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GoldenEye. One of the earliest Bond movies I ever watched, as a thirteen year old heading into the eighth grade. I had already seen some of the older Bond movies such as From Russia with Love, but I had no idea what I was about to get into. There it was, Bond's infiltration of the Russian chemical facility, along with Alec Trevelyan 006. The machine gun battle, Ourumov "killing" 006 in cold blood, Bond's escape in the plane; all of these little pieces of what we call the pre-title sequence are engraved into my earliest memories of my favorite Bond movie. As the movie went on, I found myself getting wrapped up in Bond's 1995 mission. There was Brosnan as 007, exhibiting his super-suave and deadly charisma, and lighting up the screen as our favorite action hero. He squared off against such diabolical foes in Xenia Onatopp, a wild and uncontrollable mercenary with a pleasure to kill. Next was General Ourumov, the shifty Russian general who you simply never knew what his next move was going to be, nor how he fit into the mission itself. There was the ever geeky Boris Grishenko, the tech wiz who never failed to produce a laugh, and yet he was still incredibly evil! Finally you've got Alec Trevelyan, who later on in the movie, surprised me with his entrance as the main villain of the movie. There were the usual cast of Bond's "family" in Judi Dench's M, Samantha Bond's Moneypenny, and the ever faithful Desmond Llewelyn as our famous Q. With all of these characters to set the stage, a proper 007 mission was in order. Next up for my viewing pleasure was the incredible lot of action sequences. Having already played 007 Nightfire for a few years, and being extremely entertained by machine-gun battles and stealth missions, GoldenEye delivered in this department. Whether it was a shoot-out in the Russian Archives or sneaking through the Janus base in Cuba, there was never a dull moment on screen. To make things all the better, the soundtrack blew me away with its mood and tone that always fit the scene, and only heightened my interest in the movie all the more. GoldenEye also mesmerized me with its large-scale and nearly over-the-top, grand-scale feel. From the opening pre-title sequence dam jump and airplane catch, to the St. Petersburg tank chase, and finally to the climactic duel showdown between 006 and 007 on the satellite dish, I was captivated by the epic feel oozing through the screen. Some might say that GoldenEye needed Timothy Dalton, and that Brosnan was the wrong choice. Some might say that GoldenEye features an action-overload and not enough time evolving character and story. Some might say that the soundtrack is horrific and not up to the work of former composers like John Barry. Well, I reject all of those propositions and say that GoldenEye is an A+, picture-perfect Bond movie, and that it would be an incredibly difficult task for anyone to find even the smallest flaw within this fine piece of cinema.
It can't be topped, in my eyes. First Bond film I saw as a child on VHS, and watched it nonstop until I was given TND and TWINE on VHS - a few year difference, so you do the math. Brosnan at his best, and it's an incredibly addictive thrill ride from the glorious PTS to the intense finale. We are given some of the more entertaining villains - a rogue general, a thigh-driven femme fatale, and an ex-colleague and friend to Bond, who wants to destroy London and steal the riches before doing so.
I know Brosnan gets a lot of flak around here, but it's nice to see that many others enjoy GE as much as I do.
Gentlemen, please read this short introduction. Only detailed reviews please, no bickering. Over time, your posts (and mine) shall have to be removed. I'm sorry.
Seventeen years down the line, GoldenEye remains Pierce Brosnan's golden film as James Bond. After several years of legal wranglings and money problems, Timothy Dalton stepped down from the role after just two films, allowing the Irishman to slip into the tuxedo, and quite comfortably. After 6 years, Bond shot back onto cinema screens with an adventure that mixed the dark, calm ruthlessness of the Connery days with the lighthearted style of the Moore era.
Beginning in Russia during the latter stages of the Cold War, GoldenEye finds 007 infiltrating a mountain top Soviet Station with the aid of fellow agent Alec Trevelyan, also known as 006 (played with a distinct smugness by Sean Bean). When they are discovered and 006 is seemingly killed in cold blood, Bond escapes the clutches of Russian General Ourumov, in a sequence that will leave people infuriated or amazed.
8 years later, Bond is investigating the activities of the alluring Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) and the Janus Terrosist group when M (Judi Dench) sends him on a mission to uncover the truth behind the stealing of a Russian Prototype Attack Helicopter and the rumoured existence of a satellite weapon codenamed GoldenEye. Evidence points to Ouromuv, but as Bond digs deeper, the true villain is revealed, and he will face an enemy like he's never faced before. Meanwhile, he crosses paths with a systems analyst, Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco).
