Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster
Man in tuxedo blows up enemy lair, wins girl, makes bad jokes.
The prologue of Die Another Day delivers. There's an explosive chase sequence, the climax of which sees the hovercraft Bond has been driving plunging over the edge of a waterfall. There's a huge clanging sound, and as the camera pans out we realise that Bond is swinging from a massive Buddhist prayer gong. "Saved by the bell," he quips with just about enough knowing panache to make the abysmal joke fly.
Thereafter, it's swiftly downhill. His assassination target, North Korean Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee) has disappeared in the hovercraft chase, but Bond himself is captured by the North Korean army, and finally released in exchange for Moon's favourite henchman, Zao (Yune), who Bond failed to kill, despite filling his face with diamonds from an exploding suitcase. M (Dench), is decidedly annoyed and strips him of his '00' status. Bond is convinced he was betrayed by a double agent and sets out to find out why, and to finish the job on Zao on the way.
Pierce Brosnan, who has always looked the part, combines Sean Connery's hard edge with Roger Moore's facility for delivering lines like "I'm just here for the birds". He's let down by the silliest car yet (it's invisible) and some duff CGI: there's one particularly bad sequence towards the end where Bond ends up surfing on a wave that wouldn't look out of place in a Sinclair Spectrum game.
There are various annoying directorial quirks - particularly the seemingly random insertion of a few Matrix bullet time moments - and, inevitably, dozens of improbable moments, but by the time things go sci-fi, with a crazy sun-powered ice-melting weapon, all credibilityhas run screaming and dived headfirst out of a window.
An attractive cast, silly gadgets, bad puns, worse CGI and a totally ludicrous plot make this the least of the Brosnan Bonds, but it all paves the way for an injection of grit with Casino Royale.
BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The
Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
As voted for by a panel of horror experts and friends of Film4 & FrightFest