Goldeneye (1995)
Review by HTQ4

Written by Jeffrey Caine, based on a story by Michael France, which was in turn based on characters created by Ian Fleming
Directed by Martin Campbell
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, John Gottfried, Robbie Coltrane, Desmond Llewelyn, Alan Cumming, and Judi Dench


Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it if you're a fan of the Bond films, otherwise rent it

James Bond (Brosnan) is on a mission to find a stolen French military helicopter. It turns out that renegade Russian general Ourumov (Gottfried), along with Xenia Onatopp (Janssen) and Alec Trevelyan (Bean) have stolen it in order to help them nab the access codes to a secret Soviet Cold War Weapon called the GoldenEye. It's essentially a satellite-based ElectroMagnetic Pulse weapon. Trevelyan is a supposedly deceased British Secret Agent who worked with Bond a number of years previous. So, when Bond finally discovers that Trevelyan is behind this plot, it becomes a personal vendetta for our friend James.

GoldenEye was Brosnan's first portrayal of this now historic character, but it also marked another new addition to the franchise: Dame Judi Dench as "M". Both of these actors stepped up to the task beautifully. He seemed to breathe new life into the character which had been getting a little bit stale in the years previous. However, the real indication that the franchise was entering a new era was the introduction of a female "M". They couldn't have chosen a finer actress to play the part--Dame Judi is one of the finest actresses alive today.

Everything else about this film is typical Bond. You have a script full of one-liners that are heavy on the groan factor, situations that are seemingly impossible to get out of, and, of course, lots and lots of fast cars and gadgets. To be honest, there is only one way to really enjoy a Bond film: to suspend your disbelief completely and just sit back and enjoy the ride. If you try to over-analyze it, you'll just ruin it for yourself.

This special edition DVD is a pretty good package. The commentary track with Campbell and producer Michael G. Wilson is average at best. However, every now and then they do throw in an interesting bit of trivia about not only this Bond film, but other Bond films in the past. The GoldenEye Video Journal is a Making-of featurette that focuses on the fact that, as stated, this is Brosnan and Dench's first Bond film. Other than that, there's really not that much to it. The interviews with the actors are sparse and leave you wanting a lot more.

Then there is a documentary about the character of James Bond throughout his history, done by Elizabeth Hurley. This is nicely done and, if you are a fan of the films, you will thoroughly enjoy it. There is another "making-of" featurette that has the feel of a time-filler on one of the cable movie networks. It skims the surface of GoldenEye and is nothing more than a glorified trailer, really. Finally, speaking of trailers, there are two of those on the disc as well as the Tina Turner music video for her theme song of the movie. Oh yeah, there is also a trailer for the Playstation 2 video game for that was inspired by the next James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies.

So, if you are a fan of the Bond franchise, by all means add this one to your collection, otherwise, pick it up as a rental whenever you feel the need for a good escapist flick.

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