Pierce Brosnan is back as British secret service agent 007 in the 20th James Bond movie. Alan Silverman has a look at Die Another Day.
His job is no less than saving democracy; but, of course, he is Bond, so there also have to be exotic locations and encounters with beautiful women.
There's the usual assortment of high-tech gadgets. And there's a megalomaniac villain with an evil plot to upset the world political order with a dangerous new weapon.
English actor Toby Stephens plays the villain, Rupert Graves.
"I was very aware when I got the part that there was a long line of other very good villains prior to me and I didn't want to be the one to let the side down," says Graves. " When I initially got the part, I was elated and hysterical and pleased and all the things that you should be. Then, upon reflection, I actually became nervous prior to filming; but once I got into it I immediately started to enjoy it and just take it on."
Oscar-winner Halle Berry co-stars as Jinx, an American secret agent who becomes the hero's ally; but this is a Bond movie, so it seems that when she has to fight, Jinx strips off some of her clothes.
"She whipped off her shirt to deflect the sword. She didn't whip it off to go 'look at me'...she was using it as a weapon," explains Berry. " That's a girl thinking fast on her feet, using what she has when she has no weapons to get herself out of a situation. To me that's very empowering. That's not degrading. That saved her skin. That's why I liked her so much. She was a girl who could think that fast. To me, that speaks to her intelligence. You can see the bikini underneath, but there's brain working at the same time. That makes, for me, the most empowered woman possible."
However, even the "most empowered woman" can succumb to Bond's charms and Pierce Brosnan admits those love scenes can be challenging.
"It's not the easiest thing to do," admits Brosnan. "When you're working with someone as beautiful as Halle Berry, there's no down side. It's just a joy. But you have 20 people there. It might be a closed set, but you still have 10 to 20 people and, you know, you're acting your little socks off.... so to speak."
Rosamund Pike plays yet another Bond conquest.
"They're classic cinema moments, the bond love scenes; and to create one of those cult moments is pretty cool," she says. "You don't see anything and that's why it can be alluring."
Die Another Day marks 40 years since the first James Bond movie (Dr. No) and director Lee Tamahori includes numerous salutes to the earlier films, including a visit to the gadget lab run by quartermaster "Q."
"People who love gadgets in these movies ask 'what happened to the jet packs and things like that?' so I asked the producer what happens to the old props and gadgets and he said they all go into a secret warehouse," explains Tamahori. "I said ' Oh my God, a secret warehouse!' the more we talked about that, I thought why don't we do that? Why don't we rewrite the John Cleese scene and just put it in a warehouse full of memorabilia. That's what we did, so everything in there is an old gadget from a bond movie."
John Cleese takes over the role of "Q" from the late Desmond Llewellyn. Dame Judi Dench once again plays secret service chief "M." The title music for Die Another Day is by pop music icon Madonna.