Since this week’s meeting of western heads of states is being called the Group of 7 Summit, it is appealing to continue reviews of the many faces of James Bond. After all, the underside of diplomatic relations is always his specialty. Yesterday, this column reviewed “Casino Royale,” the first 007 film starring Daniel Craig. His predecessor, Pierce Brosnan, made his debut in the role in “GoldenEye,” which was released in 1995. Both “Casino Royale” and “GoldenEye” were directed by Martin Campbell.
“GoldenEye” begins with James Bond on a mission with Alec Trevelyan, aka 006 (played by Sean Bean). It ends badly with 006 dying. Years later, a Russian satellite communications post is attacked, and the satellite system ends up in the wrong hands. Bond is dispatched to Russia to investigate. He finds that Alec is alive and was part of the satellite theft. 007 has to stop him before the traitor deploys it. Helping him are many colorful characters, such as Natalya Simonova (played by Izabella Scorupco), a Russian computer programmer who was the only survivor of the attack on her office.
“GoldenEye” has many strong action scenes. Among the best is a chase through Russia where 007 drives a tank. Also, the opening scene is exciting, which shows 007 and 006 in a shootout with Russian soldiers.
The film has an impressive cast. Pierce Brosnan makes a very good James Bond. He is charming, yet also aggressive when he needs to be. Sean Bean makes a great villain. He is a real threat to James since he knew and worked with him years earlier. Izabella Scorupco is also quite good as Natalya, who is smart and dedicated to her job. Another memorable performance is by Famke Janssen, who plays a villain who works with 006. She is sexy, but also brutally violent when she needs to get her way.
“GoldenEye” is the best of all the Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan.