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  Film Reviews: Die Another Day: A Human Resources Cautionary Tale  

Sunday, December 29
Die Another Day: A Human Resources Cautionary Tale
James Bond’s twentieth. By now we all know what to expect. From the fantastic opening sequence to the Bond women to the gadgets to the over-the-top villain to the inevitable “Bond, James Bond” introduction – we love it and we always come back for more.

The question that remains to be answered in all Bond films is the same – just how will it be different this time? One would think that there would be a rather finite supply of super villains looking to destroy all in existence, but not in the world of 007. It’s like wishing that a certain purchasing manager would, say, disappear forever – you want to believe that a kinder more benevolent purchasing manager would take their place. But we know the reality…either an equally or more evil purchasing manager will rise up and take hold in their old cubicle. It’s the same thing in the world of Bond.

We learn new things about Bond in this movie. He surfs. He has a regular room at a luxurious Hong Kong Hotel. It is possible to hold Bond in the squalor of a Northern Korean prison camp.

Oh, you didn’t think Bond could be held prisoner? Well, just how then did you think that he would meet his enemy who is Korean but doesn’t look Korean due to a top secret DNA-switching medical facility located in Cuba that was also under investigation by a CIA operative named Jinx (played by Halle Berry, much to husband’s delight) that pays homage to Ursula Andress’ bikini scene from her Bond girl days? Are you with me so far? Did I mention Zao, the henchman with illegal diamonds embedded in his face that fits in so nicely at the temporary ice hotel designed to house and show off the fake sun launched in secret as a simple satellite that will be used to saw North and South Korea in half? Perhaps I lost you along the way when I failed to mention that Bond was temporarily no longer an agent but was freed by M who believed in his innocence but was forced to pretend that he escaped from the high-tech British medical prison.

Yes, yes, the plot is convoluted, but if it weren’t for all of that, we’d actually start to question the villain. Well, I had some time on my hands, and I’ve decided that the next Bond film must deal with some serious Human Resources issues.

Let’s take our super-villain in Die Another Day. He’s Korean, fights with Bond, survives certain death and is able to completely alter his genetic makeup in order to reinvent himself in a few years as a psudo-British billionaire playboy diamond mogul. One would think that this high-profile lifestyle would be vengeance enough. BUT NO. He invents “Icarus,” a second sun that will be used as a giant weapon. All of these things take a certain amount of genius. Sure, it’s evil genius, but genius nonetheless.

So, how does a guy that is able to accomplish all of this fail so miserably in the hiring of henchmen department? Seriously, don’t you think that you could put together at least one decent set of interview questions during some down-time during the launch of his super-weapon. I mean, they made a point of saying this guy only slept one hour a night as part of the plot. There must be some time to come up with a better interview process. In lieu, I propose some basic questions:

·        Can you simply kill someone with a gun on my orders?
·        Can you still carry out this plan in the event that the intended victim is either incredibly attractive and/or charming?
·        Can you still carry out the kill order with a gun EVEN if you’re surrounded by high-tech toys that may or may not involve lasers?
·        Did any of your prior employers provide you with a dental plan that allowed for simple cleanings?
·        In the event that we don’t pick you as a candidate because of your incredibly unique physical oddity, do you have any equally evil brothers, sisters or cousins that would be interested in a position here?

Seriously, there must be a way to get quality help, even if you’re evil. I hear many nice, qualified people worked at Enron…they may have issues to work out and would make a nice fit in the ultra-evil organization.

The Usual:

What it’s Worth: This depends on how you view the Bond movies. For those that love them, it’s worth full-fare. Otherwise, wait for the HBO multi-view and realize that your film-watching soul is dead for not being able to enjoy this kind of movie.

Annoying Theater Goer: Nothing beyond momentary chit-chat here and there…I can’t really hand out an award.

Main Reason To See This Film: It’s Bond – it means everything exudes cool and sexy (save the henchmen). There are also cool stunts and, although inferior to his prior BMWs, a fun new car for James is brought into the picture.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: Madonna makes a cameo. She is nearly enough to ruin any film she appears in – she wears a tight pseudo-dominatrix leather outfit. This does not improve her performance or appearance at all. Someone must warn Guy Ritchie that she is the succubus that will ruin his career.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Nudity: No (husband and roomie both recommend minute 37 of “Swordfish” as an FYI).

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