James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) teams up with Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) the sole survivor of a destroyed Russian research centre to stop the hijacking of a space weapon called Goldeneye that can destroy everything with an electrical signal.
Goldeneye is Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as Bond and probably the first Bond film I ever saw – but I watched Brosnan’s Bond films so long ago when they were on TV that I couldn’t remember much of it at all.
While Desmond Llewelyn still portrays Q – and his relationship with Bond is actually quite fraught and they really don’t seem to like each other which is a stark change to how they were like in Licence to Kill (1989) – Miss Moneypenny is now played by Samantha Bond and Judi Dench steps into the role as M. M’s introduction was great as you got to see how her male colleagues don’t react to her that positively and Bond really doesn’t seem to like her – the scene of them in her office is great and really affirms what sort of woman M is and how she is totally up for being in charge of MI6.
Xenia Oonatopp (Famke Janssen) is a deadly woman who seems to really enjoy causing death and destructions. She’s certainly a memorable Bond Girl. And Natalya was a computer programmer who gets caught up in Bond’s quest to find those who want to hijack Goldeneye. She helps Bond out and while she does need rescuing, she’s also smart and can do things he can’t.
Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane) is a Russian criminal that kind of helps Bond out. He is a lot of fun and I liked how he and Bond interacted because one is obviously a good guy while the other is the bad guy and they know where each other stands but aren’t afraid to use or help the other out in order to get what they want.
Goldeneye has a great cast and I could talk about them all and their roles at length. Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) is 006 and his relationship with Bond is fascinating. Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming) is one of Natalya’s colleagues and he’s not the most likable character but he’s still strangely charming.
There’s a lot of twists and turns with some people from Bond’s past coming back to haunt him in Goldeneye. There’s big action sequences including Bond driving a tank through St Petersburg which is very entertaining. The final showdown in a satellite base is tense, fun and has some great fight scenes. Pierce Brosnan’s run as Bond certainly starts with a bang. 5/5.