Action Movie Fanatix Review: GoldenEye

GoldenEye banner

No limits. No fears. No substitutes.

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Alan Cumming, Minnie Driver

Director: Martin Campbell

1995  |  130 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Half of everything is luck, James.” – Alec Trevelyan
“And the other half?” – James Bond
“Fate.” – Alec Trevelyan

I played the shit out of the Nintendo 64 GoldenEye game but the movie never quite connected with me.  To be fair, I had only ever watched it once and never gave it a second chance.  So now, many, many years later I am finally revisiting what many believe to be one of the best Bond movies of all time, GoldenEye.

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) attempts to stop a former partner from using a Russian satellite weapon known as “GoldenEye” which is capable of firing an electromagnetic pulse toward Earth, disrupting every electronic device in its path.

I had remembered GoldenEye being too slow and boring.  Even with my (arguably) improved theatrical tastes it still has some moments where I found myself legitimately bored.  Bond movies don’t have to be non-stop action but they shoud never be boring.  I am probably alone in thinking GoldenEye has too many of these moments but

That isn’t to say that there isn’t some great action set pieces.  This couldn’t be Bond at all a fair amount of big action.  The destruction of the Russian complex definitely springs to mind.  Then of course the giant satellite dish finale.  And of course the shot with Bond bungie jumping over the dam is pretty incredible.  Then, of course, I can’t forget to mention Bond cruising around in the tank.  That was badass.  There are quite a few spots that keep the action flowing.  It’s just too bad that it slows nearly to a halt in between.

Pierce Brosnan really was a good Bond.  He’s not as badass as Daniel Craig, isn’t as debonair as Sean Connery and is less “funny” than Roger Moore.  The good thing is Brosnan kind of falls right in the middle of them all.  It’s interesting that each actor playing Bond gives a slightly different spin to the character.  And yet, for the most part, it works.

Sean Bean is a great bad guy.  The guy always seems to give a good performance and this is no exception.

Alan Cumming might just be the best character in GoldenEye though.  Boris is absolutely hysterical.  He had me laughing way more than any of Bond’s one liners.

Music has a cheesy funky vibe.  It may be nostalgia talking but I think I like the game’s music better.

Some of the special effects show their age now but not so much so that they take you out of the action and it sure is nice to see models being blown up rather than the CG fests we are now becoming all too accustomed to.

The sound of the silenced Walther PPK sure does bring back a lot of memories of afternoons battling it out with some of my best friends.  Unfortunately GoldenEye the movie doesn’t quite live up the great times I had playing the game all those years ago.  There are some great scenes with a very good new Bond (at that time) but it suffered from some serious lagging scenes.  Had it not been for those few “boring” parts I would have thoroughly enjoyed GoldenEye.  As it stands I have other Bond movies that I like more and I certainly have action movies that rank a lot higher.

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