversary, the producers wanted the film to set up a new series starring Jinx. As it turned out though, the mixed reception of this film combined with the catastrophic reaction to Catwoman (2004) killed off any chance of the Jinx series taking off.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Moneypenny uses the Virtual Reality Glasses for a little recreation with a virtual James Bond.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: Bond enters a room with a wheelchair.
    Patient: What the hell do you want? I don't need a goddamn wheelchair.
    Bond: No?
    (punches him)
    Bond: You do now.
  • Pretty in Mink: The ice palace patrons, and a white fur wrap Miranda wears (the furs were fake, but still counts more as this). The film's costumer said she liked combining the slinky dresses with fur because of the effect it gave.
  • Product Placement: It isn't new territory for a Bond film, certainly, but it was so glaringly obvious in this one that many critics nicknamed it "Buy Another Day."
  • Prophetic Names: The name of the orbital mirror system Icarus rather obviously foreshadows the device's final fate.
  • Proscenium Reveal: At one point, Bond is seen engaging in a shootout with intruders in MI6 headquarters. Then he finds someone hold M hostage in her office. He shoots the attacker through M's shoulder, and suddenly everything freezes in time and Q appears, scolding Bond for shooting his own boss, as it turns out Bond is in a virtual simulation in Q Branch's offices.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • Graves says "Father, you disappoint me." just before he kills his own father towards the end of the film.
    • Bond, as usual, gives one to Graves, with the bonus of turning his own line against him:
    Graves: Time to face destiny!
    Bond: Time to face gravity!
  • Professional Killer: Based on the "cold-blooded" criteria of the trope, Jinx actually outstrips Bond on this score, at least in this film, deciding to crack jokes when offing the likes of the gene therapy scientist and Miranda.
  • Pull the I.V.: Bond does this when escaping from the MI6 medical facility.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Vladimir Popov, Graves' tech expert. He cheerfully announces that Bond managed to break Graves' own land speed record.
  • Racial Transformation: It turns out that the British multi-millionaire Gustav Graves is in fact the new identity of the North Korean Colonel Moon, which he achieved through groundbreaking plastic surgery. In the same film, his Dragon Zao is shown undergoing a similar process to assume a German identity, but James Bond interrupts the treatment before he can finish it. This has some nasty side effects, leaving Zao as a bald albino with the diamond fragments he tried to have removed still embedded in his face.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: When Q gives Bond the Doorstopper manual for his latest gadget car, Bond tosses it in front of the vehicle's automatic shotguns which promptly blast the manual to shreds.
    Q: Here's the manual, should be able to shoot through that in a couple of hours.
    [Bond tosses the book into the air. The targeting shotguns blast it to pieces]
    Bond: Just took a few seconds, Q.
    Q: Wish I could make you vanish.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: Miranda Frost is mentioned as having won a gold medal in fencing... because the winner wound up dying of a drug overdose.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: General Moon sent his son to study in the West so he could help bridge the gap between the Koreas, refused to condone the torture DPRK soldiers inflicted on Bond, resisted attempts by DPRK hardliners to launch an open invasion of the South, and finally, tries to kill his own son when he realizes what a monster he has become.
  • Recycled Premise: The Kill Sat is remarkably similar to the one in Diamonds Are Forever. Probably intentional, given that it is the 20th movie and the 40th anniversary, and the whole film is loaded with Mythology Gags. The Spy Who Loved Me, the 10th movie, had a similar deal going, for instance the plot of that film being a Recycled Premise of You Only Live Twice.
  • Red Right Hand: Zao has diamonds embedded in his face from the explosion in the beginning. Meanwhile, Graves suffers chronic insomnia due to the gene therapy and must spend an hour each day in an REM device to avoid going mad.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Bond tries to check into a fancy Hong Kong hotel looking like he had barely survived a shipwreck. He just struts into the lobby like he owns the place, and pays no heed to the shocked gasps or Disapproving Looks of the guests and staff. This is because he knows the manager, who shows up and browbeats his staff into doing as Bond asks.
