James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow agent believed to be dead.
It’s funny how history repeats itself. It was 11 years ago that director Matin Campbell was given the job of resurrecting the James Bond franchise which at that time was dead on it’s feet. Timothy Dalton’s Bond movies never caught the imagination of the movie audience. It took six years between Dalton’s last and Brosnan’s first movie as 007 to be released. That movie was GoldenEye.
GoldenEye starred Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and never before had an actor looked as comfortable in their first outing as Bond since Sean Connery. Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby all seemed to aware of doing something different to Connery in their first outings as Bond, their acting was rather forced the first time around.
The plot as with any Bond movie is as ridicolus as ever, but you don’t mind in GoldenEye, the film does a great job of making you forget all this because it’s so entertaining. Sean Bean is the villain Alec Treleyan, a former associate of Bond as 006 who was believed to have been shot dead by the Russians some years ago. He is now the head of Janus, a mysterious organisation with plans to take over the world by destroying the global economy.
He is almost a post-modern Bond roque. He isn’t over the top like Blofeld or Goldfinger, he isn’t eccentric like Drax or Stromberg but is instead aware of his place in the Bond mythos. He remarks…. “What’s the matter, James, no glib remark, no pithy comeback?”. This is a Bond villain who knows he is a Bond villain.
His associate is the feisty Xenia Onatopp, probably the most memorable female villain in any Bond movie, she gets her sexual satisfication by killing her lovers during the act of sex. She is so far removed from the usual female Bond villain with bad one-liners and bland personalities.
The movie is full of non-stop action, great individual scenes (especially the light hearted but really fun moment between Brosnan and the great Desmond Llewelyn) and a great third act on Treleyan’s satellite base.
And what about the kickass video game for the N64? I don’t think you can discredit that movie for people of my generation who played that game non-stop in the mid 90′s. It was such an awesome game and played so much like the movie that you can’t help but feel that the game in some part played to the movie’s stature in the minds of people my age.
Goldeneye proved that their was room for Bond in the 90′s and truly cemented it’s role in the future of cinema. It now seems unlikely that they will ever stop making Bond movies. Like I said at the start of the post it’s funny how history repeats itself. Martin Campbell has again been given the reigns of saving the Bond franchise, with a new 007… Daniel Craig.
Can he do it again with Casino Royale a decade later, in what has been described as a more “down to earth and gritty Bond”. It’s funny, they said the same about Dalton in the 80′s and then about Brosnan with Goldeneye.
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