Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


GOLDENEYE (1995). Director: Martin Campbell. [NOTE: On occasion Great Old Movies will review films less than 25 years old if they would be of interest to our readers.]

Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond with this movie. There's a new “M”, a woman (Judi Dench), who tells off Bond in one sequence, as well as a new Miss Moneypenny, who does the same, but Q remains Desmond Llewelyn in a sequence that borders on something out of Get Smart. There's an exciting prologue involving skydiving sans parachute; the rest of the story deals with a double-agent (Sean Bean) who steals a powerful weapon called GoldenEye from the Russians, and plans to use it to devastating effect if he isn't stopped. The Bond girls include ex-Soviet fighter pilot and hit woman Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen, pictured), and the much nicer Natalya (Izabella Scorupco), the only survivor of the attack on the facility that housed GoldenEye.

This is a good-looking movie photographically, and has some exciting moments, but no really outstanding sequences [certainly not as compared to what has come before in the 007 canon]. The scene with Bond chasing after a Russian ally of Bean's in a tank is rather long and comparatively dull, and in the scene after the prologue Bond acts like an overgrown adolescent. The climax on the giant satellite dish isn't bad, however. Sean Bean nearly steals the picture with Janssen close behind him. Tina Turner “sings” a forgettable title song, and the rest of the score by Eric Sarra is mediocre to say the least. John Barry is sorely missed.

NOTE: “Goldeneye” was the name of Ian Fleming's estate.

Verdict: Pierce Brosnan makes a not-bad Bond, and this is a not-bad Bond adventure, although certainly not top-rank. **1/2.

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