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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: GoldenEye

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Famke Janssen
Director: Martin Campbell
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 130 Minutes
Release Date: November 1995
Genres: 007, Action, Suspense

*Also starring: Minnie Driver, Judi Dench, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Robbie Coltrane, Joe Don Baker, Desmond Llewelyn, Alan Cumming

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

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 axioms.

"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 back.

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

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