007 Chatter: Musings on the 17th Bond Movie ‘Goldeneye’ (1995)

In anticipation for Bond 23, a.k.a. Skyfall coming on November 9th, 2012, Ted and I are starting a new monthly series called 007 CHATTER… look for it sometime in the first week of each month.

I’ve also added a new category for this, so click on 007 Chatter on the category drop-down menu for all Bond-related posts.

With the new James Bond coming out later this year, I thought I should go back and visit another highly-anticipated Bond film back in the mid 90s. For the younger readers or maybe those who don’t remember, it took six years before another Bond film hit the big screen after its last outing, License To Kill.

There were many reasons why this happened but the two main reasons were that the producers had some legal issues they had to deal with and the more obvious reason, License To Kill bombed at the box office. So United Artists studio which at the time was the main studio who financed all of the Bond films, didn’t want to invest their money on the franchise anymore.

Well, after the legal issues were resolved and Pierce Brosnan was cast as the new 007, a new James Bond film was announced in 1994. The film was scheduled to open in the summer of 1995 but then the producers realized some of the action sequences and plot points were so similar to True Lies (which opened in summer of 1994), they had to order script rewrites and the release date was pushed to November of 1995. When the film finally arrived in theaters, it was big a hit, in fact it was the first Bond film to have earned over $100mil here in the States.

So now that I went into a little history about this film, I’d like to list some reasons why I like and dislike this film. Here goes:

The Good:

  • It was the first James Bond I saw on the big screen, all of the previous Bond films I only saw on the tiny TV screen.
  • This was the first film released by MGM/UA with Dolby Digital surround sound, back in the 90s digital surround sound was considered state of the art and not many theaters were equip with the technology yet. The mid 90s saw a lot of theaters upgraded from stereo surround sound to digital and this led me to become a home theater enthusiast.
  • This film has two of the best Bond girls in the series, come on now who doesn’t like the name Xenia Onatopp.
  • As I mentioned earlier, it was the first new James Bond film in six years, I was tired of watching old Bond flicks on TBS back in those days.

The Bad:

  • I like Brosnan as an actor but I never really like him as Bond, especially in this film, he just tried too hard to be 007. Watch the scene where he first introduced himself as Bond, James Bond. You can tell that he must’ve practiced that lines many times before he started shooting that scene. Now I thought he finally settled into the role nicely in the later films.
  • Pretty generic and predictable plot, Russians as bad guys again? Also, I thought the script was kind of amateurish. If there’s a rottentomatoes.com back in those days, this film might have gotten maybe 50% or 60% rating. Yes I know it’s currently at 80% on the site but those reviews were written years after the film came out.
  • Most of the action scenes were pretty boring, even that huge tank chase through the streets of Moscow was kind of lame.
  • Nintendo 64 game version of this film. My buddies and I spent countless hours playing the video game version back in college. And thanks to the video game, the film became even more popular with the younger audience who didn’t really care for a James Bond film. I remember when I worked at a video store, kids would rent the video game and film version at the same time.

Okay now I told you why I like and dislike Goldeneye, what’s your opinion about the film? And are you as excited about the new James Bond film Skyfall as much as I am?

41 thoughts on “007 Chatter: Musings on the 17th Bond Movie ‘Goldeneye’ (1995)

  1. My enduring memory of Goldeneye is the game of the film on the N64. I… loved… that…. game…alot! I’d say the game is actually more popular than the film. The film is pretty good, one of the better pre-reboot Bonds. But the game kicks the films butt! Maybe it’s a guy thing but I think anyone who’s played the game will agree with me on this. Anyone agree?

    1. I can’t tell you Ronan, as I’m not a gamer but given how I feel about Brosnan, I bet the game version of Bond is probably a lot more compelling, ahah.

    2. Ted S.

      Yeah I think it was the first game that made hundreds of millions of dollars. It pretty much opened the door for all these popular video games we see today.

  2. Like you, Goldeneye was the first Bond film I saw on the big screen. It may have actually been the first one I saw, period. I loved it then, and I still get a huge kick out of it now. It’s just a well-constructed action movie. Brosnan was an ok Bond, although I prefer the Connery/Craig interpretation more. Sean Bean was a great villian, Famke Janssen is hands-down THE best Bond Girl ever, IMO, and I also appreciated Izabella Scorupco as a sort of updated Bond Girl for the 90s. Having re-watched it somewhat recently, you’re right and it’s a little dated, but that seems to sort of be the standard for Bond films. It’s not half as dated as any of the Connery or Moore ones.

    All in all, a fan of Goldeneye. I can’t click a pen without thinking of Boris. 🙂

    1. Ahahaha, Alan Cummings was despicable as Boris but yeah that pen clicking pen is strangely memorable. I quite like Sean Bean and he’d actually make for a compelling Bond instead of the villain. Scorupco was serviceable I’d say, Famke is the ultimate scene stealer as the sexy, sadomasochist villainess, every time she & Bond are together, they really light up the screen!

    2. Ted S.

      I really like Izabella Scorupco as the good Bond girl, wonder what happened to her. It’s definitely a Bond film of the 90s, just like any other Bond flicks, they’re pretty much stuck in their timeline. 15 or 20 years from now, we’ll look back at Craig’s Bond films and go wow that’s so dated.

  3. I’m not in anyway excited about the new Bond film given I haven’t liked any of his movies since Goldeneye but I have to admit this film, Pierce Brosnan’s debut as the man with the license to kill, is one of my favourites. A big part of that is the brilliant Nintendo game that was released to coincide with it – I used to spend an unhealthy number of hours playing that game.