  • Renegade Russian: Colonel Moon, a renegade from North Korea, though he does gain the loyalty of the North Korean generals after the coup. (Except, oddly enough, Moon's father, an officer with a great deal of common sense.)
  • Resignations Not Accepted: MI6 has an "evaluation centre" in the Falkland Islands for keeping agents deemed a danger (which may include those who decide to resign), and M can confine someone there as long as she deems necessary.
  • Revenge: Bond attempted to shoot Miranda in the head the moment he discovered that she was The Mole in MI6 who betrayed him, but he failed to get his revenge because Miranda jammed the firing mechanism of his gun the night before.
  • Reverse Grip: Jinx, but only while Dual Wielding, and only with her off-hand.
  • Rogue Agent: After Bond is released from North Korea, he loses his 00 status and becomes a prisoner of MI6 until they can determine just how culpable he was with the information leak that led to the execution of an American agent. Bond manages to escape the British vessel holding him captive, and he operates on his own until M unofficially recruits him to investigate Gustav Graves.
  • Room Disservice: A Chinese agent poses as a masseuse. She fails but lives, because she's not there to kill Bond, only to find out what he's doing in Hong Kong.
  • Rule of Sexy: There is no valid reason for Bond to be shirtless during his first scene with M (the doctors had already done a thorough scan on his body some time ago, and he was merely resting before M visits him). He later escapes from the warship, and although he's wearing a blue shirt, he doesn't bother to button it even before he enters a posh Hong Kong hotel. For the sake of decorum, you'd expect that Bond would at least cover up his torso.
    • There is also no valid reason behind Miranda Frost putting on a skimpy bathing suit for her fight with Jinx but this.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Miranda Frost betrayed her country solely because she got a silver medal in the Olympics, and Graves offered to make it look like the gold winner cheated.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Chang appears to be just a typical hotel manager who sucks up to Bond. When Bond finds him peering into his room with others, he openly asks "do you really think I didn't always know you were Chinese intelligence?"
  • Selective Magnetism: Bond activates an MRI machine to disarm Zao. Ignoring the fact that it takes hours for an MRI to fully power up, the only things that the magnet attracts are the pistol and a few medical implements, leaving the steel table, hospital bed, etc completely untouched.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Played straight with Jinx in combat fatigues even if she removes her jacket, and Miranda Frost putting on very skimpy spandex.
  • Seriously Scruffy: Bond ends up with a Beard of Imprisonment, one of the few times he's seen with any kind of facial hair on screen. (His chest hair, on the other hand...)
  • Sex–Face Turn: Inverted — Frost enjoys her night with Bond, but she's still prepared to shoot him dead the next day.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Jinx walks out of the ocean in a bikini, wearing a white belt and diving knife, just like Honey Ryder.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Bond has four; during his first scene with M, twice when he sleeps with Jinx, and once when he beds Miranda.
    • Zao's chest is bare throughout the gene therapy clinic scene.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Done by Bond in a virtual training scenario to save M, justifying it as being Only a Flesh Wound.
    Bond: Check the replay. You'll find he's dead and she's only got a flesh wound.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During the climax on the plane when Graves throws out one of the parachutes is very similar to the climax in Air Force One when Egor Korshunov throws out the last parachute out the plane before fighting Marshall. Had Bond said, "Get off this plane," it would be cooler. And both Korshunov and Graves are killed when the heroes forcibly pull their parachutes open.
    • Bond's Virtual Reality mission is based on the stage "King's Ransom" in the Nintendo 64 game The World Is Not Enough.
    • Bond breaks out of MI6 custody and casually enters a luxury hotel, getting himself a suite, a shower, a shave, and some nice suits, similar to how in The Rock, John Patrick Mason (played by former Bond Sean Connery) escapes from the FBI's custody and makes his way to a luxury hotel to go for those same things. Additionally, there's a scene where a two-way mirror is smashed.
