Brosnan’s first outing as Bond is widely regarded as the best of the series. However, in my opinion that’s like saying this piece of poo is the most pretty poo in the toilet.
The plot: Okay the plot is as follows: James Bond is on a mission in Russia with fellow 00 agent Alec when, uh oh, things go wrong and alec dies. Now it’s seven years later and Bond is tasked with finding and stopping a Russian crime syndicate from using a secret satellite weapon, GoldenEye.
While on his mission Bond encounters an eclectic cast of characters, including an easy going CIA agent, a goofy criminal, a horny-for-murder Russian solider, and a beautiful computer programmer (and by that of course I mean Boris).
While on his mission Bond discovers the mysterious leader of the syndicate, Janus, is actually his old friend, Alec! After this shocking revelation Bond, with the help of the other beautiful computer programmer Natalya, must stop Alec’s plan to electronically rob and destabilize England.
After watching this I can appreciate why this might be considered good. For the time it was refreshing and essentially revitalized the Bond franchise (it was actually directed by the same director of 2006’s Casino Royale) not to mention it had an iconic video game fueling public perception and nostalgia.
Along with these Sean Bean’s performance as Alec/Janus is fantastic AND the best part of the movie. He’s cold and calculated yet sinister in a way that teeters between comical and sensible. And the former friend dynamic Alec and Bond shared had never been seen in a Bond film. It works to surprising effect and adds needed depth to James and the movie.
But in all honesty when compared to the next three movies it really isn’t much different, and hence weighed down by the same flaws.
The writing. While incrementally better than the next three, I still found bond insufferable throughout. His first line is a quip said upside down to a Russian in a bathroom stall. This sets the tone for the rest of Brosnan’s Bond. His ability to quip trumps his ability to spy, fight, or be competent in any way.
He is a sleazy joke machine. Brosnan is suave, but completely unbelievable as a super spy. He, with the power bestowed upon him by the screenwriters, escapes every tight situation through dumb luck or convince. This becomes more evident later but in GoldenEye‘s case it (for the most part) is understandable.
To me, GoldenEye is mediocre at best, being held up only by Sean Bean’s villainy and Boris’ hilarity. Also Q and M are fantastic (but I’ll comment more on that at the end)