Martin Campbell, who would also go on to direct the extremely good Casino Royale, is at the helm for the first time here, and he handles the film very well. His framing is tight and actually quite claustrophic in some spaces, but this coupled with some extremely beautiful and sometimes gothic cinematography give the film a very unique vibe throughout. There are enough sequences in this film to allow it to be classified as 'classic Bond' but the film feels fresh and unique too, treading on old formulas but never allowing itself to become dependent on them, something Brosnan's later efforts may be guilty of for many people. The story by Michael France is well written and paced, allowing the plot to develop and build steam before finally launching into some extremely gripping action set pieces, including a tank chase through a crowded St. Petersburg, and a final, emotionally charged confrontation atop a satellite base in Cuba.
In his first entry as Bond, Brosnan puts in a good performance, despite nerves coming through in a couple of instances. He mixes charm and ruthlessness well, and is good at the line delivery and especially impressive in the action scenes. His Bond seems different - a quieter, more observant and brooding man than we've seen in the Moore or Connery days, at least here anyway. There are splendid turns from Sean Bean and Famke Janssen, who has a particularly unique way of dispatching her targets in her role as henchwoman. There's also a really good Bond girl this time round, in the form of Natalya Simonova, played by Izabella Scorupco. She's a far stretch from the screaming helpless beauties of the Moore era, proving herself more than capable in many scenes, despite being a systems analyst.
Questions aroused before this film on whether Bond was still relevant in a post Cold-War world. I think GoldenEye has laid any doubts to rest, although this is a very different Bond to the ones we've seen before. A man who is very much an action star rather than a spy or an assassin. This is not so much a complaint as an observation of an adaptation to fit this new world the series has found himself in, and it is one that would become more apparent in Brosnan's later offerings, and probably why GoldenEye is often referred to as his most rewarding Bond entry. But there you go, one strength this series has is its ability to reinvent itself, fitting new trends while maintaining some tradition underneath. GoldenEye achieves this, and it is a damn fine film for it.
To be honest, it surprised me.
The PTS didn’t. It was worse then I remembered. I have never been a fan of the bungee jump. For precisely the reason that it IS a bungee jump. There’s no real danger to someone at the end of a piece of elastic. But to be fair there is not much danger in Tim dangling from a helicopter on a piece of elastic at the start of LTK. The plane/dive/catch up in midair didn’t work and I was rolling my eyes and I am someone who doesn’t mind the hovercraft gondola. To be honest there is OTT stuff in each of the film. I can roll with it.
The below I can’t
“Closing time James..”
“Buy me a pint..”
This was a problem all the way through the film. A long time ago I used to live with a lot of unemployed actors up in Islington. They used to have a saying called “It says here” whenever an unnatural piece of dialogue occurred on screen. As if the actor had no choice but to say the dialogue. It was often dialogue so bad it kicked you out of the story. This kind of dialogue had no basis in reality and you could almost see the script out of shot. GE had a lot of dialogue like this.
The Monaco scenes scream loudly that James Bond is back i.e. the glittering casino, the Aston Martin, the flirting, the vodka martini. It was a nice calm interlude before the story moves up a gear. Xenia Onatopp is slightly vulgar. Her pawing and howling at that chubby Admiral before bonking him to death was a little bit crude and I am no prude (as Bain123 will tell you).
The best bit in the entire film is the destruction of Severneya and MI6 watching it happen live. This was cutting edge in 1995. A good use of spy satellites and espionage via TV screen and computer before Spooks came along. Natalya gets a gentle introduction. There is no grand entrance like Honey or Vesper. And the scene where she covers up her dead friends was quite affecting. The much missed Derek Meddings is superb here and his miniatures and pyrotechnics are excellent. It’s a scene which moves the story along quite well.
And then we go to Russia or the bits of Russia they could afford to send a crew too. I recognised Somerset House, Brompton Oratory and Leavesden industrial estate doubling as St Petersburg. Robbie Coltrane is always good and there was a scene which caught me by surprise. I have been groaning about “It says here” dialogue all the way through but the conversation about the Lienz Cossacks with Coltrane is a wonderful little moment. Of course is is scuppered later on by
We're both orphans, James. But while your parents had the luxury of dying in a climbing accident, mine survived the British betrayal and Stalin's execution squads. My father couldn't let himself or my mother live with the shame. MI6 figured I was too young to remember. And in one of life's little ironies, the son went to work for the government whose betrayal caused the father to kill himself and his wife.
Seriously? No one talks like that. What a mouthful .It’s unrealistic. It looks good on the page but not coming from actor’s mouths on screen. Compare that with the “my country awarded him the king’s medal” speech in FYEO between Rog and Colombo. The dialogue flows and doesn’t seem forced. Maibaum and Mankiewicz had an ear for dialogue. Not so much Bruce Feirstein and Jeffrey Caine. My memory of this film is sharp dialogue. My memory now is unnatural dialogue.