    • Damian Falco was named after Sidney Falco, the main character in Sweet Smell of Success, which is one of the writers' favourite films.
  • The Sleepless: Graves suffers from chronic insomnia as a side effect of the gene therapy he had, and has to spend an hour in an REM machine every day to keep himself from going insane.
  • Slow Laser: The villains try to use industrial lasers on Jinx... and Mr. Kil gets them instead.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Bond's opinion of the new Q. Q's answer is "Still, better than looking cleverer than you are."
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bond and the new Q still don't get along.
    Bond: Give me the old firing range any day, Quartermaster.
    Q: Yes, well, they call it the future, so get used to it. [takes Bond into a museum of Continuity Nods]
    Bond: This where they keep the old relics, is it?
  • Snooty Sports: Bond encounters diamond magnate Gustav Graves at a fencing academy, which is located in a converted chateau. Bond and Graves conduct a fencing match that escalates quickly and goes way outside the sparring lane. Fencing has become a snooty sport ever since semi-automatic firearms replaced the sword as the standard issue weapon for soldiers. Today, the sword is relegated to a parade dress uniform, purely for ceremonial purposes.
  • Soft Water: Jinx still manages to play this trope straight, though it was given a token Handwave in that she had chosen the place she dived off beforehand; presumably, she checked the water was deep enough to make the fall survivable. The height she dives from is still pushing a bit, but by this film's standards, it hardly merits a mention.
  • Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: The Icarus is essentially this, being one large mirror with a center focusing array to concentrate the light into a single, extremely hot beam.
  • Steel Eardrums: During Q's demonstration of the glass-shattering ring, he casually shoots at a plate of bulletproof glass at point-blank range without giving himself or Bond any ear protection.
  • Stock Footage: When the Americans launch a missile at Icarus, it is the exact same one used by the British Navy in Tomorrow Never Dies.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Jinx gets strapped to a table with a laser moving towards her neck.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!": Jinx dives backwards off a cliff into the ocean, where she is promptly picked up by a boat.
  • Supermodel Strut: After Jinx does her Sexy Surfacing Shot, she walks out of the water and into the bar in a catwalk strut while swinging her hips from left to right.
  • Sword and Fist: The sword fight has Bond and Graves exchanging blows as well as slashing a variety of swords at each other.
  • Sword Fight: What starts out as a somewhat friendly fencing match turns into a "first blood drawn from the torso". Also the duel between Miranda and Dual Wielding Jinx.
  • Take It to the Bridge: When Bond is released from captivity in North Korea, he's sent out alone onto a mist-shrouded bridge across the Demilitarized Zone. He realizes it's a Prisoner Exchange when Zao emerges from the mist in the other direction; they have a terse exchange in the middle, out of sight from both sides.
  • A Taste of the Lash: It's implied that this happened to Bond at some point during the 1.5 years he was held prisoner in North Korea, given the scars on his back.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: The fencing instructor says sarcastically regarding the Gustav/Bond duel, "I don't like cock fights."
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Said by Jinx to Miranda during their fight.
    Miranda: I can read your every move!
    Jinx: (Stabs her in the chest, complete with The Art of War) Read this! Bitch!
  • Time-Passage Beard: When Bond is finally freed by the North Koreans more than a year after his capture, he's grown a beard (as well as a mustache and long, shaggy hair).
  • Title Drop: "So you live to die another day... Colonel."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Colonel Moon's jeweller, who continues to examine the diamonds brought to the base by a disguised Bond after Moon has blown up Bond's chopper and while the entire base is scrambling to evacuate the illegal weapons from the scene. It doesn't end well for him when Bond blows the C4 hidden among the diamonds.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Bond is taken prisoner by the North Korean Army at the end of the prologue and tortured for months, before finally being traded back to the UK. M assumes the North Koreans only traded him because he cracked; Bond assures her he never did.
