Up next for today’s Bond movie, GoldenEye (1995), here’s Justine of Justine’s Movie Blog with her thoughts on it.
Thanks again Justine!
Having grown up in the ’90s, Pierce Brosnan was the very first Bond I’ve ever seen. To me, he simply is James Bond, and although I’ve come to love other Bonds even more, he’ll always be the first for me. Incidentally, my first encounter with GoldenEye was as a Nintendo 64 video game that was really popular back then. It was a first-person shooter and I was really good at it. If you played multiplayer with me and the golden gun, I assure you, you’d lose. I hadn’t seen the movie until many years later, but when I did, it was a sweet nostalgia. That’s what it’ll always be for me–a reminder of when I was an 8-year-old girl killing everyone in a James Bond video game. Sweet, eh?
GoldenEye was not just an awesome video game, though, it was also a pretty good movie. For one, it featured the very first woman to portray the iconic “M,” and that was, of course, the one and only Judi Dench. It also had a lot of memorable, great characters, a fun story and a lot of cool action that pushed it to the forefront. Being the 17th movie in a series, it had to stand out, and for me, it definitely did that. The Brosnan Bond films seem significantly more modern than his predecessor, and although they weren’t all great, I had a lot more fun with his series.
The film starts out with James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) meeting Agent 006, or Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) in a Soviet chemical weapons facility where they plan to blow it up. Alec is shot by General Ourumov (Gottfried John) and Bond escapes. Nine years later, Bond is in Monte Carlo racing against Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a woman he suspects is part of a terrorist group called Janus. Bond ends up having to team up with a woman named Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), who is the lone survivor of an attack made by Onatopp and Ourumov on a bunker in Severnaya where they were keeping a control disk for the GoldenEye satellite weapon. Bond eventually finds out the man behind Janus is a close friend, and he must stop him before he can use the weapon against London.
GoldenEye refreshed the series with Brosnan, a man who looks and acts the part of James Bond pretty well. Not only that, but this movie is a lot of fun. Just in the beginning scene alone we see him bungee jumping over 700 feet from a dam. Then there’s the awesome racing scene between Bond in his Aston Martin and Xenia Onatopp in her Ferrari, and let’s not forget the scene where he drives a tank through St. Petersburg. This is a great action film, and features some of the best action scenes I’ve seen in a Bond movie. At the same time, there’s still an interesting story going on here, with plenty of characters to care about. Even Alec Trevelyan is awesome, who doesn’t love Sean Bean? Onatopp is absolutely crazy, an assassin who can kill a man with her thighs, but that’s not all. Her facial expressions and the screaming, very few bad Bond ladies can top her character, and Janssen does a terrific job with it.
Judi Dench is a welcome replacement as M. She’s stern and in control. She even calls Bond out on being a sexist and a misogynist, something we all know but rarely ever hear people in these films say out loud. Even Miss Moneypenny points out that Bond’s flirtatious behavior towards her can be grounds for sexual harassment. The women in this movie are as feisty as ever, making quite a match for the iconic ladies’ man. Izabella Scorupco is a great Bond girl, she isn’t too much of a damsel and she can hack a computer like no other, which is very useful for Bond when he comes face to face with the Janus crime syndicate.
The movie is set in a few different places, from Monaco to multiple locations in Russia, and then eventually to Cuba, making for some very interesting and beautiful backdrops for the story. It is a fresh and exciting adventure and really contributes to the escapism one probably looks for in a James Bond movie.
GoldenEye was an introduction into the new James Bond era in the ’90s. Pierce Brosnan is the Bond that I grew up with, and because of that he will always be a special embodiment of the role. I’m sure many others can say the same for their own decades. GoldenEye is my favorite of the Brosnan films and no, that’s not just because I enjoyed the video game adaptation of it. With some great characters, a clever story, and plenty of extremely fun action, it really is the best of his series.