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This is by far one of the best Bond films simply because it does not try to be a Bond film. GoldenEye demonstrates an impressive independence that separates it from the tried-and-true-but-getting-boring Bond formula. The one liners are not that great, but the action sequences are mindblowing. The chase scene is the best I have ever seen in any movie. Period. Purists will complain that there is a lack of gadgetry, but let them pout and go back to MacGyver reruns. Possibility is not permissibility. Just because Bond has a snazzy car does not mean that he has to utilize every perk that Q has included. It is a relief that the writers did not force a new scene just to show off the car. The movie does not need one, which helps it to maintain its quality as not just a Bond movie, but a high quality action movie that can stand on its own. You will even find (gasp!) . . . character building! There is actually dialogue between Q and Bond, instead of just a briefing and some commands. Brosnan more than holds his own against past Bonds, and offers some of that GQ gentlemen element found missing in some of the past ones. Bond fan, action fan, any fan, check this one out. I even made my girlfriend watch it, and even she enjoyed it. Chances are you will too.
After a 6 year hiatus the producers needed to make this film good enough to bring Bond back to the forefront, and in comparison to the films that followed, I believe this to be the best. Without a cold war to fuel plot lines, the story is able to step into new territories, with many great plot elements. Pierce Brosnan portrays Bond amazingly well in my opinion, and ties all the classic 007 elements together flawlessly. Although adhering to the Bond foundations, this film has a great, fresh feel to it, I think partly due to the industrial style score by Eric Serra. I think you need to see this film more than once to fully appreciate it, but it is definitely a classic!
Much had changed for James Bond since Sean Connery first took the role in
1962. The series had taken a turn for the worse in the seventies, when five
films were made but zero good ones were. Still, the public was willing to
grant Bond limitless amnesty that decade, even as his escapades grew less
and less exciting and more and more campy with each new film. The 70s came
and went, ushering in the 80s, which kicked off well with 1981's "For Your
Eyes Only." However, it went all downhill from there as the public finally
stopped tolerating the bad movies and his popularity tanked in favor of
superior competition. Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger became mega
stars during that time, and the emergence Indiana Jones was making Bond look
dull and decrepit by comparison. Tim Burton's summer sweep of the cinemas
with "Batman" in 1989 exacerbated Bond's woes, and when legal disputes arose
between the production company and the studio shortly thereafter, it
appeared that Bond had finally died his horrible but well deserved
When the legal issues were finally put to rest in 1994, it was announced that another Bond film was going to be made, but not with erstwhile incumbent Timothy Dalton. Pierce Brosnan was given the role after being forced to reject it in the late eighties, and production began. The success of the film was crucial. If it lacked spark or came across as campy, it was likely that Bond would be finished forever. With the stakes in mind, the Broccoli family (the Bond producers) hired an all-new creative team and set to work re-establishing 007 in a new era.
I knew none of that when I first saw the film in 1999. It was my introduction to the world of James Bond, and was a truly an exceptional first handshake. Knowing what I know now, and seeing the Bond films I have seen now, I still find it as worthwhile as I did then, and I am forever thankful that it was made well enough to not only resuscitate Bond, but propel him into the nineties with the momentum of a blazing fastball.
The film opens in the eighties, ironically, with a scene depicting the Bond and Agent 006, real name Alec Trevelyan, being detected inside a Soviet chemical weapons factory. This section also introduces the character of Ourumov (Gottfried John), who murders Alec seemingly on a whim.
Nine years later, Bond meets an appealing young lady (Famke Janssen) while driving...make that playfully racing, near Monte Carlo. Suspicious, he follows her to a nearby casino where he finds out that her name is Xenia Onatopp and she carries ties to the Janus crime syndicate in St. Petersburg. He chases Xenia when he suspects an imminent crime, but is not in time to avert her theft of the Tiger--a helicopter that is hardened to all forms of electronic interference.
Back at MI-6 headquarters, the Tiger is spotted via satellite at Russian satellite control facility, and it soon becomes obvious that the copter is merely part of a grander scheme to steal a scary satellite weapon called GoldenEye. What it does can be described with words, but not with as much clarity as seeing it in the movie (there are lapses in the visuals here, but the sight is so impressive that they hardly matter). Bond then departs for St. Petersburg to find the Janus head man (Sean Bean) and stop him from using GoldenEye on a more vulnerable target. Much mystery surrounds the identity of Janus, but it is in the trailer and I suspect most people know it by now.
There are several reasons that "GoldenEye" is the best Bond film made in many, many years. The first is the tone, which has ushered out all of the giddy goofiness of Roger Moore's films and assumed one reminiscent of the earliest Bond films. The sets, the camera work and the dialogue all come across as subtle, subconscious reminders of why Bond became so beloved to begin with.
