You've played the video game, now see the movie. That was the
plan in our household this weekend. We've been working our way through
the entire Bond canon in order with our son Jeffrey, who has wanted to
see them - all for his first time. He's got the GOLDENEYE video game,
which the whole family enjoys playing with him, and now we finally got
to the movie.
Superheroes need superactions. By that measure, the opening to
1995's GOLDENEYE does not disappoint. Chasing a runaway, pilotless
plane, Bond, riding a motorcycle, follows the plane off the side of a
cliff. In free fall, he catches up with the plane, crawls into the
cockpit and pulls it out of the dive just before it crashes. This
stunt pushes any sane rules of credibility, but Bond films don't exist
in a world of Euclidean geometry, having instead their own set of
"Enjoy it while it lasts," a beautiful Georgian woman, Xenia
Onatopp (Famke Janssen), barks at Bond after he beats her at cards.
"Those are the words I live by," Bond, the ultimate hedonist, shoots
For the fifth time, a new actor has the role of James Bond,
supersuave agent extraordinaire. Pierce Brosnan - yes, he's the one
from that campy and awful DANTE'S PEAK - takes his turn at the role and
turns out to be the best Bond since Sean Connery. (Every time I review
a Bond movie, I get a slew of letters explaining how the actor playing
Bond is universally recognized as the best Bond ever and another batch
claiming the actor is widely accepted as the worst Bond imaginable.
Many of Bond's fans seem to be under the delusion that all agree.)
Unlike Timothy Dalton's cold Bond, who seemed barely interested in
the gorgeous women who surrounded him, Pierce Brosnan is a self-assured
lover in the grand Bond tradition. Brosnan is tough, confident and
sexy as Bond. He does not try to mimic any of the previous Bond
actors, but establishes his own interpretation of the role.
This time the plot has a rogue General Ourumov (Gottfried John)
and his sidekick Xenia taking control of Goldeneye, a secret Russian
technology for killer satellites. They plan nothing less than "a
world-wide financial meltdown." Xenia has a real crush on James. She
likes to wrap her legs around his pelvis in an erotic maneuver that it
is actually the foreplay to a kill, not a romantic encounter.
Several notable members of one of the strongest and most
intelligent supporting casts of any Bond movie include Judi Dench from
HER MAJESTY, MRS. BROWN as the new M, Alan Cumming from EMMA as
computer hacker Boris Grishenko, MRS. DALLOWAY's Michael Kitchen as
British Secret Service ground controller Bill Tanner, Sean Bean as 006,
GOOD WILL HUNTING's Minnie Driver in a cameo as a nightclub singer, and
the television detective from "Cracker," Robbie Coltrane, as ex-KGB
agent Valentin Zukovsky.
"May I remind you, 007, that you have a license to kill, not to
break the traffic laws," Q, played by the always-reliable Desmond
Llewelyn, instructs Bond while giving him his sleek new BMW
convertible. Its most powerful gadget is a pair of stinger missiles in
the headlights. Don't mess with this car, or you'll be toast as fast
as Bond can find the right button.
The picture, which blends liberal doses of humor with the action,
has CIA agent Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker) being required to show his Rose
tattoo to verify his identity. The burly Wade lowers his colorful
boxer shorts in public in order to reveal his famous Rose tattoo with
the name Muffy on it - it's the name of his third wife.
"The problem with the world today is that nobody takes the time to
do a really sinister interrogation anymore," Bond complains to his
Russian interrogator, Dimitri Mishkin (Tcheky Karyo), as Bond waxes
nostalgic for the cold war era.
Your adrenaline will really begin to pump - which is after all one
of the prime reasons for seeing a Bond flick - when, while the Bond
theme blasts away, James drives a tank down a Russian street in hot
pursuit of the bad guy with the good girl. And what vehicle is better
to crush the opposition that a big tank with humongous treads? After
he's mauled just about everything in sight, he carefully adjusts his
tie. One must be impeccably dressed to be James Bond.
GOLDENEYE runs 2:10. It is rated PG-13 for a number of sequences
of action violence and for some sexuality and would be fine for kids
around 9 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 9, said it was almost his favorite Bond movie
but that he was sad that one of his favorite characters died in it. He
thought Brosnan was a really good 007.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes