Goldeneye (1995)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Decent, but flawed.

Note: This review contains spoilers

Now we’re talking. Goldeneye was the first Bond film I ever saw, which is why when I think James Bond, my mind typically shoots to Pierce Brosnan as a good example for what Bond should look like. Since I’ve seen Daniel Craig, I’ve used him as an example of how Bond should act, but I can highly respect Brosnan for his role. Now, this film is pretty much everyone’s favorite Brosnan film as Bond. It’s been too long since I’ve seen the other three, but I can at least say that this one is decent. I mean, hey, Goldeneye was also the title of a very popular N64 game that has since been re-created for the Wii and such with the likeness of Daniel Craig…that’s how popular this movie is. However, I don’t really agree with everyone else’s view of this film. In general, I thin Goldeneye is decent, but flawed.

So basically, Goldeneye in this film refers to a satellite weapon. Its nature is an EMP – electromagnetic pulse. Basically, when former 006 agent Alec Trevelyan betrays MI6 by faking his death and joining the bad guys and controlling this Goldeneye to ultimately rob the Bank of England, and get away with it using the EMP.

As far as plots go, it fits with James Bond, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it. The EMPs used in this film don’t only kill electronic transmissions, but they also randomly make them explode. That’s not realistic, but okay, 007 doesn’t need to be realistic, sometimes the plots are over the top. Next, it seemed to go a bit too far to have an ultimate plan of robbing a bank. A bank…usually there is some kind of danger element along with a crazy enemy’s selfish agenda. Sure, their magical EMP can blow stuff up, but since I know that’s not how EMPs work, I wasn’t as convinced, nor felt the level of danger I was supposed to feel.

Sean Bean feels like a wonderful Bond villain, but for a modern audience…it was just so predictable. Killing Sean Bean in the beginning for anybody that knows the man’s career could successfully predict he might show up again and be evil. That’s his typecast…starts out good…ends up evil – in practically everything that he’s in. His other typecast to go along with that…is that he usually dies in the end. His character was probably great when this film first came out, but now it just seemed like…a gimmick. Now, Judi Dench’s first role showed up in Goldeneye, and she made quite an impressive entrance as the new M. She was strict, told it how it was, and immediately made us fall in love with her. I’ve been avoiding talking about Brosnan…but I guess we can get into that.

Pierce Brosnan looks the part. Oh, how he looks the part. I’ve said the same thing about Roger Moore, Moore looked the part too, but in my opinion, never really gave off that Bond vibe. Brosnan looked the part and gave off the vibe…but a vibe in the wrong direction. They wanted to pay respect to the origins of James Bond, so everything that was introduced with Timothy Dalton was…ignored! His seriousness with his job, his purpose to do what’s right, even if that means leaving the agency, and most importantly – his definition of what a Bond girl is. Pierce Brosnan brought it back to the glory days. He was smooth like Sean Connery, attractive like Roger Moore, and threw puns left and right – also like Moore. Brosnan took the best qualities of Connery and Moore, but ignored Dalton. Dalton revolutionized the idea of what Bond stands for, gave him a personality that you can respect outside of MI6…but let’s just ignore that.

I can at least say that the film wasn’t a joke, they took things very seriously, which affected the overall tone. Roger Moore had these movies that felt like knives stabbing at the name of Bond. He even wore a clown suit at one point…come on. They took things seriously here, and that seriousness along with Bond’s sarcastic humor were really great for the movie. However, it took a step backwards when they made him a womanizing jerk again. The Bond girls here aren’t exactly Bimbo robots like before, but they seem to lack as much importance as they had with Dalton. They were kind of boring.

I seem like I’m giving it hate, so that seems unfair. I liked it, I just wasn’t overly impressed with it as I was Dalton. If this was an older film, I probably would have rated this lower, but what it comes down to is how modern it feels, and what a modern audience wants. This film feels more modern because it is more modern. We have more expensive special effects, more action, clearer image, but had practically no memorable scenes. The scenery was kind of cool, but I didn’t take anything away from the film in regards to how memorable it was. Maybe the jumping on the plane in the beginning of the film, but that’s it. I think a modern audience would be more apt to watch this film than older installments because it looks like a film they could be interested in. Telling you, too many people judge a movie purely based on what it looks like. I’m guilty of it myself.

Goldeneye isn’t a terrible film by any means, it just seems to lack anything substantial in the long run. Brosnan gives it his all, and Dench’s entry is great to watch.

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