Monday, September 27, 2010

GOLDENEYE (1995) - Nintendo 64 fans rejoice

If you were born sometime in the last half century, chances are you've played the greatest first person shooter in the world. GoldenEye 007 was the best thing since sliced bread came along, and made the Nintendo 64 a lot cooler than it really was. All the kids with Playstations were secretly jealous that your little Japanese box had it and they didn't. You probably enjoyed their tears. And all was good. Suffice to say, the movie the game was based on was not too shabby itself. It's undoubtedly one of the better modern Bond flicks, and the best featuring Pierce Brosnan.

New Bond. Same old great Q.
It's 1990s post-Cold War Russia and those Slavs are up to no good. They've got corrupt generals selling state secrets and a badass space satellite or two that can fire an electronic pulse to knock a country back into the stone age. So who do you send when Russians thievin' and murderin'? Everyone's favorite womanizing, probably alcoholic and violent Englishman. This was Pierce Brosnan's debut as 007 and he hit the ground running. He's got the charm and suave character that some other previous Bonds lacked, but is also more believable as a guy who's got a license to kill than Roger Moore.

Compared to some of the other ridiculous plots that Bond movies had to suffer through (Moonraker, anyone?), GoldenEye is actually an above-average 007 story. Sean Bean plays Bond's rival and turncoat agent 006 and has help from a Georgian assassin played by Famke Jansen, who kills guys she seduces with her massive thighs of steel. Sometimes, she uses an AK-47. Yeah, the AK-47 is probably more effective, but the thighs have style going for them. That being said, Bean is a stand-up guy whenever it comes to playing villains, and his 006/Alec Travelyan is one of the most memorable in recent 007 outings. He's no Baron Samedi or Jaws, but he's cunning, ruthless and knows Bond almost like a brother. An interesting twist later reveals his reasons for betraying James, and overall, GoldenEye enjoys a better script than the Brosnan sequels that were to follow.

Bond destroys most of Moscow in a tank. Napoleon and Hitler, eat your heart out...

Some of the standout scenes in the movie that tingled my man senses were the initial opening scene in a chemical weapons plant, which true to Bond fashion was exciting and completely impossible to pull off in real life, and a balls to the wall chase through Moscow. In the latter, corrupt Russian general #3745 takes Bond's girl (the hot Izabella Scorupco... DAT ACCENT) and tries to make a dash for it in a shitty Lada. Well, Bond ain't having that so he jacks a beastly Russian tank and proceeds to level most of Moscow while in pursuit.

Only in a Bond movie could a computer nerd be hot.
There are some slower, filler scenes but overall, GoldenEye is a much more action-oriented film than the newer Casino Royale and was probably responsible for saving a franchise that had been languishing after the last of the Timothy Dalton-helmed Bonds had been sucking pretty badly. It brought some new blood, faster pacing and smarter direction to the series and kept it somewhat more relevant to a newer audience. If you're a Bond fan, or enjoy action movies of a tad higher standard than the latest Vin Diesel bullshit, give it a watch.

I always did hate the train level in that game.

tl;dr: GoldenEye 007 was based on a movie which in fact did not suck. 7.5/10


  1. I think the Playstation was a little japanese box as well, lol.

    Nice reviews though, you made me want to play Goldeneye, AND you made me start watching Escape From New York FOR THE FIRST TIME!

  2. You're right, I was probably caught up in my nostalgia wave. I'm glad you saw Escape... it's one of classics!