So we come to GoldenEye, the very first Bond film I ever watched back in 1999 – and on this re-watch, I can see why I became a fan.
After six years away, the first outing for Pierce Brosnan’s Bond had to knock it out of the park and this film certainly does that. Pierce is assured and confident in a role he had already been picked for once – I’m of the opinion that the eight year wait to take it on results in an improved 007. The action is brilliant throughout, the story excellently constructed (and the issue of the timeline actually has a decent explanation here) and I like the set design too.
When it comes to the other cast, I’m struck at how young everybody looks in this. Many of the big players I know from other things I watch or have watched; although I didn’t watch any of them because of them, I’ve been impressed whenever they’ve turned up. Sean Bean is near the start of his career of dying gruesomely (although one of his best roles involves him playing a drag queen), Alan Cumming is superbly sleazy and Judi Dench’s relatively limited screen time is excellent. Izabella Scorupco turns in a feisty performance as Natalia, who proves to be a very useful little computer hacker and not the annoyance known from the video games.
This is not a perfect film; Eric Serra’s score is pretty poor and the “no, that just keeps you alone” scene jars badly with the rest of the film. It also looks very 1990s; it’s less timeless than some of the other films in the franchise.
Minor issues of music aside, this is a strong candidate for best Bond of the lot.