(out of 5)
Ridiculously loud Bond adventure is still a top-notch thrill even in its weakest moments. This time a darker side of Bond is attempted as our hero is discredited by his own organization in the film’s opening sequence and then proceeds as a rogue agent to get revenge on his betrayers. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the indomitable M (Judi Dench) will stop using him to collect important information on the nation’s new enemy. He teams up with an American superspy (Halle Berry) and together they uncover a diamond smuggling ring run by a mysterious young Englishman (Toby Stephens) who plans on using his Icelandic ice palace/diamond mine to unleash (what else?) a weapon of mass destruction. The plot is positively ludicrous, and yet no how matter how little sense it makes it’s still a good time to behold. As usual, no expense has been spared in providing gorgeous locales (warm and exotic Havana, icily beautiful Iceland), and Peter Lamont’s production design continues to dazzle. An added cherry on top for pop fans is the appearance of Madonna, who sings the exciting title song and appears in an unbilled cameo as a slinky fencing instructor who could give Pussy Galore a good run for her money. Better than The World Is Not Enough (no teenage nuclear physicists here), lesser than Tomorrow Never Dies.
Directed by Lee Tamahori
Cinematography by David Tattersall
Music by David Arnold
Production Design by Peter Lamont
Costume Design by Lindy Hemming