Saturday, 27 October 2012

GoldenEye (1995)

Seven years have passed since Licence To Kill and after court battles, pre-production finally began on the seventeenth 007 adventure – but then the real disaster struck us fans. Dalton decided that seven years was too long a gap to return from and he left the franchise. What Now, we asked? The answer: Pierce Brosnan. Fans in the UK asked: who? We’d never heard of Remington Steele! We spent our time fretting: will he be good? Will the film be any good? Is there a place for Bond in a post-Cold War world? Maybe it should be left alone?

How wrong were we? From the start of the film, you’re unable to catch your breath. Bond bungee-jumps from a bridge, has a shoot out with Russian soldiers, side by side with Sean Bean’s 006, then escapes by leaping from a cliff on a motorcycle, only to jump into a plane and fly off with the base behind him exploding! With just this scene, I had never felt a feeling before, the feeling you get once in a franchise maybe? Brosnan was simply BORN to play Bond, he has the believability that women would fall at his feet, he has a dark edge that’s behind his eyes, he can happily just kill you if you get in the way of his mission and of course the man looks like he was genetically made to look like Fleming’s iconic character.

The villain of this adventure, well that’s the clever part. Sean Bean plays a 00 agent who is disenchanted with the UK and has wanted revenge for his Cossack heritage ever since. He is just charming to a villainous core and very much Bond’s equal. For once we have a British villain, a traitor no less.

Famke Janssen plays his willing henchwoman, Xenia Onatopp who likes to kill men by crushing them with her thighs, a character who gets sexual pleasure from the hunt and the kill. Janssen exudes evil and menace, with a perverted fetish side to a T.

The Bond Girl, well, now we have the reign of the Bond women; the Bond girls have grown up. Now, we have female characters with balls. Natalya (played by Izabella Scorupco) manages to give a very strong believability when she decides to show Bond her vulnerable side. Also, she is a weapons expert and has a lot to do for the plot to progress and is must ally for Bond to complete his mission.

I can’t talk about the cast without mentioning the first performance of Judi Dench as M. Dench delivers a stoic performance, a hard-nosed warrior leader and her few scenes are memorable and powerful.

This film is a perfect example of a Bondian movie, it gets the balance right between strong plot, strong well acted characters and the OTT stunt sequences. You’re along for the ride and you’ll love ever minute of the film. In 1995 Bond became box office material again. I want to give this film 5 out of 5 – but I can’t, for there is a large shadow that hangs over the entire film: the music score by Eric Serra.

A film’s music score is a character within the film, It helps to develop the tale, to cue emotional chords within you and, of course, to heighten the exciting parts. Serra’s score is a failure on all counts. The score just ends up juxtaposing all the way through – it feels like an unwelcome visitor to the Bond universe. It’s actually distracting a lot of the time. Thank Bondian God he never returned to the franchise. For that reason the film has to drop a point.

Rating: 4 out of 5



That's the last film for Day 2 - we're off to get some sleep! Tomorrow we hit the home straight-  3 more Brosnans, 2 Craigs at home and then off to the cinema to finally get to see Skyfall. Goodnight for now!

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