Flashback Review: Goldeneye

Today’s Flashback Review involves a nostalgic treat for 90’s kids who grew up during the decade. I of course was born in 1993. The 90’s had several important events, fads, & culture of its time. The Cold War ended, Bill Clinton became president, Nirvana introduced a whole new level of music, Bill Gates created Microsoft Windows, Spice Girls became popular in London, etc.

After several years of production problems involving MGM such as a legal dispute with long time production company United Artists. The two companies eventually put their differences aside to develop another “James Bond” movie. Timothy Dalton, who’s last Bond film was “License To Kill,” decided to call it quits, the producers of the series thought it was time to recast the role. They ultimately chose Pierce Brosnan as Bond.

Fun Fact: Before Pierce Brosnan was casted as James Bond, several A-List stars such as Mel Gibson & Liam Neeson were considered for the role of 007 but they declined due to their busy schedules on other projects. Liam later played Bryan Mills from “The Taken Trilogy.” Mel on the other hand was very busy filming his historical epic, “Braveheart.”

“Goldeneye” was officially released in 1995. (same year Michael Mann’s Heat came out) It received positive reviews from critics, fans and movie goers alike. In addition to positive reception, the film made enough revenue at the box office. Two Years Later, Goldeneye was adapted as a video game on the Nintendo 64. (N64 for short) The game became an instant classic selling millions of copies as one of the best video games of all time. The game was later remade in 2010 with Daniel Craig as Bond. At least it wasn’t a remake of “Thunderball.” Does the movie “Never Say Never Again” ring any bells. Pierce reprised his role as Bond in three sequels titled, “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “The World Is Not Enough” & the film that nearly destroyed the franchise is none other than “Die Another Day.”

Goldeneye is the film that got me into the James Bond series along with the N64 video game. As a fan of the series, I started to look back at the films starting with Sean Connery, Roger Moore & Timothy Dalton. Pierce at first, was my favorite Bond actor until Daniel Craig took over as a more realistic portrayal of the iconic spy.

My favorite Bond actors in order from best to least are Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore & George Lazenby.

Because each film outside of Daniel Craig’s Bond, depicts the same plot, SPOILERS are in this article. Let’s be real, we’ve watched Goldeneye and played the N64 game countless times back in the day.

Gold & Bronze Qualities

Gold: Pierce Brosnan did an excellent job for his performance as Bond.

Other Cast Members such as Sean Bean, (one of my favorite actors) Famke Janssen, Izabella Scorupco, Alan Cumming, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench & Desmond Llewelyn all did a fantastic job for their respective performances.

Martin Campbell did a decent job directing. He was on a roll. Then “The Legend Of Zorro” & “Green Lantern” flushed his career down the toilet. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Éric Serra worked as a composer for the film. God I love the soundtrack. My favorite track “We Share The Same Passions” deserves Bonus Points.” Its as if this track belongs in Luc Besson’s “Leon The Professional.”

Call me crazy, but I think Luc Besson did some uncredited writing for Goldeneye. Every time I rewatch this movie, it feels like Luc directed it.

Action Sequences are unforgettable. My favorite parts are The Tank Chase, Train Escape & The Climatic Battle with Bond & Alec. Brings back memories from playing the N64 game.

Cinematography never suffered from Shaky Cam.

Practical Effects are heavily used to being Set Pieces to life.

Tina Turner contributed to the theme song to the film. It’s played during the opening credits. Somebody’s been watching “Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome.”

Bono was originally slated to sing the theme song. Due to scheduling on a tour and writing a song titled, “Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me” for “Batman Forever,” Tina filled in for him.

Bond’s race with Xenia predates a similar scene from “Mission Impossible II.”

Boris’ catchphrase is “I am invincible!” His line never gets old as a meme. Also a Monty Python reference.

Judi Dench is the only cast member from the original series to reprise her role as M in the reboot series.

At Q’s lab, Bond said “The Writings On The Wall.” So that’s why Sam Smith’s Oscar winning song is named after that line.

My favorite gadget from the film is the laser watch Bond uses to escape the train.

As a kid, I thought Wade’s tattoo was named after Muffy from “Arthur.” I realize he named it after an ex-wife.

Remember that one pilot Xenia killed by strangling him with her thighs? It went over my head as a kid. Now that I’m older, I understood her M.O.

Minnie Driver makes a small appearance as a tone deaf singer. Which is played for laughs. In real life, Minnie is has a beautiful singing voice. It ain’t her fault Warner Bros told her to sing terribly in “The Phantom Of The Opera.” Gerald Butler is a worse singer than her. He’s on the horrible level of singing like Russell Crowe in “Les Misérables.”

Both Alec & Bond are orphans. Bond’s backstory was eventually fleshed out in “Skyfall.”

Bond dodges a missile using an ejector seat. A reference to “Die Hard 2.” Coincidentally, “Die Hard With A Vengeance” came out the same year as Goldeneye.

Alec & Boris’ scheme is to hack global security. Kinda similar to “Batman Forever” with Riddler & Two-Face using a device to steal information.

After Bond defeats Xenia, he quips a classic post-kill liner. “She always did enjoy a good squeeze.” All we need is the opening theme from “CSI: Miami” to complete this one liner.

Unlike many incompetent bad guys from the Pre-Craig Era, Alec is a formidable opponent to Bond. He’s basically an evil version of Bond. He knows every tactic from the book. Alec deserves Extra Points as he’s unpredictable than every villain from the past.

My favorite line from Alec is, “You Know James, I was always better.” Once again, Alec earns Extra Points for his delivery.

Alec’s catchphrase is “For England James?”

Boris’ death scene from chemicals freezing him into a popsicle, always cracks me up. Cue Nostalgia Critic’s running gag with Christopher Lloyd shouting, “I was frozen today!”

Bronze: In the interrogation room, The Russian General gives Bond his gun. Oh that’s right, The Pre-Craig Era featured many incompetent bad guys. Dr. Evil’s son Scott addressed his father stupidity by not killing Austin Powers now.

Final Verdict: A-

All the the good stuff I’ve listed as Gold, indicates Goldeneye aged like fine wine alongside the N64 game. If you’ve haven’t seen Pierce Brosnan as 007 , I highly recommended it.

P.S. Mr. Brosnan if you’re reading this, I want to thank you for introducing me to the series because I grew up watching the Bond movies along with the video games. If it weren’t for you or this movie, I would’ve never got into the franchise or video games in the first place.

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