Junkfood Cinema: ‘Die Another Day’ Never Happened

By  · Published on November 9th, 2012

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; home of Her Majesty’s Secret Sauce. This is the movie column with the license to grill…terrible movies. We fry everything else. Every week we moon-rake a bad movie over the coals, shaking it, stirring it, and a third Bond pun as well. We mock the living daylights out it, but just when it seems we have a view to a kill, we offer the movie a quantum of solace in the fact that we actually do harbor an affection for it. At the end, as we’ve never been a proponent of the idea of live and let diet, we serve up a disgustingly delicious snack food themed to the movie and sure to add a few double chins to those double-0 agents.

One of the problems with being a diehard fan of the James Bond franchise, is that it’s impossible to then be a JamesBond fan of the Die Hard franchise. Wait, no, that’s not what I was going to say. The real problem is that your fandom often prevents you from avoiding some of the series’ worst entries even though you really ought to. Sure, Skyfall was tremendous, but does that mean I can finally resign myself to never again watch Die Another Day? No, it’ll still be there, impossible to resist; like a burn at the roof of your mouth that you can’t stop tonguing while watching Die Another Day. It’s so bad, that I’ve actually had to come up with new methods of rationalizing its existence. What if it’s not a film at all? What if it’s merely a figment of Bond’s traumatized hallucinations?

A few years ago, England’s most powerful and lethal secret agent James Bond was captured while on assignment in North Korea. While in prison, it’s no secret that he was tortured relentlessly for fourteen months. Suddenly, without warning, he turned up on the doorstep of MI-6 claiming he was ready to be debriefed on a mission so outlandish, so moronic, that there is no way it could have possibly happened. Sure, Bond has gotten into some silly scrapes before, but the caliber of idiocy involved in this story makes it far beneath the talents and reputation of the legendary agent. He kept babbling that the fictive operation was called Die Another Day. Here now is the transcript of his ravings as he relayed them to M and the Minister of Defense. For your eyes only…because you can’t read it with your ears or butt.

M: So Bond, tell me again who your enemies were.

Bond: I told you, they were two rogue officers of the North Korean military. The leader was the son of General Moon.

M: But Bond, you killed Colonel Moon at the beginning of the film mission everyone in the audience area clearly saw him fall to his death.

Bond: But then he went to Cuba and they killed off his bone marrow in order to erase his DNA, and then in phase two they injected new DNA to turn him into a Caucasian. They do it all the time. His henchman Zao was halfway through the process when I blew up the lab.

M: Zao, he’s the one whose face is full of diamonds?

Bond: Of course. It was like Paul Wall sneezed on him. (No reaction as no one at MI-6 knew who that was)

M: So you stopped his procedure halfway through?

Bond: Yes.

M: Meaning that, for the rest of the film operation, he had no bone marrow? By the logic you just laid before us, he was literally walking around and being generally not dead…without bone marrow.

Bond (pauses): Y-Yes. And the newly white Colonel Moon was planning to use a giant Jiffy Pop bag on a satellite made of diamonds to project a laser beam onto the Earth and cause mass destruction.

M (to The Minister of Defense): They clearly used a great deal of scorpion venom on him. He’s describing, almost exactly, the events of Operation: Diamonds Are Forever. That has to be what it is, no global terrorist would so wantonly plagiarize a previous terrorist’s plot. That would be embarrassingly lazy.

Minster: When did you first confront this racial journeyman of a foe once you realized he wasn’t dead?

Bond: Here in London. We had our usual witty banter and then we engaged in a rampaging sword fight through a fancy athletic club with the intent of drawing blood from one another. But it was merely for show.

M: You went immediately from banter to trying to kill each other and then tried to play it off to everyone around you as a friendly competition?

Bond: And Madonna was there.

M: Why the blasted hell would she be involved? She’s a singer! She has no business being there. There is absolutely no cause to put Madonna into this story.

Minister: Ok, so what happened next?

Bond: I went to Iceland. Mr. Kill and I fought with laser robots to save a woman named Jinx who worked for Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs.

M: Michael Madsen? Why the devil would he be inserted into Bond’s story? Next you’ll be telling me that your next assignment will prove that you actually look better in Honey Rider’s swimsuit than did Jinx.

Bond: What?

M: Nevermind.

Minister: And how did Colonel Moonface control the diamond satellite?

Bond: A power glove, NES class.

Minister: Run a check for NES, unfamiliar with that agency. Now Bond, where was the incognito Colonel Moon operating this satellite?

Bond: An ice castle. He used the sun to melt it and that sent me kite surfing on glacial waters before I could return to my invisible car.

Minister (to M): Which part of that sentence is the worst?

M: Bond, the technology required to bend light enough to hide a vehicle does exist, but only works from great distances. So that’s the only way in which you utilized it, correct? From a distance?

Bond: No, I used it to trick Diamond Face into driving into a puddle in the middle of the crumbling ice castle.

M: Of course you did. And getting back to this kite surfing, doesn’t that sound a little…ridiculous to you? The thought of you bounding across a raging ocean, dodging icebergs, all while holding on to a parachute and not losing your footing on the board seems sort of…brainless. That makes about as much sense as flying boogie boards launched from an airplane.

Bond: Also happened.

Minister: Oh come now Bond, it does sound like something more suitable for a videogame than an actual James Bond mission.

Bond: No Minister, I played the James Bond videogame during my mission. It’s how I was reinstated for active duty. A virtual reality simulation of an attack on MI-6. It was incredibly life-like.

Minister: I don’t think we have such a device. That would be an incredibly sophisticated piece of equipment, a staggering leap forward in technology and engineering.

Bond: Indeed, and Miss Moneypenny used it to visualize us shagging.

M (clearly at her wits end): So how did you escape from Moon’s clutches after destroying the diamond satellite?

Bond: We stopped the diamond laser, blew up the plane, and were able to push a helicopter out of the back and fly away.

Minster (to M): So now they’re the bloody A-Team?

M: Will somebody please get Bond down to medical. I don’t think all the venom is out of his system. He’s clearly in need of detox and counseling. Only a completely deranged or mentally scarred individual could come up with a parade of nonsense like that.

Minister: I agree, this Bond is completely divorced from sense.

(Bond is led out in a straight jacket)

Junkfood Pairing: Hawaiian Ice

So much of this film is dominated by ice and ice-related imagery; diamonds, Miranda Frost, the cold, dead look in Pierce Brosnan’s eyes as he watches his Bond legacy come crashing down around him. However, the movie also features the very tropical location of Havana, Cuba. Therefore, we found it only fitting to pair the movie with an icy treat that simultaneously calls to mind warm days and tropical climates. If you suck down your Hawaiian Ice fast enough, the ensuing brain freeze might actually help wipe the memory of this film from your consciousness. Lucky.

Longtime FSR columnist, current host of FSR’s Junkfood Cinema podcast. President of the Austin Film Critics Association.