I said GE surprised me. I remember it being a rather cold unemotional film. But there was one part which was quite sweet. Just before the most unconvincing interrogation ever between Mishkin and Bond, Natalya and he are alone and she say’s nervously “will they kill us?”and Pierce gives a rather sweet “trust me”. It’s underplayed and reminded me of the way Bond used to reassure the heroine in the novels.
What about Pierce? Well, he reminds me of Roger in LALD. Where the star of LALD was the crocodiles, the voodoo, and the boat stunts. The star of this film isn’t Bond it’s the return of “Bond cosiness” i.e. the tuxedo, the stunts, the hammy one-liners. It isn’t a grab you by the lapels portrayal like Connery. Dalton and Craig. It gets the job done and allows the franchise to continue.
And that’s the big plus to Goldeneye. To be fair, it does have verve. Martin Campbell kicks an energetic performance out of everyone and it rockets along. Set piece follows set piece at rapid speed probably not allowing you to stop and find holes in the hackneyed plot. I like the emerging radar dish from the lake and I don’t remember Natalya whacking Xenia with a log before and getting head butted. Maybe they cut it out on the TV versions.
The climax is alot of faffing around with an exploding pen with the dreadful Boris and the line at the end by Wade about Guantanamo made me double take considering we know what terrible things were to happen there in the future. I didn’t like the ending with the helicopters and the marines and the soft rock playout music was forgettable.
Coming away from it after not having seen it all the way through gave me a couple of pleasant surprises but to be honest the same feeling of ennui I had in 1995. Bond was back but he didn’t rock me to the core. It was so formulaic. I could write this. I was enjoying the left turn Bond of the late eighties. I felt the series had gone backwards. We were back to the crowd pleasers of the seventies without the Broccoli/Moore magic.
From then on I gamely hang on until something or someone better came along. Who knew I would have to wait a good ten years for that to happen.
As one dreary 'stunt' after another was crammed into the tedious PTS, it came as a welcome relief to see Pierce pitch himself over a cliff in pursuit of a pilotless plane. Having some basic grasp of the laws of physics I knew that if the Bond producers were going to inject any element of reality into the movie then this sequence must conclude with the most welcome demise of Brosnan himself. Sadly, as with the rest of the film, any realism was out the window as Bond somehow powers himself beyond terminal velocity after the plane and gets to die another day (of which more later). It was becoming rapidly clear that this film was not picking up where Dalton left off. It was not even picking up where Roger left off. It was forging its own unique route towards oblivion and irrelevance.
I began to wonder after a while whether GE was an exercise in squeezing in as many mindless machine-gun scenes as possible. In the PTS Bond sprays a Russian chemical weapons factory with Kalshnikov ammo. Later on, in a St. Petersburg military archive, he runs for his life while spraying innocent Soviets with lead. I attempted to cast my mind back over previous Bond movies to think of other scenes where Bond had casually let off steam with an automatic weapon but couldn't think of any. Both sequences suggested Rambo or Arni rather than Bond. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good shoot 'em up, but is that what you go to see a Bond movie for? Not me.
The whole sense that the screenwriters, producers and director didn't really have a grasp of what a Bond movie is grew stronger the longer the film went on. It was a striking fact of the Bond movies that prior to 1995 (as far as I can remember) Bond had never been on an offensive operation inside the Soviet Union. Infact, with perhaps the exception of TLD, a Soviet military or secret service operative had rarely been killed in cold blood. The Bond movies were actually imbued with a sort of cosy sense of detente. General Gogol was almost a friendly uncle figure in earlier Bonds. XXX in TSWLM was the hot cold-war totty from the other side of the iron curtain! But with GE there was little or no sense of this cold-war familiarity and wary camaraderie. Instead, Bond wades into Russia, all guns blazing, shooting anything that movies and partly destroying one of the world's most historic cities. Would Connery or even Moore have been seen dead driving a tank through the architectural treasures of St Petersburg? May be, may be not, but scene after scene grated with my understanding of the character and how we had come to expect him to operate.
I remember coming out of the cinema, depressed and disappointed. The film felt formulaic and yet, unlike the Moore films, it didn't actually deliver what it promised. The jokes were lame or non-existent. The supporting cast was threadbare and seemed to be pulling in different directions. Cummings was in Carry On mode, Coltrane was a charicature of his rotund self as an unconvincing Russian mafia don and the girls were dull, dull, dull. The tie-straightening that became Brosnan's trademark could have been borrowed directly from David Brent in The Office - a 90's Bond, straight from the business parks of Slough.
