James Bond: Classic, Cheese or Crap? – Goldeneye



Bond: Pierce Brosnan

Classic, Cheese, or Crap?: CLASSIC

In 1995, the franchise returned from a six year hiatus. Legal woes involving rebroadcast rights had halted production for more than half a decade – the longest hibernation Bond has experienced since he first premiered on the silver screen in 1962.

But with Goldeneye, the series returned with a bang. A modern feel, a great movie, a great new M, and most importantly, the people’s choice as Bond…

Pierce Brosnan.

Brosnan’s path to Bond was a strange one. Almost ten years earlier, Brosnan had been heavily considered as the successor to Roger Moore. The surge in popularity he experienced due to his potential as Bond led NBC to exercise a clause in his Remington Steele contract, however, and the television series commitment prevented him from landing the role.

Which never stopped people from wanting to see him as Bond. Dalton, who did follow Moore, not not only had to be compared with his predecessors, but with the Bond people wanted. I’ll always be convinced it was a factor in the Dalton films failing to connect with the public. Not the only factor, certainly, but definitely a factor.

And so, Goldeneye launched with no small amount of anticipation. Not only was Bond back, but we finally had the actor we wanted in the role.

Within minutes, the film won us over. The pre-title sequence features a 720 foot bungee jump off of the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland… undeniably one of the greatest stunts in the franchise’s proud history of stunt work.

The movie takes off from there. There’s the excitement of finally meeting another 00, the rest of the explosive pre-title sequence, the zippy car chase as Bond crosses paths with Xenia Onatopp for the first time, the snappy interchange of Judi Dench’s first scene as M.

M: You don’t like me, Bond. You don’t like my methods. You think I’m an accountant, a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts.

Bond: The thought had occurred to me.

M: Good, because I think you’re a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you.

Bond: Point taken.


It doesn’t get much better than that folks!

The rest of the cast is strong as well. Between Sean Bean and Gottfried John, the villains are strong. The Bond girls are great, both good and bad. Izabella Scorupco is a good Bond girl, not amongst the best, but far from a detraction. And Famke Janssen is one of the best Bond Bad Girls ever, without a doubt. Joe Don Baker and Robbie Coltrane make nice supporting appearances and Desmond Llewelyn continues his tradition of Q. In fact the only character I don’t care for is Alan Cummings snivelly toad of a programmer. Your mileage may vary.

The movie isn’t without it’s flaws. There are definitely plenty of moments where you could nitpick character choices or moments within the action sequences. But to me, the great cast, the great pre-title sequence, and the long awaited arrival of Brosnan as Bond are MORE than enough to outweigh any minute issues I might have here or there.

It’s a high octane Bond, true to the spirit of the franchise, loaded with tons of great moments.



49 thoughts on “James Bond: Classic, Cheese or Crap? – Goldeneye

  1. Yep, I would call is a classic. I think each actor who played Bond had one film they could truly call a classic and this would be it for Pierce. It’s old fashioned Bond but updated. Dame Judi Dench as M was a bit of a stroke of genius. She nails it. And heck, it’s even got good ol’ Tina belting out the theme tune. That screams classic!

    Whereas you could argue that Daniel Craig Bond is a whole new ball game.

      • A whole lot. It’s a testament to her that she’s got some great chemistry with Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan. She’s played off both of them incredibly well.

  2. I reluctantly agree with your assessment. To me, this is the only Brosnan Bond movie worth watching at all. He does a fine job in all of them, it’s just that they didn’t give him much to work with. I love THE DAME, as I call her, as M. It was a bold choice at the time but their attempt to reinvent Bond at that time leaned a little to far toward cheese for me with some of the gadgets and extremely crappy stunt work.

    All in all I do enjoy me some Goldeneye, but sometimes I have fonder memories of the video game than the movie itself.

    • Yeah, I should have mentioned the game. LOL

      I was running long though. It was an awesome game though. One of those games I spent countless hours playing. πŸ˜€

      The Brosnan era has issues. I’ve never felt this movie was one of them though. The three beyond this had some major flaws that weren’t his fault… IMO

      • As someone who has spent more time on that game than any other game before or since, the movie has a sentimental place in my heart for that alone.

        The characters (especially Boris who I still quote to this day) and action set pieces (especially the tank chase) are great and some of the most memorable of the franchise.

        While the movie did get a bit cheesy at times, it still is easily my favorite post-Connery Bond movie and well deserving of the classic status you have bestowed upon it.

  3. Goldeneye is INVINCIBLE!!!! The only part of your review I’ll disagree with is Alan Cumings, who is far and away my favorite character in the movie.

    Also I will agree with Phillip in that the game of Goldeneye has many more fond memories for me than the movie. LD

    • Uhhhhh….


      Youve got me thinking, Brik, but… there’s gotta be worse. I’m not all that familiar with scores and such across the board, I guess I only latch on to the theme. For me, this theme is mid pack.

      I think Lulu’s “The Man with the Golden Gun” is the worst theme. LOL

  4. I like this very much as a classic bond film. It added a lot of newness to the Bond series, but with all the added expectations of the previous movies. This is by far my two son’s favorite Bond movie, but I think the video game has something to do with that.

