Monday, September 14, 2015

Die Another Day (2002) | Villains

Die Another Day is too excessive in general, but a little excess is good and it works with Zao. I like that we get an origin story for him and his final look is eerie and beautiful. The greatest compliment I can pay a henchman is that I wish he wouldn't have died so that we could get more of him. I can't even say that about every henchman currently in my Top Ten, but I can definitely say it about Zao.

I can't say it about Mr. Kil though. Lawrence Makoare is a great presence in the Lord of the Rings movies, but his Bond character is just a joke name and an extra person for Bond to get through.

Miranda Frost is so frustrating. Rosamund Pike is using every ounce of her mojo to make Frost interesting, but there's just nothing to work with. We're supposed to believe that she's betrayed her country just so Moon would help her cheat and win a gold medal? What kind of person does that? The movie obviously doesn't know.

Moon/Graves is a great concept. I love the DNA sci-fi laid over Fleming's version of Hugo Drax. And it's cool that Graves has some of the same weaknesses that Drax does. But his big screw up is paying for Zao's surgery with his own engraved diamonds. Graves' diamonds have been altered to hide their origin as conflict diamonds, so why not pay for Zao's procedure with the original versions? Dumb.

Top Ten Villains

1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Never Say Never Again)
3. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love and Thunderball)
4. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
5. Maximilian Largo (Never Say Never Again)
6. Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7. Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
8. Doctor No (Dr. No)
9. General Gogol (For Your Eyes Only)
10. Karl Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me)

Top Ten Henchmen

1. Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
2. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
3. Grant (From Russia with Love)
4. Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5. Zao (Die Another Day)
6. Gobinda (Octopussy)
7. May Day (A View to a Kill)
8. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)
9. Naomi (The Spy Who Loved Me)
10. Oddjob (Goldfinger)


larry said...

Graves is the reason "Die Another Day" has replaced "Moonraker" as my least favorite Bond film. We're to believe that an Asian man can be converted fully into a Caucasian man and then rise to power from obscurity in a year or less. Either one of those concepts is a stretch but both of them together push the film over the top for me.

Michael May said...

That's absolutely true and thanks for the reminder. The last couple of times I watched Die Another Day, I was so surprised by the parts I did like that I was distracted from how bad some of the really horrible parts still are. Moon's transformation into Graves is totally one of those.


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