For me there were hideous errors in every scene in terms of the dialogue and particularly Brosnan's performance. I never fully understood what Brosnan was trying to convey as Bond. Ultimately, after 4 films I concluded that he never quite knew what he was doing either. There was no centre to his character or sense of purpose. He seemed like a guy parachuted into a series of scenes who delivers his lines and is keen to pick up his paycheck. Did he ever take playing Bond seriously? I'm not sure.
As if in recognition of how desperate they were to please and how little they had to offer, the producers had bizarrely brought back the DB5, beginning an on-going obsession with a car that felt totally right in the 60s, but has now appeared in 4 decades of Bond movies. Over-riding all of this was quite possibly the worst film score I have ever heard. Not just the worst Bond score, but the worst score of any kind. How Serra convinced any one to pay him for that abomination I will never know.
I left the cinema convinced I'd witnessed a nadir in the series. Things had to improve after this, surely? And to an extend they did. TND remains by far and away Brozza's best outing. But then things got worse again with TWINE. And before they got better, they had to get a whole lot worse with DAD. GE marked not a nadir, but the beginning of one of the most forlorn periods in the history of Bond and EON. Its inexplicable success convicned the producers that they were on the right track. Instead of addressing the glaring failings, they ploughed on, with ever dodgier scripts, storylines and casts, until finally, they produced a film that even Austin Powers would have refused to appear in - so far beyond parody that it ceased to be even amusing in its awfulness. This sequence of events is not random or unexplained. It originates with GE and its catastrophic decision to turn its back on the supposed 'failings' of the Dalton era. Sadly, it would take 20 years after Dalton had left the role before the series realised that they had actually been on the right track all along. What a waste. What a shocking, tragic waste!
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After the six years of uncertainty Goldeneye was definitely a welcome return for Bond at the time. I was too young to see it myself in the cinema but clearly remember people around me praising both the film and it’s star – Mr Remington Steele (a.k.a. Pierce Brosnan). More on him later however!
The film is often referred to as a “greatest hits” package – mixing both the light-hearted high-jinx of the Moore era with the more sombre undertones of the Dalton period. It also adds in a fair dose of 90s “blockbuster” spectacle, clearly influenced by the likes of True Lies and the first three Die Hard films. Before people say that this signals the “Americanisation” of 007 (a trend that was more apparent in the proceeding film LTK) there’s still the fair share of dry British wit we come to expect from Bond films.
“Because if I want sarcasm Mr Tanner I’ll talk to my children thank you very much” barks the new M – played by English institution Dame Judi Dench.
The addition of Dench as M confirms that this is a new era for Bond. Can the womanising secret agent survive this modern world where women have more power in the work place than they ever did during the lifetime of creator Ian Fleming? Is James Bond an outdated brand? These questions attempt to be answered to some degree here.
Goldeneye is by far Brosnan’s best film, mixing drama, action and humour more evenly and successfully than the star’s subsequent flicks. Martin Campbell clearly holds a tight rein behind the camera with his fast-paced yet accessible direction (although there are some occasional clunky moments if one looks closely). He would however outdo himself 11 years later with the superb Casino Royale.
The supporting cast is terrific and all are given some truly quotable dialogue which they deliver with the required relish. Judi Dench’s M is perhaps one of the film’s best examples of this as she takes great delight in cutting Brosnan’s Bond’s down to size, yet still expresses respect and compassion for 007. There is also Sean Bean as Bond’s former ally-turned foe, Robbie Coltrane as a gangster, Famke Janssen as lethal assassin Xenia Onatopp, and Joe Don Baker as Bond’s CIA contact in St. Petersberg.
Finally there’s Isabella Scorupco, who delivers a brilliant performance as the main love interest Natalya. Newcomer Isabella succeeds in making her character vulnerable, funny, independent and an equal match for Bond throughout the film. Both she and Brosnan have some sparks and share some genuinely romantic, intimate moments.
This brings us on to Brosnan himself. After so many years in waiting the Irish star finally gets his chance and, while the nerves occasionally show, Brosnan demonstrates his charm and natural ability at flippant remarks. Despite his relatively lean build the star is also game for the fight scenes and puts in his all during the final violent struggle between Bond and Trevelyan.
Goldeneye aims to bring back some of the “panache” and spectacle that unfortunately had been lacking in the exciting but nonetheless slightly disappointing LTK, and to a large extent, succeeds. Both the opening bunjee jump (filmed at the 220m high Verzaca dam) and the tank chase through St. Petersberg show that, when required, good old 007 can still deliver.
The music by Eric Serra– a controversial subject for many Bond fans – gives the film it’s own unique feel and works for me in successfully capturing the post cold-war atmosphere. This is particularly the case during the early scenes at Serveneya where the occasional “booms” emphasise the sense of impending threat brilliantly.
