GoldenEye was the first James Bond movie I ever saw a child, and it is still one of my favorites. Pierce Brosnan was a perfectly capable Bond, in the cinematic sense. He looked like a million bucks, and as Roger Ebert noted in his review of the film, he looked perfectly at home in a casino, something the straight laced Roger Moore could not quite pull off as much, or the brooding Timothy Dalton, (although I loved him for other reasons). Not since Connery himself had there been a Bond who brought back the “cool factor” as much as Brosnan did, that is not to suggest he was anywhere near as cool as Connery though.
This is the first James Bond film of the 90s, and perhaps, the first truly “self aware” Bond picture, whether or not that was a good thing I will to history to decide. In it a former ally, Agent 006 (played by Sean Bean) turns rouge after being presumed dead and hi-jacks a powerful satellite system that can be used to destroy the entire planet with one giant ZAP. Thankfully, Agent 007 is also on the case. Along with 006, whose actual name is Alec Trevelyan, there also the stunning Xenia Onatopp (Framke Janssen) who continues the long line of suggestively named female assassins in this series.
One thing I like about Goldfinger is Trevelyan is a different sort of villain. He’s not so much a head honcho master criminal like Blofeld, but sort of like a darker version of Bond himself which makes for a very interesting pairing. There’s also the mad Russian General Ouromov here, but he takes a backseat to Trevelyan.
GoldenEye is about as good of a modern Bond movie as probably can be made. It’s really not rocket surgery. You get some exotic locations, beautiful (but hopefully not too annoying) women such as Bond allies Natalya played by the gorgeous Izabella Scorupco, interesting villains, and some insane action set pieces, and there you go. In this film we get to see Bond jump off a giant dam, drive a tank through Moscow and nearly restart the cold war in Russia, derail a train, and do battle on top of a humungous satellite. All the while, not a hair on Brosnan’s head even thinks of coming out of place.
GoldenEye gets a four out of five: GREAT.