MoM’s series of 007 reviews arrives at the Pierce Brosnan years, with Ellie Dabell examining Goldeneye (1995) starring Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean and Izabella Scorupco.
When my mum and stepdad, who are the editors of MoM, mentioned they would be running a Bond series on their website, they asked me if I wanted to cover any of the films. Some might say it’s unfortunate for me that I chose to tackle a Pierce Brosnan Bond. Having said that, it was a good choice in some ways because it meant I got to watch, then give my opinion on, what I think of Brosnan as a Bond.
Before watching Goldeneye I had actually previously watched one of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films, Die Another Day co-starring starring Halle Berry. I’d also seen many of the other Bond entries starring Roger Moore, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig. I have got to say that based on the two films of his as 007 that I have seen I do not think I’m out of place criticising him in the role. Many people who enjoy Bond films, much like myself, will probably agree with me when I say that Brosnan isn’t really the right kind of actor to fit the role of Bond. Anyway, let me say a little more about Goldeneye itself.
Goldeneye was released on the 17th November 1995 in the USA and it was the first Bond film after a gap of 6 years. It was directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The film stars Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean and Judi Dench.
The story is quite adventurous and action-filled. If I compare this film to Die Another Day (which was just atrocious) I’d have to say that, of the two Brosnan films I have watched, Goldeneye is the better one. This is because it has a better storyline, about a powerful satellite capable of wiping out entire cities from space which falls into the hands of some dirty enemy soldiers. Bond tries to find out who has taken the satellite and soon discovers the main bad guy is Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), his ex-partner who earlier faked his own death and turned dirty
I think that Sean Connery and Roger Moore both played a better Bond, as well as Daniel Craig in the latest Bond films. They just play the part better in my opinion and are more enjoyable to watch. I think of Brosnan as being better suited to romantic films like Mamma Mia and The Love Punch. He seems to fit better in them than playing a spy/action hero.
Alec, the ex M.I.6 agent, is in my opinion an interesting character because he fakes his own death to turn against M.I.6 and to work with Russian soldiers to retaliate against Bond and M (Judi Dench). He is interesting because he wants to get his own back on the whole of England and the British government for something that had happened to his family many years earlier. He’s basically after revenge, and Sean Bean plays him very well. I like that he is an ex secret agent, so in many ways he is as dangerous and deadly as Bond, so he is a real match for the hero.
Also I think that Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) is another interesting character, who can kill people with her thighs and has the capability of killing without any feelings of mercy. In the end she gets what she deserves, which is good karma! She’s pretty good in this, but I do like her even more in the X-Men films.
For the first time, M is played by a woman (Judi Dench, as I mentioned before). I think she is brilliant. She doesn’t take any nonsense from Bond or anyone else, and is very stern and strong. A new woman also plays Miss Moneypenny and she also doesn’t take any of Bond’s sexism – she’s a stricter, stronger, more independent woman, which I really like. The old Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) always seemed to be in love with Bond, whereas this newer one obviously likes him but doesn’t fall about like a silly little girl around him.
The main Bond girl in this film isn’t a particularly well-known actress. I checked Izabella Scorupco on the Imdb, and she has less than 20 acting credits and I haven’t seen or heard of any of her other films. She plays the character Natalya, who survives the attack on a Russian radar installation when the Goldeneye is stolen. The scene where she escapes as the installation collapses around her is very over-the-top. I don’t find her a great Bond girl overall – she’s one of the least interesting females in this film, with both M and Onatopp being a lot more worthwhile.
In my opinion, Goldeneye is the second worst Bond film I have seen. Die Another Day by far is the worst Bond film I’ve seen to date. This leaves
Goldeneye as the second worst I’ve seen so far. It’s not completely rubbish but it is a long way behind most of the ones I have seen. Let’s just say it comes lower in my thoughts than most of the others I have watched so far.
Before Brosnan became Bond, he was married to an actress named Cassandra Harris who had acted in For Your Eyes Only. She died from Ovarian cancer, which her mother and daughter also died from. I think that because of how much Cassandra liked Bond films, this then steered Brosnan into wanting to become Bond in memory of her. He almost got the part for The Living Daylights (1987) but was in a contract in a TV show which he couldn’t get out of, so Timothy Dalton got the role. It’s sad his wife never got to see him playing 007. For me, though, he is not a great Bond and this is not a great Bond film.
MoM Rating: 4.5/10