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?