I always felt there were two major problems with the Bonds of the seventies and eighties. The first is the inane tone (exception: "For Your Eyes Only,"), a point I am driving into the ground. With the same exception, they also featured uniformly unexciting (read it: bad) action plus horrendous acting. There are light moments in "GoldenEye," as there should be, but the correct tone is never compromised.
The only problem is that there is a little too much padding in the middle. The story is well told, although there is a meeting with Bond and Valentin Zukovsky (reprised by Robbie Coltrane in "The World is Not Enough") that has no significance to the advancement of the story. It is unnecessary and causes the film to drag some. After Bond meets Janus, though, prepare for the film to take off, as there will be little rest from there on out.
Just like in the early Bonds, the acting transcends the genre. Pierce Brosnan is the clear focal point, and is mostly successful. He seems too reserved at times, as if he is a little timid at acting his best for fear it might look bad. He does not lack charm, though, because there is something about Pierce that makes him the ultimate ladies man on screen and off.
More successful is Sean Bean as James's opponent. Bean brings cold, subtle intensity to the role that shows off the acting skills that got him cast in "The Fellowship of the Ring." General Ourumov, who is in bed with Janus, provides a second bad guy. Gottfried John portrays him as a demonstrative brute, and his style provides a fine foil to Bean's controlled anger. Alan Cumming plays an evil computer nerd who provides most the light moments I referred to earlier. Fellow X-Man Famke Janssen's character is downright demented, and will not be forgotten easily.
My friends, I have just explained why "GoldenEye" is a most superior Bond film that brought Agent 007 back from the dead and won over a new generation of fans. The best way I can think of to conclude this review is to comment on the film's conclusion. At one point it involves a brawl between Bond and Janus (who is referred to by his real name by that time) that buries just about every other one in the series. While it does quite not take the gold from the fistfight that opens "Thunderball," is does serve as a final reminder that Bond is indeed back, and that he is once again a force best not ignored.
Bond is back and better than ever. OK, he may not be better than ever but he's better than he's been in some time. GoldenEye has a great opening scene that is more entertaining than most entire movies. It involves bungee jumping, guns, motorcycles, planes, and nerve gas among other things. Pierce Brosnan's first effort as Bond is a remarkable one. The movie has good acting, good action, and humor. It's great escapism from start to finish. The women are beautiful and Famke Jannsen and Sean Bean play their roles well. GoldenEye also boasts one of the best finales of the series in which Bond must take on the villain atop a gigantic satellite dish. As stated earlier, Brosnan is terrific as Bond. He's suave, witty, charming, looks good in a suit, and has a capacity for action. In conclusion, this is a thrilling Bond from start to finish and should not be missed. Out of 4 stars - 3.5
Brosnan has the look, the style, the intelligence and the bravura that
James Bond should have
As charming, sophisticated, and always in
control of the situation, Bond called upon all his ability for
improvising escapes from truly impossible situations
The new Bond
drives a BMW, remains preferring his vodka martinis 'shaken but not
stirred,' and uses a Walther PPK, 7.65mm
The famous announcement
"Bond, James Bond" is changed
The plot line of "Goldeneye" revolves around an international terrorist organization calling itself Janus that steels a top-secret Russian weapon system named GoldenEye and threatens to use it to destroy a major European city unless paid off
Bond's mission was to find and stop the GoldenEye, struggling with a sadistic assassin, a treacherous general, an 'invincible' computer hacker, and most dangerous of all, a colleague and friend
The opening scene is spectacular with a great bungee jump from a top of a dam to an exciting racing over a cliff in a motorcycle and skydiving into a crushing private plane Martin Campbell's film comes with a phenomenal tank chase through the streets of St. Petersburg; a brutal showdown in the jungle; and a battle to the death on a high gantry
Goldeneye's female characters are honestly beautiful with particular techniques The bad one is Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), an ex-Soviet fighter pilot who tranquilly smokes big cigars and knocks off her victims with her 'killer thighs.' In one scene, she challenges Bond's legendary Aston Martin DB5 to a wild road race outside Monte Carlo with her red Ferrari; in another she was so smart that she snatches a top-secret helicopter from under the noses of the French navy
The good Bond girl is the irresistible Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) who 'tastes like strawberries.' Natalya possesses all the technical ability to neutralize Janus' scheme or to destroy all computer records with the GoldenEye As one who survived a mass murder, this lovely beauty is suddenly a marked woman
The other supporting actors are all fine:
Sean Bean plays a potentially fascinating bad character, the embittered and cynical traitor who was believed to have been killed on a mission Alec Trevelyan has sworn revenge on the country that was responsible for his parents' suicide
Alan Cumming plays the 'invincible' Boris Grishenko who sees crime as a chance to show off his skills; and Gottfried John, the renegade ambitious general who provides inside access to Russian military secrets
Award-winning Judi Dench is terrific as Bond's unshaken spy chief
Samantha Bond as MoneyPenny puts forward for consideration that Bond's behavior might be interpreted as sexual harassment
Serena Gordon as the neurotic MI6 assessor Caroline evaluates 007 for just 'trying to show off the size of his ego.'
