GoldenEye (1995)

goldeneye IMDb

I know what you’re thinking. That there is no way a feminist like me could like the James Bond franchise. But I actually like these movie a lot. I even love a few of them. There’s definitely a huge nostalgia factor at work here. My dad would watch the old Sean Connery and Roger Moore movies on TV, and when I took an interest in them he started seeking more out for us to watch together. At the age of 10 I was unaware of how crappy most of the women were portrayed, and the innuendo-laden dialogue went right over my head. I just liked the gadgets, the cars, the villains, the signature song that accompanied each film, how well everybody dressed… basically the reasons everybody loves a good (or even a bad) 007 movie.

GoldenEye is a Bond film I am less familiar with. My dad was exclusively into Connery and Moore, and while I dabbled in the Pierce Brosnan installments during high school, they never really held my attention. This era of Bond feels funny to me. One of the things I love about the 60s and 70s movies is how ridiculous they are. There’s a certain “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” quality that sort of acknowledges that we all know what we’re watching is silly, so let’s not take any of this too seriously (this is especially evident with Roger Moore). But the Brosnan movies do feel more serious, while still attempting the same silly humor and “over the top-ness” that built the franchise. It’s a hard line to walk, and these movies never feel successful at achieving this balance.

While Pierce Brosnan is not “my Bond” (this is usually the Bond you grew up with, so for me it will always be Sean Connery), he does a great job stepping into the iconic role. He’s got the looks to woo the ladies, but comes across like a badass when he needs to. Brosnan nails the dry wit, a quality just as essential to a good Bond as looking smashing in a tuxedo. He also comes across as very intelligent. Watching Brosnan’s movies made me realize what Daniel Craig’s interpretation of the character seems to be lacking.

The plot of GoldenEye is your typical 007 action adventure– spies doing spy stuff after the end of the Cold War– so I won’t talk about that. Instead let’s talk about one of my favorite parts of any James Bond film: the slightly sexy opening credits sequence set to a radio friendly pop/rock tune. I’ve always loved these bonus music videos, and many of the songs have found their way into my music collection over the years. “GoldenEye” performed by Tina Turner is a great song, though not a personal favorite. The Wikipedia page for this movie states that Ace of Base was originally going to provide a song, which would have been the most 90s thing ever.

Rating: B

This was the first James Bond film I saw. My childhood was filled with Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which did not leave much room for the British super spy. It’s a bit surprising I was never introduced to 007 earlier considering that both of my parents are English. I enjoy Pierce Brosnan as Bond, although I’ve not seen many of the Connery or Roger Moore films so I can’t compare him to those films. GoldenEye was a terrific introduction to Bond, all of the hallmarks are here, Brosnan has a big bag of gadgets, oozes charisma and always kills the bad guy with a witty remark. It is everything I expect from my womanizing spy films.

GoldenEye follows James Bond as he attempts to stop a rogue Russian general from activating a dangerous satellite named GoldenEye. If the satellite is used over London, it will create an EMP that will send Britain back to the Stone Age. Things get complicated further when Bond discovers that an old MI6 agent, and his mentor, Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), is pulling the strings behind the scenes. Bond must stop his former colleague, even though Alec may know him better than Bond knows himself.

This is an enjoyable film, and by far, Brosnan’s best film as James Bond. The highlight for me was Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp. Her name alone is enough to create a few laughs, but she is great as the evil Bond girl who has a specific talent for murdering people while sleeping with them. Janssen is the best Bond girl that I have seen, she is a lot of fun. Alan Cumming is also good as a horny hacker.

GoldenEye was a great introduction to the world of James Bond. I was very much looking forward to more of the Bond films featuring Brosnan, although none of his future adventures manage to hit the heights of this fun film.

Rating: B+

One thought on “GoldenEye (1995)

  1. Pingback: Love & Sex (2000) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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