Anthony's Film Review
After a six-year hiatus, the Bond series appears almost alive and well...
Pierce Brosnan would have been James Bond in the late 1980s if it weren't for his commitment to the TV show Remington Steele. I don't know how he would have done as Bond in The Living Daylights, but his introduction into the world of Bond in 1995's Goldeneye was at least welcome by some fans. For me, since it was his first, I don't blame him too much for an average performance as Bond. He does have further opportunities to sink into his role with his later films.
Goldeneye is notable in that the pre-credits sequence and the rest of the movie are separated by nine years instead of a shorter period of time. With the beginning of the movie taking place in the last few years of the Cold War, this is to reflect that Bond would later be just a relic of the Cold War, as M would put it. The Bond films, after all, tend to reflect changing times. The pre-credits scene is nicely done with exciting action and two memorable stunts: a bungee jump and riding a motorcycle off a cliff to catch up with a falling plane.
The characters are played by a cast very different from years before, but the actors chosen are OK. Judi Dench as the new M for the British Secret Service does a good job as well as Samantha Bond as the third actress to play Miss Moneypenny. Besides the new actors, Desmond Llewelyn returns as the eccentric Q, bringing familiarity to the long-time fans. Izabella Scorupco does a fine job portraying the Bond girl, Natalya Simonova.
As for the villains, Sean Bean is an interesting actor for the part of Alec Trevelyan, a 00 agent turn evil, and so is the character of General Ourumov. Perhaps the most striking character in the film whom James Bond encounters is Xenia Onatopp, a woman with a sexual appetite that surpasses even Bond's notorious vices. It is this character who helps the film push the limits with regards to sexual content. Sex scenes in Bond films have always been of a suggestive and gentler nature. But with a sex scene involving Xenia and a Canadian Admiral, the James Bond films seem to have become more sexually explicit, though not enough to get an R rating in the U.S. At least, not yet.
Overall, the film is a somewhat-below-average Bond film despite the well-chosen cast. The action scenes are fun, though I wish there were at least a few more. In many previous films, James Bond would travel to several places, gather clues in his mission, and fight baddies along the way. In Goldeneye, Bond goes to Russia and simply meets a few characters and gets involved in one long chase before finally going to another place for the climax. Therefore, it felt like a quick film even though it's a two-hour film like all Bond films. Still, it's a good thing this movie came out, because it proved one thing that the fans wanted to hear for six years: James Bond is back.
For more information about Goldeneye, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of the following:
Official James Bond Films
Unofficial James Bond Films