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The 20th James Bond film, starring Pierce Brosnan in his last appearance as the character (second to last if you count the surprisingly good, in-continuity video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, in which he does the voice-acting). After Bond is captured during an operation in North Korea and subjected to 14 months of torture, he is exchanged for a high ranking "military official" (a.k.a. terrorist). This sets off a chain of events where Bond goes on a vendetta against said official.
Die Another Day provides examples of:
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Sort of. Graves' modified Antonov An-124 carries a helicopter aboard which Bond manages to launch out of it in mid-air.
- All Just a Dream: It's implied that the title sequence is a product of 007's mind as he is being tortured.
- Artistic Title: An extremely kinky version in the opening credits, where Bond is being tortured in the background while naked chicks made of ice, fire, and electricity are writhing around in the foreground. It veers into Nightmare Fuel territory with the implication that this is what Bond is hallucinating during the torture.
- Asshole Victim: The rude guy that Bond knocks out to get himself on the island.
- Beam Spam: Bond fights Mr. Kil in a room full of out-of-control laser beams.
- Beard of Sorrow: More a Beard of Imprisonment, but hey.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Kind of subverted when Bond is released by the Koreans looking like he'll shout "WILSON!".
- But played straight in that he's in remarkably good shape for someone who's endured 14 months of imprisonment and torture.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Suggested that Bond endured one of these in the very trippy opening sequence.
- Collapsing Lair: More like melting lair.
- Composite Character: Colonel Moon is a weird fusion of the literary version of Hugo Drax with Colonel Sun. In true Bond fashion, subtitles on the Region 2 DVD reveal his full name to be Tan-Sun Moon.
- Continuity Nod
- The gadgets in Q's lab.
- Jinx emerges from the water in the same manner — and bikini — as Honey Ryder from Dr. No.
- Bond pretends to be an ornithologist, a nod to his origins as he was named after an ornithologist named James Bond.
- In the training sim, Bond refers to the virtual M's seemingly fatal wounding as "just a flesh wound." He makes this remark to John Cleese who said the same thing in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" after having all his limbs removed by king Arthur.
- According to the movie's IMDb page, this film--in honor of the franchise's fortieth--references every single other Bond film at least once and several tips of the hat to the original novels.
- Cool Car: Two of them. They also fight.
- Death by Looking Up
- Death Ray
- Defiant to the End: Noted of Bond when all he has to offer after months of brutal torture is a snarky one-liner.
- Dirty Communists: North Korea's military eagerly supports the conquest of Japan and South Korea through Colonel Moon's plan. It's stated at least once that there was a coup before the invasion, presumably to avoid implicating the entire country as Card-Carrying Villains.
- The Dragon: Zao.
- Dress Hits Floor: Miranda, as she prepares to sleep with Bond. Leading to a brief shot of Toplessness From the Back... and then followed by Modesty Bedsheet.
- Evil Counterpart: Gustav Graves claims to be one.
- Evil Redhead: Graves.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Bond in the North Korean prison grows a beard, and then promptly shaves it off when he gets out.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Bond and Frost.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: Zao is killed by one.
- Faux Action Girl: Jinx talks a good game but only manages to defeat a secretary in hand to hand combat. The kind of fencing done in the Olympics is more akin to waving a car antenna around than any sort of combative fighting, so beating an Olympic fencer with real weapons is hardly the pinnacle of achievement.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Bond fights Mr. Kil in a room full of out-of-control lasers slicing everything up. It's pretty insane and even if impractical, it's a pretty good visual.
- Gatling Good: Zao's Jaguar has a Minigun mounted on top, complete with the usual inaccurate firing rate.
- Hot Chick with a Sword: Miranda Frost.
- Hurricane of Puns: The amount of innuendo between Bond and Jinx may drive your head into the screen. Even for a Bond movie, it's a lot.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Zao is impaled by an ice chandelier about twice his size.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Yes he's James Bond. No, it's unlikely that either his military or his MI 6 training including anything on using several different types of longswords. The same can be said for Gustav Graves, who, despite having a fencing instructor around, would not have learned anything useful about heavy sabers, katanas, hand-and-a-halfs, etc. As above, what Miranda Frost would actually be good at, Olympic fencing, has very little inherently to do with battle-grade weapons.
- Innocent Innuendo (Somewhat): Though what they're doing is hardly innocent, the end sequence of Bond and Jinx playing with diamonds is made to sound like something else from outside.