Contrary to what a lot of the younger generation (including myself) want to believe however, Goldeneye is not a masterpiece. The occasionally awkwardly written narrative means that potential plot holes loom. Bond is also given relatively little to do on his own and is often seen playing off the other supporting characters.
From a production stand-point some of the model shots sometimes look cheap. However this could be the intention given that the designer was Derek Meddings, who was involved in the earlier Bond flicks.
Nonetheless for me the positives outweigh the negatives. While Goldeneye is not the work of art some like to think and has probably dated quite dramatically in the last 17 years, it is still an extremely enjoyable adventure and remains one of the most entertaining, re-watchable films in the series.
I thought Martin Campbell was great as the director. He liked his direction, because it was action packed from begining to end. And Michael France did a great job writing the script. (He's one of my favourite Bond screen writers) I loved the storyline.
We also got great characters! I loved Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp! I like the way they wrote the character. She was a Bond Girl that just had a real sexual appetite for killing. Izabella Scorupco was good as well. She was very useful. She had good chemistry with Pierce (Though I give the notch to Famke Janssen) Alan Cumming & Gottfried John were good as the Bond Henchmen. I really liked the Boris Grishenko & General Arkady Ourumov charcters. But Tcheky Karryo as Defense Mister Mishkin was underused in Goldeneye, but I thought he did a good job with the screen time he got.I actually liked Don Jon Baker as Jack Wade. He had a good sense of humor. And of course Dame Judi Dench is not only a great actress, but made a great M. First time we got a female M. Sean Bean was FANTASTIC as the main Bond villian Alec Trevelyn/006. I enjoyed his exchange with 007 in the Statue scene where he revealed himself to be alive for the last 9 years & formed the terrorist group Janus to hijack the Goldeneye. And his fight scene with Pierce Brosnan was amazing! Pierce & Sean did their own stunts for that scene. I like how it all came together between 007 vs 006 at the end of the movie.
Now the music score. Eric Serrra's music score for Goldeneye is very underrated. I loved the cold war music. It fit the movie really well.
Overall, GE was a masterpiece. It was the hightest grossing Bond film at the time. Great action, great characters, intesting stoyline, comedy, romance & great performances Goldeneye proved all the film critics wrong. James Bond could remain relevant in the 1990's against other action films like the Die Hard franchise & True Lies. Goldeneye hands down gets a 10/10 for me.
From the opening at the Dam to the climatic finale in Cuba Goldeneye was just probarly pure fun..the cast was fantastic: Sean Bean is the memorable villain who you actually felt sympathy for (well atleast the scene in Statue Park) and Brosnan was fantastic as Bond...he was the david tennant of James Bonds. Judi Dench did a fine job, Desmond Llylleen maintained the continuity and finally had a good laugh with Bond, the bond girls were great- Nataylia had natural chemestiary with Brosnan and they were probarly the best pairing since Dalton's Bond and Kara
the writing was excellence- why they didnt keep Bruce Firstein and Michael Francis as Writers for future bond films is beyond my comprehension, the music is underrated but come on the music at the beginning of the movie was great,
and lets face it it spawned probarly one of the greatest Film Video Game tie in in history
So raise a glass to Goldeneye
No Fears...No Limits and Defintely No Substitues
As an older fan (35!) I remember all too well the 6 year gap after LTK and the false starts and failures to get Bond back on screen. I can remember Bond 17 having a generic teaser at Cannes around 1992/93 if memory serves and then the fallout from Mr. Dalton resigning (the media loved that one) I also remember all the so called movie experts at the time writing that Bond has had his time, Cold War is over, LTK was rubbish and had killed the francise, movie world had moved on blah, blah, blah.
So the gamble from Mr Broccoli was huge and it paid of superbly. CR 're-booted the franchise after it lost it's way after DAD but it was GE that allowed it to still exist in the modern world. GE was very cleverly done to show an MI6 spy was still relevant in the world after the Cold War that invented him and they threw a huge budget right up onto the screen to show that for stunts and action Bond was still the master.
I think it is telling that the same director was brought back when the series needed relaunching again. Martin Cambell for Bond 24 anyone?
The story was good, actors were good, Q was there for continuity and somehow Brosnan was never better, he seemed to get it right first time.
The critical and fan response at the time was amazing. Bond was everywhere again. Loved GE at the time and still really like it now.
This modern, self-aware and often self-deprecating take on James Bond sought to united the divided fan base. It did exactly that with Brosnan's transparent performance which was a crossbreed between Dalton's dark violent side and Moore's gentle politeness. Sometimes it feels like the characters are mouthpieces created to spoonfeed the viewer, but the fact that it criticizes Bond's violence and misogyny rather than reveling in it is certainly a step in the 21st century.