    1. What? You’re not excited to see Sam Mendes with all those Oscar winners, Dan? I was disappointed w/ Quantum but I have high expectation for Bond 23 and I like the fact that it’s probably going to be a departure from the garden variety Bond flicks of the past.

    2. Ted S.

      Yeah same here, I’ve spent way too much time playing the video game version. But I’m quite excited about Skyfall, just like how I was so excited to see this one back in the 90s.

    1. Thanks Iba, so this movie was actually quite well-received from critics. I think Dalton’s two Bond movies were too but they just bombed at the box office.

      I always like talking about Bond movies, I grew up watching ’em and it’s such an enduring franchise.

    2. Ted S.

      Hey Iba,

      Yeah it’s pretty good rating now on the site but as I mentioned on the article, those reviews came out years after the film opened. I remember when it opened, many of the big named critics didn’t really like it that much. If you can find it on YouTube, watch the Siskel & Ebert episode where they argue over the film. Siskel hated it while Ebert really liked it.

  4. Good look back at this one, Ted. I think I like it more than you (more for its introduction of the new guy as Bond), but it’s not without its issues. Of course, Famke Janssen as Xenia Sergeyevna Onatopp is not one of them ;-).

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Michael, I haven’t seen the film in a while so I might like it better when I watch it again. Hopefully when it finally arrives on BD later this year, I can buy it without buying the whole set since I already own many of the Bond flicks on BD.

      Love Femke, those long legs were lethal. Ha ha.

    1. Wow, lots of gamers here, ahah. Interesting that they released it the same time as the movie, is that sort of a trend w/ Bond flicks nowadays too I wonder?

  5. Hi, Ted and company:

    Superb dissertation and some great photos!

    I’m with Ruth regarding Sean Bean. He did make an admirable villain. Though I think he would make more than a great Bond. Wouldn’t mind seeing either Rufus Sewell or Idris Elba come under consideration, either. Pierce Brosnan always struck me as too smooth and pretty to be a believable Bond.

    The plot of ‘Goldeneye’ is predictable with few or no plot twists in a film that needed a bit more meat on its bones.

    1. Why Jack you read my mind! I love the idea of Rufus and Idris as Bond (more on that in a future post), and I’m sure my friend Prairiegirl would be thrilled to hear you say that! 🙂

    2. PrairieGirl

      Oh dear Jack, a man after my own heart… even though I’m totally biased for Rufus, and certain he’d be an excellent Bond, Idris is a perfect choice too ;-D

    3. Ted S.

      Thanks Jack.

      I always like Sean Bean but he tends to get typecast as the villain or sidekick or sidekick turns villain.

      Yeah the plot of this film was pretty predictable and not that clever in my opinion.

  6. Golden Eye is to be remembered for the video game it spawned, not the movie itself. Damn, that was one of the best multiplayer of all-time and you got to play with 3 other people, which was pretty much a first at the time. As for the movie, yea very forgettable indeed. I don’t even remember what happens in the movie ahah

    1. Ted S.

      I haven’t seen the film in a while so I don’t remember the plot of the film either. Just remember the silly Russian accent spoken Allen Cumming and the hot Bond girls.

  7. This one was ok, but not much else in my opinion. Pierce was decent in his first Bond outing, but director Campbell fared much better with his second reboot of the franchise in Casino. Better Bond, and better villain. Bring on Skyfall!

    1. Ted S.

      I agree Markus, I was surprised that he did a very good job with Casino Royale but so so for this film. Funny that he actually rebooted the franchise twice.

  8. Nice post, Ruth. I agree with a lot of your thoughts. I remember loving Goldeneye when i saw it in the theaters, but it doesn’t hold up well at all. It feels trapped in the ’90s and really goofy, despite a few nice set pieces. The comedy falls flat, and even the Bond girls seem weaker as the years go by.

    1. This post is courtesy of my brilliant friend Ted. I think I’d agree w/ you about this not holding up well. In fact, this pales in comparison to the two extremely underrated Dalton’s Bond flicks.

    2. Ted S.

      Hey Dan,

      I agree it didn’t age well at well at all, seems like all of the Bond films are like that. I’m sure 20 years from now, we’ll be saying how dated Craig’s Bond films were.

  9. I may be the only person on the planet who never played the N64 Goldeneye, but I saw the movie. Oh, I saw the movie all right.

    I’d say it’s the best of the four Brosnan Bond movies but Brosnan himself is nowhere near the top of the Best Bond list.

    1. No you’re not the only one Adam, I haven’t played it either. No, Brosnan is nowhere near the top of Best Bond for me either. I hate it every time he straighten his tie after a fight, it’s just so cocky and put on it’s irritating!

  10. I’m gonna go ahead and disagree with the bit about the tank chase through St Petersberg or wherever – I thought that was a-mazing!

    I still have a soft spot for Goldeneye. I think it was the best of Brosnan’s outings as Bond. After this they just started getting silly (The World Is Not Enough…. really?)

    1. Hey nothing wrong w/ that Rodney. It’s not a bad scene, just not as memorable as other Bond car/boat/plane chases. Oh yeah, I agree that this is by far Brosnan’s most enjoyable (and least laughable) Bond flick by far.

  11. Love this, Ruth! Great idea 😀 As you know, we’re watching them in order, and we just watched Thunderball last night.

    I think I’ve seen Goldeneye but it was a long, long time ago!

    1. Oh so you’re still watching all those Bond flicks, cool! May I interest you in guest posting under the 007 Chatter series? 🙂

      This is Ted’s post btw.

  12. I am only sharing an information here coz I hardly ever watch 007. A local TV station has been playing bond for a week, I guess maybe because the new movie is about to be released

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