Oh, I can barely bring myself to think about it. The ice palace, the space laser, the North Korean baddie who looked quite promising until he turned into Toby Stephens, a smug Halle Berry with an Ursula Andress complex, John Cleese in the greatest piece of miscasting since John Wayne played Genghis Khan, Madonna giving us acting even worse than her godawful theme song, the knuckle-bitingly risible CGI, the disgraceful product placements, Bond surfing between icebergs on a bit of discarded ice speeder, Moneypenny having sex with a virtual reality 007 and the, hang your head in shame of it, disappearing Aston Martin.
Forget Blofeld, surviving Die Another Day was far and away Bond’s greatest escape. No wonder it took four years, a change of lead and the biggest franchise reboot in history before we saw him again.
Actually, hang on a moment. Rewind. There’s an Aston Martin in there and while the disappearing bit was almost as cringe-inducing as Cleese introducing it as the Aston Martin Vanish, the car itself, the Vanquish, was great.
Here’s a big statement: the Aston Martin Vanquish was not just the best Aston 007 ever drove, but the best car he drove period, even if it was in his worst film.
The problem with all his other Aston Martins, the DB5 included, was that they were more grand tourers than outright sports cars. They were smooth sophisticates in a way that Bond despite being a frustrated sommelier, is not. He’s a cold blooded, brutal killer, or at least that’s what his creator intended him to be. And his wheels needed to be equally focussed and uncompromising. Finally, with the Vanquish, he got some.