James Bond Reviews: #5: GoldenEye

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     This was the first Bond film that I saw in a theater, so GoldenEye has a special place in my heart. Nestalgic feelings aside, it still holds up considerably. I even consider this installment to be perfect as an entry point for non-Bond fans to see what the big deal is. Shit, the pre-title sequence sums up the awesomeness that encapsulates the franchise.
     The Cold War has ended; James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is now considered to be a relic of the past, especially by the new M (Judi Dench). Someone has stolen the GoldenEye, a technological weapon that can send nations back to the stone age. Before finding the only survivor in the blast, Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), Bond uncovers that the person behind it all is former agent 006 Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), a friend he left for dead.
     Out of all the first outings when it comes to Bond actors, Pierce Brosnan is the one that most comfortably fit into the role from the get go. He looked the part and had the humor down pat. It’s easy to see why he was so beloved during his tenure. But what set him apart from the other actors, and managed to usher the series into the new era, was that this Bond was much more tortured. He had the facade going, the confident suave mother fucker, but beneath it, laid a damaged soul. This was fucking unheard of, man. Brosnan was the foundation for those that came after him.
     Much how Licence to Kill had a villian that metaphorically was the mirror image of Bond, this time was a bit more literal with Alec. A hero is only as good as his villian, and here was the best villain of Brosnan’s tenure. Bond never dealt with such a betrayal on this level before, someone he trusted, he believed in. And Bean relishes the role, chewing scenery with such glee; the man enjoys psychologically torturing Bond. That ranks him up as one of the best villains of the whole series.
     Even after 20 years, the movie still holds up; there is an unabashed joy in all the performances, in the ridiculous stunts that make you smile, instead of cringing. And the story is fucking good. Really, it is. A former agent and friend of Bond is back to start some shit? You know that’ll be epic. Trust me, this is a good place to jump in and join this shindig. 

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