  • Traitor Shot: after Bond leaves Miranda in bed to investigate, the camera lingers on her as she watches him leave while putting her earrings back on. Although her expression doesn't change much, it's little surprise when she's revealed to have been working with the villain all along and was in fact responsible for Bond's capture in North Korea.
  • Treacherous Advisor: It's implied that General Moon's two adjutants are in on Graves' plot, although even they are disturbed when the junior Moon kills his father.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: Bond ends up shooting M to get at the guy behind. Turns out it was a simulation, with M receiving Only a Flesh Wound in the process.
  • Tuckerization: Jinx was named after a girl the writers knew from London's clubbing scene in The '80s.
  • Turbine Blender: Graves gets sucked into his plane's engines, after Bond presses the button on Graves' cyber suit which causes Graves to electrocute himself and lose his grip of the plane window. The engine makes a heavy grinding sound as it rips Graves to pieces.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: In a Deleted Scene. Interestingly, this actually a Fake-Out Make-Out scenario to hide the fact that Bond and Miranda have been snooping around the Ice Palace. They don't do the deed until returning to his room.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase:
    • In the pre-credits sequence, Bond and the North Korean arms dealers engage in a hovercraft chase.
    • Bond also uses a rocket-propelled sled to run away from the blast of Icarus.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Moon/Graves and Miranda are a couple, and they first met when they were on the Harvard fencing team.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The make-up department tried to make Brosnan look as unattractive as possible after his character had been imprisoned and beaten up for 14 months, yet the director undid some of its intended effect by giving the actor a gratuitous Shirtless Scene, so Bond still appears quite healthy (and remains at least somewhat desirable in the eyes of Brosnan's fangirls) in spite of the long-term torture.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The Virtual Reality Glasses.
  • Useful Book: Q gives James Bond the Doorstopper manual of his new car. Bond throws the book in front of the car, triggering the shotguns under the hood which promptly shoot it to confetti.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: At the end of the film, Graves' electric suit is turned against him after he's hanging out of a hole in the plane. When Bond triggers the electrocution, the no-longer-grounded Graves is shocked and loses his grip, getting dragged into the engine.
  • [Verb] This!:
    Miranda Frost: I can read your every move!
    Jinx: Read this! (pins a copy of The Art of War (Sun Tzu) to her chest with a throwing knife) Bitch!
  • Victory by First Blood: While Bond and Graves are fencing at the Blades club, Bond proposes a bet over a diamond marked with the insignia of Graves' company (which also happens to be an African conflict diamond). Graves accepts, then takes a pair of decorative swords off the wall.
    Graves: Since we're upping the wager, let's up the weapons, shall we? We'll do this the old-fashioned way, first blood drawn from the torso!
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Gustav Graves is beloved by England, and he knows how to schmooze with the tabloid press. Oddly enough, this causes a plot hole. How did no one notice this man never existed until a few months ago? And how did he accomplish enough to warrant a knighthood in that period? One possibility is that he'd had the resources for the transformation in storage for a long time.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Gustav Graves goes absolutely CRAZY during his fight with 007. Possibly justified due to the fact he's in a fight with the man who secretly ruined his life, and a foreshadow that parallels Colonel Moon's introduction in the The Teaser, that had him beating up his anger management therapist.
  • Villainous Demotivator: Our introduction to Col. Moon is a scene with him kicking the living crap out of a subordinate... who is hogtied inside a punching bag.
  • Villainous Friendship: Moon/Graves and Zao, brothers in arms who are very devoted to one another. It's telling that while he sees his girlfriend Miranda as a weapon, he shows deeper, more personal affection for Zao in private.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: Q puts 007 in a VR training scenario where he gets to play Shoot the Hostage with M.
  • Visible Invisibility: The invisible car. There's a (rather overlong, which Bond lampshades) explanation of the spec-tech involved, and the distortion is very visible. At least when the car is moving, as presumably the cameras and computers have a hard time keeping up. When it's still, it's undetectable.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Colonel Moon's entire rare car collection rains out of the sky onto the rice paddies of North Korea.
