Critic Consensus: The first and best Pierce Brosnan Bond film, GoldenEye brings the series into a more modern context, and the result is a 007 entry that's high-tech, action-packed, and urbane.
Pierce Brosnan made his first appearance as James Bond in this action thriller, the 17th in the series (excluding the 1967 Casino Royale and the 1983 Never Say Never Again) featuring the suave British super-agent. As the story begins, Agent 007 and his partner, Agent 006 (Sean Bean), pull a daring raid on a chemical weapons plant in the Soviet Union; however, they are captured by Russian troops, and while Bond is able to escape, 006 is not so lucky. Several years later, the Soviet Union and the Cold War are a thing of the past, but Bond is still at work ferreting out evildoers everywhere. Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a beautiful but vicious villain working with the Russian Mafia, spearheads the theft of the controls to GoldenEye, a high-tech satellite weapons system, and with her gunmen, she kills most of the soldiers and guards at a top-secret military facility in the process. Bond joins forces with Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), one of the base's few survivors, to help track down Onatopp's minions and the controls to GoldenEye, which can destroy all electronic circuits in a given area in a matter of seconds; however, in time, Bond discovers the true identity of the criminal mastermind who is behind this bid for unholy power and world domination -- none other than Alec Trevelyan, the man Bond once knew as 006. In addition to Brosnan, GoldenEye also marked another significant cast change for the Bond series -- Judi Dench made her debut as M, Bond's superior. Minnie Driver also has a cameo as a nightclub singer. Sadly, this was the last film in the Bond series for special-effects supervisor Derek Meddings, who died in the midst of production; the film was dedicated to him. … More
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as Valentin Zukovsky
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Critic Reviews for GoldenEye
Brosnan, however, looks set to stay. He'll never recapture the amused cool of the young Sean Connery, but he does overcome the handicap of looking like a humorless male model.
I don't know whether the Bond series has a future, but if Xenia Onatopp ever returns to try for world domination, he may finally get a battle worth fighting.
There's something a mite pathetic about our culture still clinging to 007, but it's hard to deny that this is one of the most entertaining entries in the Bond cycle.
Among the better of the 17 Bonds and, perhaps more important for today's audience, a dynamic action entry in its own right, this first 007 adventure in six years breathes fresh creative and commercial life into the 33-year-old series.
Director Campbell keeps matters bowling along and even manages to recapture something of the look of the earlier films.
Audience Reviews for GoldenEye
With Goldeneye, the 17th Bond film, we finally get a successor that can pull of the dashing wit and coldness of Bond in the tradition of Sean Connery. Pierce Brosnan is the best Bond since Connery no question (at least until Craig came and shocked everyone). Goldeneye takes the series back to basics after the atypical Licence to Kill and the result is a slick and satisfying action film that follows the typical formula, but modernizes the look and feel for the first time in decades. Goldeneye isn't really any different than past successful Bond films, but as far as the formula goes this one applies it in the best ways since the heyday of the Connery era. The story is your typical maniac trying to take over the world with high tech gadgetry, but is actually one of the most intriguing because of the addition of 006. Sean Bean's 006 won't go down as one of the best villain performances, but he is solid and gets the job done and the character itself is one the better thought out villains. Famke Janssen's Xenia Onatopp is the more entertaining and memorable villain in the tradition of Oddjob. One of the major differences between this film and the past is that it is self-aware of many of the traditions and cliches of a Bond film and flips some of it on its head in funny and interesting ways. There's not a whole lot of humor, but what is there works and it's never cheesy (something that can't be said for any Roger Moore film). The action is pretty good in this, and there's tons of it (probably the most of any Bond I've seen up to this point in the series) and helps the film go at a decent pace until it hits a few slower spots in the middle. One criticism I do have, and it's not just levied at Goldeneye but Bond films in general, is that over 2 hours is starting to be too long and tiresome. Cut about 20-30 minutes off some of these films and they would be much better. Overall, Goldeneye is the best traditional Bond film since the Connery era and that makes it one of the strongest entries in the storied franchise.
"Goldeneye" is Pierce Brosnan's first turn as Bond, James Bond and it was also the first Bond movie I saw in the theater. I remember my dad taking me, and just being completely captivated. He and I have gone to each one since, and they just get better and better. Here Bond goes against the Soviet Union as they threaten the world with nuclear weapons. Sean Bean plays 006, and old associate of Bond's who is the mastermind behind war in search for world domination. This is also the first time Judi Dench plays M, and she does great. This really was a breath of fresh air for the franchise and helped keep it relevant.
I liked the Timothy Dalton Bond films, but the series needed a boost and a good update for the 90s, and it couldn't have gotten much better than this. Martin Campbell proved here that he could make an exciting, fun, and smart Bond film, and later proved he could do it again when the series once again needed reinvigorating.
Brosnan makes for a pretty good Bond, and he's the closest of all the others when it comes to getting to Connery's level. The plot is good and I liked the revenge angle. Thankfully the film's plot also proved to be successfully adaptable for the video game world, as the game is just as awesome as the movie (if not a hair better).
The rest of the cast and performances are good. Janssen is an excellent femme fatale, Bean makes for a good villain, Scorupco is a beauty (and she's talented). I think she disappeared after this movie, and that's a shame. I miss seeing her. Cumming is great as the geeky comic relief, and having Dench play a female "M" was a welcome and inspired move.
The action is fun and well done, and there's a lot going on here, yet the movie isn't too long or overblown or murky. The plot, despite having revenge elements, also gets into the Cold War stuff that permeates a lot of spy movies (and not just this series), and that's fine. It works pretty well, and doesn't get too over the top or ridiculous.
|Alec Trevelyan:||For England, James?|
|James Bond:||No. For me.|
|M:||The prime minister's talked to Moscow. They're saying it was an accident during a routine training exercise.|
|James Bond:||Goverments change. The lies stay the same.|
|Xenia Onatopp:||Enjoy it. While it lasts.|
|James Bond:||The very words I live by.|
|Alec Trevelyan:||For England, James?|
|James Bond:||For England, Alec.|
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