- Irony: Bond being tortured by a beautiful Korean female officer. Take that you decadent Western womanizer!
- It's Personal: Bond desires very strongly to avenge himself on Zao.
- Katanas Are Just Better: In the epic swordfight between Bond and Gustav Graves, at one point Graves gets hold of a katana and promptly chops Bond's sabre in half with a single blow. Curiously, they both pass up katanas in favor of broadswords for the final duel.
- Kill Sat: The Icarus (Tempting Fate with that name much?)
- Kingpin in His Gym:
- Colonel Moon, whom we meet taking his Tae Kwon Do- frustrations out on a punching bag containing his anger therapist- that'll teach him to lecture Moon.
- Big Bad Gustav Graves also has some fun at a fencing club. We later find that they're the same person.
- Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: At the end of the movie, Moneypenny is caught experimenting with a pair of VR goggles...
- Magic Plastic Surgery: So magical it even allows you to switch racial groups. Also apparently involves Lego Genetics as it's mentioned to be some form of "gene therapy."
- Majored in Western Hypocrisy: Colonel Moon, the Trope Namer.
- Meaningful Name
- The Mole: Miranda
- The Mothership: Played with hovercrafts.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Twice, with it actually working once.
- Mythology Gag: It being the 40th anniversary of the franchise, the film includes references to every previous Bond film. Some are more subtle than others.
- The book James carries around to maintain his cover as an ornithologist is written by a real-life person named James Bond. And the author's name is how Ian Fleming came up with the fictional character's name.
- New Era Speech: Graves gives one when he presents the power of Icarus to General Moon.
- Not So Different: Gustav Graves states that his persona is based on James Bond. Ironically, it's made him the toast of England.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: For once, Bond ends up on the receiving end of this.
- Ominous Backward English Chanting: The epic theme for Icarus.
- Poorly-Disguised Pilot: In addition to being a celebration of the series' fortieth anniversary, the producers wanted Die Another Day to set up a new series starring Jinx. As it turned out though, the mixed reception of this film combined with the catastrophic reaction to Catwoman killed off any chance of the Jinx series taking off.
- Pretty in Mink: The ice palace patrons, and a white fur wrap Miranda wears (the furs were fake, but still counts more as this).
- Product Placement: It isn't new territory for a Bond film, certainly, but it was so glaringly obvious in this one that many critics nicknamed it "Buy Another Day."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Time to face destiny!" "Time to face gravity!"
- Read the Freaking Manual: When Q gives Bond the Doorstopper manual for his latest gadget car, Bond tosses it in front of the vehicle's automatic shotguns which promptly blast the manual to shreds.
Q: Here's the manual, should be able to shoot through that in a couple of hours.
- Rogue Agent: Bond becomes one, at least in the first part of the movie.
- Self-Made Orphan: Graves/Moon shoots dead his own father after he tries to stop his plan.
- Sex Face Turn: Inverted — Frost enjoys her night with Bond, but she's still prepared to shoot him dead the next day.
- Shoot the Hostage: Done by Bond in a virtual training scenario to save M, justifying it as being Only a Flesh Wound.
- Snark to Snark Combat: Bond and the new Q still don't get along.
Bond: Give me the old firing range anyday, Quartermaster.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: Said by Jinx to Miranda during their fight.
- Title Drop: "So you live to die another day... Colonel."
- Uncanny Valley: In-Universe, Gustav Graves couldn't avoid it, the first clue of his identity. Zao may qualify too.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: The Virtual Reality Glasses.
- Villainous Breakdown: Gustav Graves goes absolutely CRAZY during his fight with 007. Possibly justified due to the fact he's in a fight with the man who secretly ruined his life.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Gustav Graves is beloved by England.
- Visible Invisibility: Bond's Aston Martin emits a distortion effect.
- Watch the Paint Job: Colonel Moon's entire rare car collection rains out of the sky onto the rice paddies of North Korea.
- Weaponized Car: Bond's Aston Martin Vanquish and Zao's Jaguar XKR duel.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Colonel Moon wants this from his father.
- A Worldwide Punomenon:
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Bond's reaction when he finds out his latest car has a cloaking device.
Q: As I learned from my predecessor, Bond, I never joke about my work.
Zao: Who sent you?
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Said almost verbatim by Bond's Cuban contact, but promptly defied by Bond: "Zao has no interest in other people's freedom."
- Zip Me Up: Happens with Madonna.