One familiar face among the MI6 staff was that of the redoubtable Q, played once again by Desmond Llewelyn who introduces 007 to his latest chariot, the BMW Z3 Although convertible, this agile vehicle doesn't play a significant action role in the film Q doesn't forget to deliver Bond a typical leather belt, a watch that expels a laser beam, and a silver pen used to clever effect
The 17th Bond film takes us from Russia, Puerto Rico, Monaco and back to England It features one of the best title tunes performed by the "Queen of Rock & Roll," Tina Turner
For trivia buffs: Kate Gayson appears as an extra at the Chemin De Fer table at Monte Carlo's gambling casino; she's the daughter of Eunice Gayson, who played Bond's fetching girlfriend, Sylvia Trench in the first two Bond films, "Dr. No" and "From Russia With Love." It was to Sylvia Trench that Sean Connery uttered his first line of dialog, "I admire your luck, Mr. ...?"
GOLDENEYE, the long-delayed debut of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, was a
film mired in MGM's convoluted legal problems for six years, problems which
had nothing to do with the 007 franchise, but which happened to fall at the
worst possible time; after Timothy Dalton's 'Serious Bond' experiment,
LICENCE TO KILL, failed to break even in U.S. markets. Despite international
grosses that made the film a profitable venture, many American critics, long
grumbling that the Bond series had outlasted it's welcome, heaped abuse on
the newer, leaner direction for 'Bond', and it's taciturn, less
light-hearted star...and, with MGM's decision to put the expensive series
'on hold' until their own legal and financial issues could be resolved,
LICENCE TO KILL became the unfair 'scapegoat' for the delay.
Much happened during the six-year hiatus; with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Communist undercurrent of many Bond films (and the subject of most of Ian Fleming's novels) was lost; Richard Maibaum, the series' most prolific screenwriter, passed away, and ill health forced legendary producer Albert ('Cubby') Broccoli to turn over his duties to his daughter Barbara, and stepson, Michael G. Wilson (thus ending the other 'prime' 007 screenwriter's script contributions); many other key production figures would retire, die, or move on; and finally, as the delay continued, Timothy Dalton, nearing 50, announced that he was no longer interested in playing James Bond (sparking rumors that Eon Productions, no longer honor-bound by the senior Broccoli's choices, had given him 'the boot').
While all this opened the door for Pierce Brosnan's long-awaited debut as 007 (after his aborted first attempt, in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS), with a new 'look' and style for the franchise, whether audiences would even accept a new 'James Bond' adventure was in doubt.
Fortunately, everything 'worked'. Brosnan, now 42, was more ruggedly believable as 007 than he would have been, at 34, and Dame Judi Dench, as the first woman 'M' (referring to Bond as a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur"), proved a perfect successor to the late Bernard Lee. While the plot of the film, involving the master plan of a renegade Russian General (Gottfried John) and an assumed dead 006 (Sean Bean) to use an electronic warfare system (GoldenEye) against England was nothing new, Brosnan's daring-do and one-liners (with humor restored to the franchise), as he proved his value in the new world 'order', found an audience 'primed' for James Bond's return...and the welcome cameo of the series' last original 'regular', "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn, 81, and as cranky as ever), cemented 007's links to both the past and the future.
James Bond's greatest crisis, whether he still had 'Box Office', had been overcome, and with audience favorite Pierce Brosnan in place, his emergence into the 21st century was assured.
After a 6 year hiatus due to protracted legal wranglings as to WHO owned the
BOND film rights, GOLDENEYE was finally made! It was worth the wait! With
the almost impossible assignment of both retaining the quintessential METHOD
of the Connery period and the need to drag Bond screaming into the new
millennium and its new technology, Martin Campbell actually pulled it
Brosnan, though not my personal favorite I have to say, did a damn near remarkable job, by not only bringing elements of Connery, Dalton and Moore to the role, but by stamping it with his own identity (he WAS actually first choice ahead of Dalton but was contractually tied to REMINGTON STEELE and could not gain a release!)
Wishing to link back with the earlier mega successful Bonds, the very title of GOLDENEYE was inspirational, immediately bringing to mind the latent image of GOLDFINGER. Not one half bad title song either compared to some recent efforts.
With Bernard Lee's sad demise, Judy Dench made a brilliant replacement as M, all balls and bravado. Similarly, Moneypenny is now a strictly new-age secretary admonishing 007 for his sexual harassment of her good self! Dearest of all, Desmond Llewelyn still shines as "Q" berating 007 for his behaviour and telling him to "grow up."
