This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.
When a powerful satellite system falls into the hands of Alec Trevelyan, AKA Agent 006 (Sean Bean), a former ally-turned-enemy, only Agent 007, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) can save the world from a dangerous space weapon that, in one short pulse, could potentially destroy the earth. As Bond squares off against his former compatriot, he also must battle Trevelyan’s beautiful ally, Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), an assassin who uses pleasure as her ultimate weapon.
So now I’m done with all of the classic Bond films and now I am into the modern era, in other words, films that were released after I was born (1990 by the way). This film is the first of Pierce Brosnan’s four Bond films. This is also the first film for Judi Dench as M replacing the deceased Bernard Lee (11 films) and Robert Brown (4 films). I haven’t spoken about them yet but I always thought Bernard Lee was great and Robert Brown was okay. However Judi Dench has always been my favorite M. She also delivers a classic line on the same level as “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” from Goldfinger. I will say that I’ve seen bits and pieces of this film before but never the whole thing at once so this was exciting for me. I thought the film started off rather nicely with the longest pre-credit scene so far in the series with one pretty cool moment near the end that I won’t spoil. Also the opening theme which followed, also called Goldeneye by Tina Turner, was also very good and probably second to Live and Let Die. I thought the plot for this one was very good as it was able to maintain a consistent excitement level throughout and the pacing was good because it seemed like the plot just kept moving along. The action was there throughout from rappelling down a cliff, to lots of gun battles, and a battle on top of a communications tower. The writing was there too as Brosnan’s Bond contained the best qualities of each famous Bond before him (sorry Lazenby and Dalton), Connery’s action sense and Moore’s wittiness. This was a welcome change over the last two Timothy Dalton films as the series returned to its less serious and more comedic roots. Brosnan was able to handle himself with the action scenes and he showed charm and wittiness otherwise. The main Bond girl in this film, Natalya Simova (Izabella Scorupco), was okay here because she actually useful here unlike most past Bond girls who were just stupid, whiny, and always found themselves in some sort of danger. The film wouldn’t quite be a Bond film if it didn’t have a good villain and Bean’s Trevelyan was good. Although his motivation was barely talked about, he was still very menacing and evil. What really added to that was that he actually posed a challenge for Bond seeing that was a former agent with the same training as him similar to Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. He had a good command of the screen but it was unfortunate that we did not get to see too much of him. I am not really sure about Janssen’s Xenia Onatopp (another innuendo). I guess she was a good enough henchwoman (but not quite like May Day in A View to a Kill) but she just seemed like a caricature of a crazy Russian woman. Overall, this film is my favorite film in the series so far as it struck me as the closest thing to the Bond trifecta (story, action, and “Bondiness”) and it gets my recommendation not just for Bond fans but for action fans too.
Next: Tomorrow Never Dies