It follows the Goldfinger formula predictably but it does everything in it quite well. The over-the-top action works. Although the pace is a little on the slow side at first, the final half-hour is an intense ride. There are lots of memorable scenes like the grenade pen, riding the tank and jumping from a dam. It's the perfect balance between silly and serious as the Bond series was intended to be. And on top of that, the whole character cast (especially Judi Dench's M) is great.
Theme Song: (By Tina Turner) A short but sweet song that unfortunately ends just as it develops.
"Bond Girl": (Simonova) was intelligent and largely independent, going along with the movie's theme of strong women.
Villains: (Janus) Played his part well, for what it was, and his reuniting with Bond made for a great scene. Xenia was totally feral and entertaining.
One-Liners: "You're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War" - M
Overall Rating: 7/10 (Very Good)
-My generation was lucky, it got two.
The Living Daylights and GoldenEye.
I was 13 when TLD hit the theatre and Dalton become "my Bond".
When GoldenEye graced the screens I was 21 and was not really prepared for another Bond after 6 year of nothingness.
As I knew the suave Brosnan from Remington Steele I was looking forward to seeing Pierce as Bond despite the fact I wanted Dalton back.
-GoldenEye defined my 20s.
From the first moment when the airplane is flying over the famous dam in Switzerland I knew this would be a great experience. The stunt left me as breathless as seeing the three 00 agents jump from the military plane in the PTS of TLD.
Coming out of the cinema I and my army buddies were celebrating life and everything it can offer. We talked about the film for days, weeks, months. And went to see it again and again.
-GoldenEye turned my generation into James Bond die hard fans and Pierce Brosnan became the symbol of how we wanted to be. Suave, good-looking, charming, womanizing, witty, cool, hard hitting, gun-toting awesome agents or soldiers in our case. At least we got to live some of the things Bond did on screen.
GoldenEye was everywhere and so was Pierce Brosnan. With one film Pierce became a living legend and GoldenEye influenced pop culture in unseen formats.
From the usual like magazines, news-stories and posters and toys there was suddenly the world of gaming that got revolutionised by what must be the most famous, legendary game ever. GoldenEye 64.
The score has a huge part in all of this. At the time it sounded like what a modern Bond sound was imagined to sound like. The film delivered and so did the game.
We all spent an unimaginable amount of hours with the game and lived through the film therefore again and again.
-A little over 20 years later, what's left of the legendary GoldenEye?
The film that defined how my generation looked at action-thrillers, how we wanted video-games to be (GoldenEye64) and how we wanted Bond to sound (Tina Turner, GoldenEye Overture).
My answer is a resounding GOLDENEYE IS AN ETERNAL CLASSIC
Everything falls into place flawlessly with the film. Even the very first moment, the gun-barrel shows that this marks a new beginning.
The PTS is Bond perfection. Nothing less. The coolest ever introduction to a Bond in the most cool of surroundings. Switzerland, once more, provides the perfect location and Serra's GoldenEye Overture is the sound of modern Bond.
The stunt of all stunts bar skiing off the cliff in TSWLM's PTS. In a cinematic sense.
The titles from newbie Daniel Kleinman also mark a new beginning. Combined with Tina Turner's fantastic GoldenEye this title sequence remains one of the most memorable and very best.
The DB5 is back and it looks good on Brosnan, very. Xenia Onatopp, the wonderful Famke Janssen, is introduced in the most fun way and the casino scene that follows it is the next best thing to the casino scene in DN.
At this point latest it becomes clear, GoldenEye's intention is to belong to the best of the best, rivalling the iconic ones like GF and TSWLM. And so far nothing suggests it wouldn't be.
What is evident by the end of the Severnaya sequence, is the quality of the cast. I've never had a problem with the cast in the Dalton films, but GoldenEye truly surpasses anything in the cast department at least since a couple of decades.
Alec Trevelyan. A legend. And please forgive me if I use that word a bit inflationary.
The same goes for Xenia and the new M.
Natalya is the kind of Bond girl that we want to see in the mid 90s and she'd even work today.
But even the supporting characters like Mishkin, Ourumov, Boris and Jack Wade are cast perfectly and they work so well and do what they are supposed to do.
My favourite though may be Valentin Zukovsky.
Samantha Bond as Moneypenny feels so right. She's perfect for Brosnan.
-Judi Dench certainly was someone to get used to.
Dench is so different to her predecessors. For starters the dynamic between Bond and M is strongly affected by the fact M is now a woman. Immune to Bond's charm and she makes that clear pretty strongly.