  5. Goldeneye is the first Bond film that I remember seeing. Not the first I saw — I know I saw License to Kill and one or two others before it, but those all blur together in childhood memories. But Goldeneye is the first I remember clearly, and so it’s one of only a small number of Bond films not still on my need-to-see list.

    I agree with you that it’s a classic. Great action sequences, decent plot that pushes the edge of credibility just enough, and some great actors. I didn’t mind Cummings as Boris, though. Can’t say I really liked the character much (don’t think we were meant to), but I thought he did a good job. Plus, you have to admit it’s tremendously satisfying when the nitrogen tanks go off mid-“I am Invincible!”.

    • Glad you get to chime in on this one then πŸ˜€

      I would go the opposite on that moment where Boris gets it, I thought it was cheese.

      Sorry, can’t be sold on him. ::shrugs::

      And youre right about the “just enough” lol. Thats a good way to put it…

  6. Cool movie but mostly because it generated one of the greatest video game of all-time! Man, it was so much fun playing Golden Eye on Nintendo 64 with your friends (it was one of the first “real” multiplayer game)

  7. AGREE with ya! Goldeneye is a classic and is one of my favorites!

    and, like Castor said, it sparked one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time! (although, perhaps Bomberman or Mario Kart preceded it as a multiplayer game). Goldeneye is the best!

    glad you love this one. Brosnan= perfect choice.

  8. *sigh*

    I guess I’ll be the lone dissenter. I happened upon GoldenEye a couple of months ago after haven’t seen it for some time. There’s some really good things there, but overall I don’t think the film holds up.

    Ironicly, as a movie that was supposed to propel the franchise out of it’s Cold War roots, those aspects that were intended to modernize it are the ones that come across so dated. Also, I agree with Brik that the soundtrack is pretty crap (note: NOT the Tina Turner-sung theme, which I agree is one of the best).

    Because of this, I’d probably put this in the “cheese” category, as the movie is still enjoyable but it’s still what M claims Bond is… a relic.

    After watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I’m more convinced than ever that the best thing to do for Bond would be to keep his setting in the Cold War years.

    • There you go K2. Spoiling our Goldeneye party.


      LOL. Naw man, I’m just kiddin;. I’m actually surprised that everyone is in such agreement here. Brosnan has not fared all that well here, there’s times when I’ve felt like the guy’s biggest fan.

      I havent seen it in a year or so, so I cant recall the soundtrack outside the Turner theme, but I’ll keep an ear out for it next time.

      I AM glad that Bond isn’t isolated to Cold War movies, but I think that would be kind of cool. Maybe have a Bond throwback – period piece movies. Just for one actors’ Bond run. That would be cool.

  9. I loved everything about this movie when it came out. It made me want to watch other Bond movies, almost all of which ended up disappointing me in some way. Usually they weren’t actiony enough, because action movies of the 60s and 70s just don’t have enough action or a fast enough pace for my tastes. The only other Bond that I loved completely was Goldfinger, because that thing is just a masterpiece, even if it is slowpaced by modern standards.

    I probably haven’t watched this in 10 or 15 years, though. I guess I watched it enough at the time. It was on heavy rotation on my shifts at Midnight Video.

    I remember always trying to keep track of the pen clicks like you’re watching an old shell game until you just have to say “Fuck it, I don’t know anymore”. But hate him or love-to-hate him, there’s such a feeling of satisfaction that comes with seeing Alan Cumming get dowsed with Liquid Nitrogen or whatever it was.

    • Yup, Goldfinger is a masterpiece for sure. I understand your comment though about the Bonds being disappointing. I guess I could see that, especially if Goldeneye was your introduction… It would set a certain tone that a lot of other Bonds don’t. Hope you gained an appreciation for them eventually though? No?

  10. hey Fogs πŸ™‚ I have been meaning to write for so long now about my thoughts on ALL the Bond movies, ready?….I L-O-V-E them, always have and always will. I grew up watching Bond films, I have seen every one-repeatedly. They are just the Best. It’s the whole ‘Britishness’ of it and the charm, sex appeal, along side the whole action of the films-I adore them.

    Admittedly I have missed the last one, but the Daniel Craig Casino Royale I watched at the movies with a little apprehension (as it was a new Bond) but I was more than pleasantly surprised. It was absolutely action-packed and it was different because of what happened with the girl which is a complete u-turn on all the others and totally unexpected. He isn’t my favourite Bond but maybe it is time for me to go and watch The Quantum of Solice.

    So finally i got my love of 007 to you…and my favourite Bond? always will be Roger Moore. (swoon!!) Imster πŸ˜€

    • Ohhh.

      Immie, I hope you dont get mad at me then. LOL (I’m cringing thinking about you going back and finding all my Moore comments. LOL) He was just… always too old for the role, to me. That’s all, lets just say that for now. But yeah, glad you found these though, we have a big month or so here as we go through the last ones! I’ve secretly kind of saved the best for last πŸ˜‰ So check it out! And then of course, there’s a new movie coming out this year, so I’m going to go a little nutty in advance of it…

      Quantum is one of the divisive ones. Hate to say it, but its true. I like it well enough. I thought it was good, but there’s a LOT of backlash out there towards it. Probably because it veers away from the charm and fun aspect of Bond. He’s VERY cold hearted. The action style gets a lot of criticism too.

      But if that’s the only one you havent seen? Get it on that!! πŸ˜€

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