  • Water Torture: The Action Prologue ends on a shot of the North Koreans ducking Bond in ice water to make him talk (and to punish him for apparently killing Col. Moon), which blends into the opening credits.
  • We Don't Need Roads: Colonel Moon uses hovercrafts to cruise over the Korean demilitarized zone (which is littered with mines). Bond destroys his base, and Moon is forced to go underground and build a giant sunlight-reflecting satellite to destroy the minefield, instead. (Which had to be more expensive than simply buying more hovercrafts...)
  • Weaponized Car: Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish and Zao's Jaguar XKR duel.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Colonel Moon wants this from his father. At least until he becomes Gustav Graves.
    • With regards to Bond's implicit mother-son dynamic with M, his delivery of "You burn me, and now you want my help" is petulant and resentful, and the hurt he feels towards M for not trusting him earlier is more personal than professional.
  • Wham Line:
    • For Bond, Colonel Moon suddenly blowing up the helicopter, then asking, "How do you propose to kill me now, Mr. Bond?"
    • Also from Moon (Now Gustav Graves) when he is confronted by Bond and Miranda who have him at gunpoint, and he says to Bond when inquiring on who betrayed him to North Korea: "You never thought of looking inside your own organization?" Cue Miranda turning her gun to Bond instead.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The superweapon is named "Icarus". At the end of the movie, the villain loses control of the weapon and accidentally burns the wings off his own plane, causing a spectacular crash.
  • Whole Costume Reference: Jinx wears the bikini top, Shorttank and survival knife ensemble while doing a Sexy Surfacing Shot which was made famous by Honey Rider in Dr. No.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: While Graves's motivations are different, the scheme itself is taken wholesale from Diamonds Are Forever; from using diamonds to build a giant space laser Kill Sat for neutralising ground-based military defences to the villain impersonating a respected industrialist.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Invoked. Mr Kil seems to really enjoy that laser.
  • Within Arm's Reach: The film has the climatic showdown between James Bond and the villain Gustav Graves aboard an aircraft with a gaping hole in its fuselage. Graves has Bond at his mercy, largely by wearing Powered Armour. Bond, however, pulls the ripcord on Graves's parachute, deploying it, whereupon the turbulence pulls Graves out of the aircraft.
  • Working Out Their Emotions: Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is introduced to the audience while beating on a punching bag to work out some frustrations—then the punching bag is unzipped, revealing that he'd stuffed his anger management therapist in there.
  • Working the Same Case: After being rescued by Bond, the mysterious Jinx reveals that she's an NSA agent—in a slight subversion, Bond has already realized that she's one of the good guys—and that they're both pursuing the same villain.
  • Worst Aid: Jinx is unconscious underwater an awfully long time for her to come to that quickly when Bond rescues her and just gives her mouth-to-mouth.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bond would've executed the traitor Miranda if she hadn't disabled his gun without his knowledge.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Bond's reaction when Q brings out his "new transportation"; because it's invisible, he thinks Q's referring to the trolley it's sitting on.
    Q: As I learned from my predecessor, Bond, I never joke about my work.
  • You Just Told Me: Bond uses this method to reveal the identity of Gustav Graves. The trope as played out here is somewhat less than effective, since the audience has already been alerted to this plot point.
  • Your Mom: Jinx's answer to Zao when he asks her who sent her.
    Zao: Who sent you?
    Jinx: Your momma. She wanted me to tell you that she's real disappointed in you.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Said almost verbatim by Bond's Cuban contact, but promptly defied by Bond: "Zao has no interest in other people's freedom".
  • Zip Me Up: Happens with a fencing instructor (played by Madonna) who asks Bond to zip up her corset:
    Verity: Do you mind? I've come undone.


Icarus Chase

When Bond tries to escape, Gustav Graves decides to demonstrate the true power of his satellite by having it pursue James with a concentrated beam of sunlight.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / KillSat

Media sources: