Despite the overall disregard for Dalton's era of Bond, the edgier and darker Bond seemed to have a liking to some critics and its obvious that when all the legal negotiations had ended (the time it took had Dalton dropping from the role and an entire new script written) that it still carried over to another 'revamp' for our beloved secret agent. Thusly, we have "GoldenEye", an amazing new take on Bond in a new world where the Cold War is done and new enemies have started to rise. This film updates the series almost perfectly and with a snazzy new Brosnan in the lead role, "GoldenEye" takes Bond to all new levels and becomes a highlight of the film series.
STORYLINE: The Cold War has ended now and Bond is starting to look a bit like a paranoid 'dinosaur' as the new M describes him. But dark pasts never stay hidden for long as there is an upheaval within the new Russian government that ends in the stealing of a secret EMP weapon codenamed 'GoldenEye'. Bond is thrust onto the case to discover whom has stolen the weapon, find it, and stop whatever dastardly plan they propose to use it for. With the help of a surviving computer programmer from the initial theft, Natalya, Bond is taken across various parts of the world only to discover that an old friend and new nemesis is behind the entire operation.
PLOT 5/5: The updated take on Bond for the 90s is well crafted and still remains Bond at its every moment. Retaining some of the darkness and cold of the Dalton era, mixing it with some of the more over the top action of the Moore era, and capping it with some of that intense espionage charm and intrigue of the Connery era, "GoldenEye" is a perfect combination of everything that makes Bond so much fun and exciting. Whether its the insane stunt work of watching Bond free fall into a plane from a motorcycle, watch a tank chase through the streets of Russia, or see Bond realistically fist fight with the villain this is an exciting Bond to top many of them. Add on its darker more spy like traits of political double crosses and even, dare I say, emotional moments for our hero and this one just balances perfectly. Director Martin Campbell knows his Bond and makes all of the suave and danger come off elegantly and ruthlessly throughout.
BOND 5/5: Brosnan's first appearance as the super spy is a solid one. If the plot was the perfect blend of previous films then this Bond is the perfect blend of all Bond's prior. He's dark and cynical at times but retains a solid dose of charm and wit to not make him too cold for the audience (as Dalton seemed to come across as). Brosnan captures the youth and vigor of the spy that all men want to be, but adds enough subtle character depth and emotional moments (his hesitation when he sees Janus for the first time for example) to not be a joke either. This is a Bond highlight for sure.
VILLAIN 5/5: There is just something special about Alec, aka 006, as the villain in this film. Although Bond has had personal connections to villains of the past, nothing can compare to the 'best friend' becoming a villain plot line here. It makes for a wonderful emotional journey for Bond and shows just how far he will go for country. They are practically equals playing for either side and it works out brilliantly. Sean Bean's performance as a borderline crazy, intelligent, fuck all kind of a villain works damn well too. This may, in fact, be my favorite Bond villain yet.
BOND GIRL 4/5: Although definitely the weak point of all the rated parts on the Bond franchise, Natalya, gets the job done and never screws it up. She works wonderfully with Bond on screen and her relevance to the plot makes her already heads above half the Bond women in the series. Although she can be a bit unpredictable at times as a character (her scene on the railroad tracks with Bond for example) it works in the overall scheme of the film. She's not perfect, but she never hinders the plot either.
"GoldenEye" just shakes and bakes the whole thing. Its practically perfect from most angles and the best (in my book) since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (even with my love for the Dalton era of Bond). It takes some risks with its modernization that all pay off (a female M works so damn well!) and yet makes the best of all Bond worlds mix into a batch of explosive fun spy moments. It's too bad the Brosnan era of Bond couldn't match its initial flight but "GoldenEye" is a must see for all Bond and action fans.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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