The 18th Film I have seen in theaters…
After a 6 year hiatus, 007 returns with Pierce Brosnan at the wheel
Several years after the fall of the Soviet Union, James Bond finds himself confronted by a new threat named Janus. Control of an old Soviet EMP satellite weapon has been stolen by Janus as revenge against them for betraying his Cossack ancestors. His plan is to rob the Bank of England and then devastate the city by using the EMP. Bond and a Goldeneye computer scientist fight for their lives to stop the weapon and defeat Janus, formerly known as 006.
On paper, Brosnan should have been the best Bond. He had the looks, suave, and threat necessary for the role. His trajectory in the character was a bit sad. The writing got progressively worse, with a few bright spots, ending with the disaster that was Die Another Day. I enjoy the next film quite a bit, but he never reclaimed the heights of this entry. If he had Daniel Craig’s scripts the story would be very different.
An actor known for his numerous onscreen deaths, Sean Bean has no less than three in this film. The first, pictured, is his fake death at that hands of General Ourumov. Next, Bond drops him off of a satellite dish and he plummets hundreds of feet to the concrete below. Not killing him properly, the satellite dish then fall on top of him, stabbing him in the face and then exploding. lol. Bean is a good villain.
Izabella Scorupco is Natalya, the programmer and sole survivor of the attack on Goldeneye. She is the main Bond Girl, the typically good one. As far as they go, she is pretty good. Not as memorable as previous or later ones though. In the middle.
Famke Janssen explodes onto the film scene as Xenia Onatopp, a Georgian assassin that kills men by crushing them between her thighs… I’ll give her this: she is one of the more memorable henchmen (henchwomen).
Joe Don Baker, the villain from Living Daylights, returns as CIA Agent Wade. I would have preferred Felix, but he’s ok.
Judi Dench steps in as M, which she will portray for the subsequent 17 years. She brings an initial adversarial relationship to the table before coming to trust Bond. She was one of the best Ms.
Gottfried John is General Ourumov. He’s your typical Russian military villain, the bread and butter of this series. He passed in 2014.
Robbie Coltrane is Zhukovsky, the ex KGB now Russian Mob boss who Bond goes to for information. Coltrane is awesome here and would reprise the character in The World is not Enough.
One of my favorite performers, Alan Cumming is Boris, the Hacker! He is INVINCIBLE! He has gone on to a great career on stage and screen. His role here will live forever as a meme/quote.
Desmond Llewelyn is back as Q, the gadgetmaster. This guy was the mainstay that united the entire series. He was in the first, and would continue until his death after World is not Enough.
Samantha Bond appears as the new Moneypenny. Aside from legend Lois Maxwell, she was the best in the role until recent years when Naomie Harris took over in Spyfall. She would go on to play her 4 times, throughout Brosnan’s run.
This was a juggernaut. It rejuvenated the series, brought Brosnan to the A List, and birthed one of the best video games ever made, Goldeneye for N64. The theme song by Tina Turner was excellent, but not my favorite of the Brosnan era. That would go to K.D. Lang and the REAL theme to Tomorrow Never Dies. Madonna had the worst, possibly of all time in Die Another Day.
There isn’t much more to be said about this one. Its a classic.