The reason this M works so well, is Dench's acting ability and her chemistry with Brosnan.
Another perfect match.
And it seems Brosnan is a perfect match for really anyone. He's got tons of charisma and it seems he can work with anyone and make anything work on screen.
The Severnaya destruction is a work of art. While CGI already was available in 1995, EON decided still to use model work for the most important scenes that needed special effects.
The satellite dish destruction and the jet fighters destruction are done beautifully and while you can probably tell it's model work it still looks real and it looks REAL GOOD.
The middle section in St. Petersburg is another reason GE has become such a joy to watch.
It evokes the times of the cold war that were not that far behind in 1995 and still you'll get that feeling of the new Russia that has been born a few years back.
Ourumov and Mishkin represent the old and new ways and it's written so well.
The script is fantastic anyway. Bond has so much meaningful dialogue interaction with Alec, M and Natalya. But it's so subtle you don't ever get the feeling that it's contrived. Which is also due to the fine acting jobs everyone is doing.
The dialogue in general is memorable and some characters get all perfect lines. Xenia, Alec, M, Valentin, Ourumov. And Brosnan delivers every reply, every witticism with such panache you want to stand up and clap.
GoldenEye puts a smile on my face from start to finish.
-A drive in the country Russian style.
EON must have thought, how can we possibly go the extra mile to deliver yet another unique and defining action sequence the cinematic world has never seen before.
There is no chance for subtlety left once the tank crashes through the wall to the street and chases Ourumov and Natalya in a car. It's maybe the most memorable of all memorable moments in GoldenEye. That crashing through the wall. In your face!
And we know what to expect from that moment on and the next 10 minutes or so deliver. And how they deliver.
In the midst of all the mayhem the ever cool and suave Brosnan. Truly, nobody could have done it better.
But it's not enough, now Bond actually intends to crash the tank frontally into an incoming train.
-Bond. Only Bond.
-He's going to derail us.
Even Bean and Janssen are in awe of such audacity! And it feels like they deliver their lines as the actual actors and the characters they play.
Bond. Only Bond. Indeed!
Once we are at the satellite dish and the main lair of Alec it's already clear, this film is worth Gold.
But unlike so many other Bond films, GoldenEye doesn't falter in its last act.
The set is believable, huge and so very impressive. It's not there for the sake of it but it has a real function for all the scenes that are played in it.
Alec, Boris, Natalya and Bond have a foursome of wonderful, part hilarious repartee. And everything is acted so believably by Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Scorupco and even Cumming who's Boris is obnoxious but in the end Boris serves a purpose and he excels at it.
We've already got a taste of how relentless and brutal Brosnan Bond can be at the sauna scene but his long fight with Alec on the satellite dish is so realistic and bloody and well edited that it's clearly the best sort of thing we got since the Connery era.
The use of the surroundings and the choreography of the many punches and fights is such great cinematic achievement.
Even the last lines of Alec and Bond are for the ages. Everything comes full circle from their first scene in the PTS to Alec's brutal shocking ending.
Martin Campbell truly was the perfect choice for GoldenEye and I guess in the end EON was lucky on some things. Perfect casting decisions, perfect new crew members like Daniel Kleinman or Martin Campbell.
GoldenEye is the film where all the parts worked and the sum of all the parts is a pop-culture influencing film that has long become one of the defining films of the last decades.
It's quite difficult to put this film in a ranking if I tried to be as objective as I can.
-It's my personal No 1 film for all time.
The only other film that is more or less on the same level for me is Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Batman (1989). And of course The Living Daylights.
I guess in the end GoldenEye does belong into a top five or maybe even top three of Bond films, objectively speaking.
Nothing outside the 60s does qualify though, to be at GoldenEye's side in a top five except TSWLM.
To start out with positives..well to me, everything in this movie is just great and I have no issues with it at all. I mean we have an amazing cast that all deliver wonderfully in their roles. Amazing dialogue (Statue Park scene especially), Amazing action sequences such as the Archives shootout, and the runway bit during the PTS just to name an absolute few. Every scene feels important to the plot as well.
We also have imo the best Bond villain with Alec Trevelyan played by the amazing Sean Bean who is like Bond's equal, (Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga is very close in terms of greatness). We got a really good Bond girl in Natalya, an Awesome and hilarious henchmen with Boris, A great evil General type bad guy with General Ourumov, a Crazy and psychotic but equally as hot Henchwomen with Xenia Onatopp and of course we have The humor filled Russian arms dealer himself Valentin Zukovsky. And Joe Don Baker imo finally got Casted correctly in a Bond film as Jack Wade with this movie, it's a character I do quite enjoy.
