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GoldenEye [Blu-ray] 
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The effortlessly suave and sophisticated Pierce Brosnan makes his acclaimed debut as Agent 007 in this rip-roaring espionage thriller featuring the most eye-popping opening sequence yet. When an MI6 agent (Sean Bean) turns rogue and plans world domination with a terrifying satellite-borne weapon, Bond must pursue his former ally to Cuba, Monte Carlo, Switzerland and even Russia, all whilst dodging a sexy, deadly femme fatale (Famke Janssen) who will stop at nothing to put the ‘squeeze’ on the intrepid spy.
The film that marked the successful rebirth of the 007 franchise, which had laid dormant for over half a decade, GoldenEye remains Pierce Brosnans finest moment as Britains most famous secret agent.
The plot? This one involves the Russian mafia, a rogue agent and a powerful satellite, although realistically its the standard 007 formula at work. Thus, theres gadgets, girls and plenty of action, with the plot trying to squeeze in where theres room.
There are several reasons though why GoldenEye works so well. Firstly, it successfully ushered in a new cast, with Judi Denchs M, Samantha Bonds Moneypenny and Robbie Coltranes Valentin Zukovsky all marking their 007 movie debut. Then, the baddies are strong, although Sean Beans ruthless 006 is overshadowed by Famke Janssens career-making performance as Xenia Onatopp. And then theres that vital 007 ingredient--the action. From a stunning pre-credits sequence, which is arguably the films highlight, through to several high-tempo action moments throughout the rest of the film, its highly enjoyable stuff, and impossible to resist.
Finally, theres Brosnan. Arguably the most successful Bond since Sean Connery defined the role, his laid back, hard-edged charm serves him well, and he never looked more comfortable as 007 as he does in his maiden outing.
In short, GoldenEye is not only a terrific Bond movie, its a strong action movie full stop. --Jon Foster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Right from the beginning we meet our new Bond bungee jumping into a Russian base. Now, I know these days most people know what bungee jumping looks like, but, back in 1995, it was actually quite an event seeing it done on the big screen. Yes, the plot isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, i.e. a Russian presence trying to exact revenge on the West, but it’s just so new seeing such a ‘modern’ Bond. Gone are the days of blatantly ‘blue-screening’ the action behind the actors and now Bond can happily sky-dive into a falling plane and make it look real (well, as real as jumping into a falling plane and piloting it to safety can look!). I feel like I have to dwell on this ‘modern feel’ because it is this film’s major change from previous incarnations. The action looks better, the chases are more fantastical (the ‘tank chase’ being the highlight!) – it’s just totally Bond for the new nineties generation.
The ever-wonderful ‘Q’ is on hand to smooth over the transition of old to new Bond, but the modern feel is not just helped by (another) new Moneypenny, but also having a female M, brilliantly played by Judi Dench, who states much of the criticism that’s been levelled at Bond throughout the franchise, i.e. he’s a misogynistic relic of a bygone age! Add great supporting performances from Sean Bean, Robbie Coltrane and Famke Jannsen (a henchwoman who likes to crush her victims between her thighs in the heat of – er – ‘passion’ and you have an action-spy movie that really roles along nice. As I mentioned, the plot isn’t anything spectacular, but the overall look, feel, cast and a wonderfully-snarling rendition of the title song ‘Goldeneye’ by a Tina Turner at her best, really elevates what – by rights – is nothing more than an average movie to one that really feels like the Bond franchise has been given a shot in the arm.
‘Goldeneye’ may not be technically the greatest of the long-running saga, but it certainly cements its place in the franchise by being the most different from what came before it. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan and should even entertain casual fans of the action genre. Oh, and did I mention that Pierce Brosnan is also pretty damn good as the lead? He keeps the wry charm of Roger Moore and the ability to add just the right amount of humour to the role without it becoming a parody of itself. Plus he’s believable enough as an action hero when he’s gunning down hordes of faceless Russian hoods. Overall, a damn fine ride.
It helps having Pierce Brosnan in the role, a fresh face in an old part. His seriousness, coupled with cheeky humour plays dividends for the film and makes the character more human than ever before. He realistically plays Bond, never once going into caricature, and brings the "misogynist, cold war relic," into the Nineties.
And for once, Goldeneye has a decent plot. MI6 agent, 006 (played brilliantly by Sean Bean) goes rogue, and aims to become rich with the Goldeneye EMP satellite. It's up to Bond to stop him. The film is paired into two distinct halves - an interesting, plot setting up first half, and an action blow out second half.
The whole film is memorable, but most spectacularly, are the incredible dam jump opening, the street destroying tank chase, and the ending show down.
Gadgets, vehicles and girls are all correct and present. It may follow the Bond formula strictly, but that is a good thing - you know what to expect, and can just sit back and enjoy.
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