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DIE ANOTHER DAY **** out of 4 stars


James Bond is back and better than ever in his 20th film adventure. The la Htest installment, "Die Another Day," blows the other 19 Bond movies out of the water. I'm a huge Bond fan and this one is the greatest one ever. What can I say? It was really that good.

Upon entering the movie theater, I had only two questions on my mind. The first was "How can they fit all this action into two hours?"; the other was "How much Halle Berry can I see?" What can I say? She's a very attractive woman! However, the fact that she's stunning wasn't the driving force in the movie (unfortunately). It was really the action sequences. They were out of this world!

In his fourth Bond film, actor Pierce Brosnan reprises his role as James Bond. This time, his latest mission begins in North Korea. He's on the trail of beautiful African "Conflict" Diamonds. Standing in his way is a sneaky colonel and his sidekick, Zao. You might remember the sidekick; he's played a villain before. He's also driven a cool car before. Still can't guess? It's Rick Yune from "The Fast and The Furious."

Anyway, Bond disguises himself as the diamond supplier, but he's easily discovered. The resulting hovercraft chase sequence will leave you begging for more action - which you'll get of course. After the chase, Bond ends up being captured by the North Korean army and held prisoner and tortured for 14 months. You'll see what that can do to a man while you watch the stimulating title sequence featuring the song sung by Madonna. The song wasn't bad; her cameo in the film was pretty good, too.

After Bond's excruciating tenure as a prisoner, he is released in exchange for Zao. Bond's revenge now begins. He begins his search for Zao but along the way, he encounters "Jinx," played by Halle Berry. Jinx becomes Bond's true other half, something the other films have lacked. I began to wonder how Bond could keep his mind on the mission with Jinx in the picture.

Bond is right on Zao's trail until he comes across an adrenaline-crazed billionaire named Gustav Graves. He is played by Toby Stephens, the youngest Bond villain in a film. It turns out that he and Zao have a lot in common. You'll have to see the movie to find out what it is exactly.

The film overall is the perfect one to mark the Bond film franchise's 40th anniversary. All throughout the movie, there were numerous tributes to past films. There were gadgets from past movies, and scenes that resembled some of the past films as well. The most memorable one was (you guessed it) Jinx's rise out of the water walking on to the beach in Havana, Cuba. It was an ode to the very first Bond girl. The other biggest tribute was Bond's car, the Aston Martin Vanquish. It's been years since Bond last used an Aston Martin on a mission. Most of those who've seen the previews and commercials have seen what his car can do, but what you haven't seen will mesmerize you. Here's a hint: it does what I wish I could do when I have to do chores. Zao's Jaguar convertible is also worth wanting. I would personally prefer Bond's car. Especially after what it does in the Iceland car chase sequence.

The movie was also funnier than I thought it would be. The special effects were exceptional, even in the title sequence. Just like the rest of the 007 films, there were beautiful girls and humorous punch lines. There were the usual exotic locations as well.

If you're a Bond fanatic like I am, try pointing out all the Bond films that were uniquely represented in the movie. Also, take some time to figure out why the book "Birds of the West Indies" was shown in the film. If you can figure it out, you definitely know your James Bond.

Yes, this movie was the best. Better than "XXX" even. It's going to be interesting to see what Bond has up his sleeve for the next mission. I know one thing: the next Bond girl won't be as good as Halle Berry.

Hassan Green is a senior at McKinley High School.

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