We also get imo a really great Score by Eric Serra with tracks that really fit the mood of each scene they play in. we also have amazing camera work, great locations as well as some really Nice Bond cars such as the return of my personal Favorite Bond car: the Aston Martin DB5 and the introduction of the BMW Z3. This movie also houses what is imo the best fight in franchise History with the absolutely brutal and evenly matched brawl with Alec and Bond on the cradle which is just so action packed and intense the whole way through. There's also really damn good scenes where it's just dialogue only, some of the best of these are Bond and M's briefing, the Natalya Beach Scene and of course the Statue Park scene, which I'll get into in a bit.
Now GoldenEye imo also holds the best scene in Bond history, with that being the statue park meeting between Bond and Alec, just everything about it is awesome: the lighting, this dialogue, Eric Serra's sad but beautiful piano track, the facial expressions of both Bond and Alec, and the brilliant camera work and how well it sets up Alec as a villain, people if you haven't seen this scene yet, do yourself a favor and watch it (do the same with this movie). Add all this just brilliant stuff with an amazing and imo still the best gunbarrel, an iconic moment in the tank chase, a really great and fun Q briefing scene (my personal favorite one) as well as Pierce Brosnan just being an absolutely amazing Bond on his first outing and wow you have yourself quite the Bond film.
As for Negatives, well there really isn't any negatives with this movie that really hurt the absolutely fun experience it provides in my eyes.
So yeah as a whole, This movie imo is a masterpiece and easily the best Bond film in my eyes, I can watch it over and over and not get bored of it, it just amazes me everytime I watch it and it's an extremely satisfying experience, oh that and it spawned only one of the greatest games ever made with the Nintendo 64 Game adaptation. I absolutely love this movie with every fiber of my
being and it's without a doubt my favorite Bond movie and favorite movie of all time, I can't do this movie justice you simply must see it yourself to truly experience why it's so great
My final rating is a 10/10
When the dust finally settled, a lot had changed: franchise stalwarts such as writer Richard Maibaum or title designer Maurice Binder (both involved with the series since Dr. No) had passed away, and head of production Cubby Broccoli, now in his eighties, took a back seat in favour of his daughter and son-in-law.
With new writers, a new director, a new Bond, new M, new Moneypenny, this film very much feels like a changing of the guard.
The outside world had changed too: the Soviet Union had fallen (bit of a problem for a spy franchise), third wave feminism hit its crest, and there was also lots of talk about "the new man" (caring, sensitive - everything Fleming's vision of masculinity wasn't). The question arose whether James Bond was still relevant.
So how did the new team deal with the new era? Awkwardly, it turns out.
M calls Bond a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur", Moneypenny jokes about sexual harassment, and his Bond girl calls him "a boy with a toy". It feels as if the makers are constantly trying to apologise for making a Bond movie in 1995.
A plot set in the smouldering ashes of the USSR, it features computers and the internet. Lots of computers, lots of internet. GoldenEye is one of those films so determined to be of its time, it ends up dated as soon as it steps out the door.
Then there's Pierce Brosnan as Bond. In many ways he's a perfect fit: he can do the action, he can do the humour, he has the looks (the man can wear a tuxedo like nobody's business!). Therein however, lies the problem.
Fleming's hero was posh, but hard (a tough toff if you will). Sean Connery was hard, but not posh, Roger Moore was posh, but not hard. Yet, it's precisely that tension between the character and the actor's persona that made their portrayal, each in their own way, unique. Brosnan can do hard and posh and his Bond ends up uninteresting, bland.
Like the movie itself, his performance is eminently watchable, but wholly unmemorable.
GE was the first Bond film I watched at the cinema, having seen all the others on TV or Video (I was too young before). Unfortunately, after being hooked on LTK, GE was a drop in quality.
I love Bond films, but GE was just ‘ok’ in the canon, with a weak, odd and very un-Bondian score.
What never ceases to puzzle and amuse on a personal level is when this film is rated highly by most Bond "fans." Ultimately, it provides little more than a flashy, over-hyped, ensemble of ‘greatest hits’ moments which don't add up to a satisfying whole.
It's like one of those mediocre compilation albums where you simply flick through to the songs you like, enjoying the few good bits, and arbitrarily disregarding the rest......A mediocre Bond movie garnering hollow praise.
Rewatching GE (and the following 3 films, which dropped in quality with each entry) even Brosnan fans must surely accept that he was never the new Connery, but rather a sort-of strangely flat Roger Moore – without even the charm, screen presence and natural gift for comedy that old raised eyebrow delivered in spades.
I remained entertained, but underwhelmed until 2006, when another brilliant Bond film was released.