Famke Janssen is a throw-back to the good old days of Bond badgirls as the aptly named Xenia Onatopp. Izabella Scorupco however must be the most beautiful of all the "good" Bond girls. Feminine to the core and everything the average man would want to love and protect she is is simply yummy.....no more so than when she chides 007's cold-war repartee with his Russian counterpart as "Boys with Toys" Soo cute!
Action was at a premium from the rip-snorting bungee-jump (pre-credits) to the climactic battle atop the communications tower. Everything gelled in this movie to elevate it to amongst the top 5 Bond films...no question! Top dialog, state of the art fx, innuendos on tap and a really first rate villain. Shame none of the later Brosnan outings have come close to this one!
8.8 out of 10!
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Izabella Scorupco, Sean Bean, and Famke Janssen.
Double-0 agent James Bond, still as suave and sophisticated as he was in the last film, enters Russia in search of the stolen Goldeneye satellite.
After six years without 007, the fans needed a movie like this. Just about everything in this works, from the witty plot to Pierce Brosnan as the new Bond. And I can't review this without complimenting Sean Bean as the series best villain.
Rank in the Series: 1st
Sorry y'all. I think this is the best James Bond ever. Not only because
Pierce Brosnan IS James Bond, or because it feels modern having a woman (and
what a woman!) cast as M. Or even the fact that this film actually is just a
little bit believable...
I love the feel of it. The part where JB races through ... Moscow, is it? I dunno ... with a tank is just superb.
There is only one thing I dislike: why oh why did they have to put the BMW in the film? They don't use it!It's in the film for only a couple of minutes, not even that. Product Placement at its worst. And it's such an UGLY car!
The James Bond franchise, in cinematic terms, began in 1962 with Dr No.
There followed a Bond movie every couple of years or so (the longest
gap between two 007 films was the three-year-hiatus separating The Man
With The Golden Gun - 1974 - and The Spy Who Loved Me - 1977). Then, in
1989, with the release of Licence To Kill the series seemed to die. The
box office returns of that film were disappointing; the then-Bond actor
Timothy Dalton was axed; the film itself was presented in a grittier,
more adult style than fans were accustomed to; and various legal
wranglings put the Bond character into limbo. Six long years went by
without a Bond movie and many insiders predicted an end for the British
super-spy and his outrageous screen adventures. Too much time had gone
by, they said, no-one was interested any longer in the character or the
stories. But then Goldeneye came along, with Pierce Brosnan as Bond -
it went on to become a commercial hit, propelling its star into the
A-list and reinvigorating the entire series.
James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and his secret agent colleague Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) infiltrate a Russian military installation on a sabotage mission. During the mission, Alec is apparently killed by the enemy forces but Bond manages a miraculous escape. Several years later, a state-of-the-art helicopter is stolen from the West by some Russian spies and used to destroy a Siberian satellite station. When Bond investigates, he discovers to his surprise that the plot involves his old colleague Alec - who is very much alive, having faked his death in the earlier exchange. Trevelyan's plan is to get control of a powerful satellite called the Goldeneye and to use it to destroy a designated target on Earth - in this case, London. It emerges that his parents were Liensk Cossacks, brutally killed by the British when he was a boy, and he has long plotted a way to have his revenge. Bond teams up with a Russian computer programmer, Natalya Semyonova (Isabella Scorupco) and pursues Trevelyan around the globe in an effort to stop his sinister scheme. The trail leads to Cuba, where Trevelyan has a secret lair from which he is on the very brink of unleashing chaos upon the world.... unless 007 can find a way to thwart him.
Goldeneye begins with a truly outrageous stunt involving Bond freefalling in pursuit of an unpiloted, plummeting airplane. This dumb but enjoyable scene sets the tone for the rest of the film - very much a tongue-in-cheek, improbable, action-orientated romp. Brosnan is OK as Bond, though I still feel Sean Connery and Roger Moore were slightly better suited to the role. Tina Turner's powerful theme song is very good, but the incidental scoring by Eric Serra has a tinny, tacky feel to it that makes one long for John Barry! As the bad guy, Sean Bean is effective enough even if he never quite matches the memorableness of the all-time great Bond villains (eg Dr No, Oddjob, Blofeld, Francisco Scaramanga). The Bond girls are very good in this one - Scorupco is gorgeous and plays a pleasingly resourceful character, while Famke Janssen has great fun as a female baddie who crushes victims between her thighs (what a way to go!) Goldeneye is by no means the best of the Bond series, but one has to be thankful to it for getting the dormant series up and running once more. And, in its pacy, breakneck way, it is undeniably a lot of fun.
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