With 'Quantum of Solace' due to hit our screens soon, we take a daily look back at the 21 official Bond films. Day 17: 'GoldenEye'
GoldenEye (1995, Martin Campbell)
Villain: Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan
At stake: The destruction of Blighty’s economy
Candy: Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Simonova
Gizmo: Exploding biro
Theme song: ‘Goldeneye’ by Tina Turner
Quote: ‘What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?’
He might well have made the best Bond on his own merits, but cocky Irish rogue Pierce Brosnan was also blessed with the good fortune of possessing all of the finer characteristics of his esteemed predecessors.
Imbued with both Connery’s brutishness and the romanticism of Lazenby, he also displays a dissolute raffishness that would be the envy of Sir Roger and was born with a Celtic variation on Dalton’s line in swarthy recklessness. In short; Brosnan had it all.
Though his later showings relegated him to the role of a unimpressed male model catwalking his way through modish and increasingly wrong-headed style exercises, Brosnan was lucky enough to star in the finest film of the entire series with this post-Cold War essay on duty, betrayal and guilt.
The extended pre-credit sequence contains more spills than your average blockbuster and Tina Turner’s torch song to the loneliness of James’ chosen profession and the coming-of-age thrills experienced by those who grew up watching the Bond movies is as good as any of the Sixties theme tunes. ‘Goldeneye’ was also showcased the first - and perhaps most evocative - of video artist Daniel Kleinman’s hypnotic title montages.
By 1995 both his superiors and the cinema-going audience could have been forgiven for perceiving Bond as a ‘relic of the Cold War’, but Martin Campbell’s crafty relaunch of the franchise takes this reservation and uses it to its advantage. Bond has his work cut out to win us over in a newly shaped and highly unstable political landscape.
Sean Bean punches above his weight as aggrieved former 006 Alec Trevelyan, pelvic-centric henchwoman Famke Janssen is more than a match for Bond in the lust-murder sweepstakes and a thumping tank chase through St Petersburg announced that, after a lengthy furlough, Bond could still deliver pointless mayhem on a par with any of the CGI showreels or comic book adaptations that had so swamped the multiplexes in his absence.
It had taken thirty-two years, but ‘From Russia With Love’ finally had a serious contender for its long-held position at the top of the pile.
Author: Adam Lee Davies
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