It's only been a few months since the last one. So, I decided to get on with it. And no, I have not seen Skyfall yet. I do intend to have the series finished before watching it.
After "Licence to Kill", the next Bond movie was delayed by legal disputes. The intention was to have "Property of a Lady" follow "Licence to Kill", but the movie was delayed so much that Timothy Dalton left the role of Bond. Since the movie was written around Dalton's Bond, they had to start over totally. The result was "Goldeneye", with new Bond Pierce Brosnan. But did the legal dispute delays harm the film? After all, it was the first post-Cold War Bond film. How would Bond survive without the Soviets to fight against?
The pre-credit sequence is more important here than most Bond films. It not only is meant to reveal the new Bond, but it sets the tone that this new Bond will carry throughout the film. And there, it succeeds extremely well. You don't see Pierce Brosnan's face for several minutes, as Bond bungee jumps off a dam and uses a grappling pistol to pull himself on top of a building at the base of the dam. When you do, his first line is a pun, followed by a punch to the face. That's not to say that this Bond is not serious, though. On the contrary, he is quite professional, putting the mission ahead of all else, including allies. It's tricky to get the entire personality of a new Bond down in the first few minutes of film, but they did a really good job of it here.
Bond, in his natural habitat.
The main plot of the film follows Bond attempting to stop the villains, who plan to set off Goldeneye, a satellite that fires EMPs, causing electronics to go kaboom wherever it is aimed. That's not how EMPs work, but just go with it. Throughout his attempt to stop whatever the villains plan, he runs into the Russian colonel, now General Ourumov (played by Gottfried John of...well, this is what he's best known for), as well as his psycho ally Xenia Onatopp (played by Famke Janssen, who played Jean Grey in the X-Men movies) and hacker Boris Grischenko (Alan Cumming, who played Nightcrawler in "X-Men 2"). However, Bond does find a pair of allies in computer programmer Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scurupco, an actress/model) and CIA's Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker, who played the villain in "The Living Daylights", an earlier Bond movie). He'll need the help, too, as the main villain is his partner from the pre-credit sequence, the former 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean, Boromir in "Lord of the Rings").
The plot is actually quite good in this movie. It takes a while to get through all the twists and find out exactly what the villains are planning, but unlike "A View To A Kill", it never drags. The villain's plot won't be revealed here, but it is one of the more intelligent Bond villain plots, requiring quite a bit of forethought and planning, which goes off quite well.
However, the plot is only as strong as the casting. Luckily, the casting here is quite good. Pierce Brosnan is kind of a balance between Dalton's Bond and Moore's. He's not quite as serious as Dalton, showing off a humorous side, but he is quite a bit more serious than Moore. Brosnan has his share of puns, but he never seems quite as smarmy as Moore's Bond, and he is nowhere near as goofy. As the Bond GirlTM, Izabella does a decent job playing Natalya. She plays her as being somewhat out of her depth, but not the point of being a burden to Bond, as earlier Bond Girls have been (Mary Goodknight, I mean you). However, she is not the strongest actress. Her more serious scenes, such as the beach scene with Brosnan, really do not play to her strength, and are almost laughable. As for Joe Don Baker...he was a better villain than an ally, I'll leave it at that.
Famke Janssen, smoking in more ways than one.
The villains are a much more well-rounded bunch. The main one, Trevelyan, is very well portrayed by Sean Bean. He is almost a dark version of Bond. He is smug, very much a womanizer, and a pragmatist when it comes to fights. He even makes a comparison between himself and Bond in that they are both orphans. The only time he loses his cool is when Bond calls him "nothing more than a common thief". Trevelyan knows he is better than everyone else, Bond included. Sean Bean plays this actually well-developed villain to the teeth, showing quite a talent for the part. As for Ms. Onatopp...she is nuts. She is probably the only villain to ever be shown as being a sadomasochist, rather than just having it be suggested. Her main role is to be a sexy crazy bitch, and she checks off all three of those with ease.
Grishinko is basically the comic relief villain. He is a computer nerd, believing himself to be an elite hacker, with the skills to back it up. He does lose it near the end, though, as his hacking skills are topped, and everything literally blows up around him. As for Ourumov, he is pretty well played as well, being a more darkly humorous character (telling his getaway driver, when driving on the sidewalk, "Use the bumper! That's what it's for!"). However, in the grand scheme of things, while he is a competent villain, using his rank quite intelligently, he is definitely outmatched by the main villain.
The theme for this movie is "Goldeneye", performed by Tina Turner. If you like Tina Turner, you'll like the theme. If you don't like Tina Turner, you won't like the theme. I think Tina Turner is all right, and I think the theme is all right.
Natalya. Not bad, but I prefer the crazy one.
This movie serves as a very nice intro to the Pierce Brosnan style of Bond. It has more humor and gadgets than Dalton's Bond, but at the same time, is quite dark in both the plot and the villain's scheme. If Brosnan had kept to this style, he would be one of my favorites. Alas, it did not happen.
Girls Bonded With: 2 (psychologist, Natalya)
Total Girls Bonded With: 46
Average per Movie: 2.7
Best One-Liner: Bond: (after causing Xenia to be crushed/strangled by her harness attached to a crashing helicopter) She always did enjoy a good squeeze.
Bond Reviews will return...with "Tomorrow Never Dies"