The 20th Bond movie, released in 2002, maintains a high standard and rarely misses a beat. Pierce Brosnan is superb in his final outing as 007, there's a relentless pace from director Lee Tamahori, plenty of gals, guns and gimmicks, some cool (literally freezing) set pieces, and, surprisingly, a female sidekick, played with aplomb by Halle Berry. And - in best Bond style - it dashes frantically around the globe.
While on assignment in North Korea, 007 is captured by government agents and imprisoned, but when he's finally freed, some think he's not the full ticket. Sent on a mission to track down nasty North Korean nutter Zao (Rick Yune) and unscrupulous entrepreneur Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), Bond hops from England to Cuba to Korea to Iceland in pursuit of his quarry, meeting two beautiful and mysterious women, Jinx (Halle Berry) and fellow British agent Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) along the way.
Quite tough at times, the early torture scenes are unpleasant and possibly overdone, the fencing fight is terrific, while the final car chase on ice is quite magnificent. There's just one little problem - Madonna. Whoever thought of offering Madge a cameo as a fencing instructor, let alone allowing her to sing the film's dire theme song, needs their head examined. Otherwise, top marks all round.