It's 1995, the hairy scientist out of The Lawnmower Man is James Bond, Tina Turner is still kicking ass and the world still believes in Alan Cumming's value as a hilarious comedian.
Yes Pierce Brosnan is 007 in GoldenEye, the film responsible for N64's most popular game title and, by extension, Perfect Dark (N64's not most popular but actually better game title). Very quickly, it's easy to why the studios wanted to cast the actor since The Living Daylights. Brosnan is a good all-rounder with a certain Connery-style charisma paired with corny puns and one-liners Roger Moore would kill for. On top of that, this is the most convincing action-hero Bond we've seen so far with past incarnations usually settling for skiing in front of blue screens or letting stuntmen shot from really really far away do the job.
No, Brosnan is our Tom Cruise 007. It's the 90's, bro! Totally radical to the max and shit!
GoldenEye starts with 007 and 006 (Sean Bean's Alec Trevelyan) on a mission where the latter is soon shot and killed. Bond escapes and Tina Turner takes over with a badass GoldenEye theme song (playing over especially ridiculous imagery). It's a great start and the film only starts to get slightly rubbish post-opening credits. The whole car chase with Bond and Famke Janssen's stupidly named Xenia Onatopp, also an Austin Powers character I believe, is just that little bit lame: not very funny, not very exciting, not very useful. So definitely marks down for that and the porn music that plays over the entire scene.
Car chase porn lol
Things do improve radically, though, with some lab in Russia blowing up and Bond being sent in to investigate what the hell happened. Everyone seems to be searching for the "GoldenEye", codename for macguffin I believe, and it all turns out to be something really big and hilariously well hidden. Alan Cumming is Boris, a double-crosser geek computer hacker (big in the 90's) and Izabella Scorupco is impressively forgettable love interest Natalya Simonova.
Not a crazy amount happens besides a very cool tank scene in which James Bond pretty much destroys the whole of Eastern Europe and a suspenseful Mission : Impossible-style train sequence in which it is finally revealed to us who the megalomaniac villain is this time around. Actually, GoldenEye does have a terrific villain and Onatopp, with her killer... legs, makes a fun (read: entertainingly a bit crap) live-action cartoon henchwoman. It's all a bit Saturday-morning spy show in many ways: the humour feels almost kid-friendly but every so often someone gets torn to shreds in a gruesome, Itchy & Scratchy type of way. The tone is a bit all-over the place but on the whole this is a fairly playful effort so cartoony but in a good way.
Although Tomorrow Never Dies remains my personal favourite Brosnan outing, GoldenEye is a lot of fun and as cheesy as it can get, it's not one to take too seriously: just sit back and let Bond 90's his way through those pixelated, polygoned levels...
I meant scenes. Sorry... N64 flashbacks.
Pure popcorn entertainment.