GoldenEye is generic, but decent


GoldenEye (1995)
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars.
Directed by Martin Campbell.
Written by Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein, Michael France, Kevin Wade.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Famke Janssen.
Budget: $60 million.
Gross: $355 million.

GoldenEye resuscitates the 007 franchise following a six-year hiatus. Pierce Brosnan makes his Bond debut, as does Judi Dench in the role of M. It is the first Bond film following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War.

The storyline is generic. A disgruntled Cossack seeks to avenge his people by infiltrating MI6, betraying the British, and destroying the country’s finances through the use of a Soviet superweapon.

Unfortunately for everyone, the writers had a uniquely horrendous talent for squandering great casting. Sean Bean, a personal favorite, is relegated to an utterly uninteresting villain, while Famke Janssen, one of the hottest women alive, is written so absurdly over the top that she is robbed of all sex appeal. The protagonist is hollow and as inanimate as the weapons he uses.

The effects are average for the era and haven’t aged well at all. Eric Serra’s score subtracts from the plot at every opportunity. The title sequence is unremarkable, and Tina Turner’s performance of the theme song is quite forgettable.

The film has its humorous moments, most notably Bond’s interaction with Agent Q. The one bit of dialogue the writers are decent at is one-liners.

The gadgets of the movie are both fun and believable. However, most of the action sequences are so filled with absurdities that Bond tearing up the streets of St. Petersburg in a stolen tank is actually one of the more enjoyable scenes in the film.

Not even the best action flick of its year, your time would be better spent on Die Hard With a Vengeance. While GoldenEye has its moments, it’s ultimately a one-and-done stereotype that should be watched once and shelved permanently.