"The name is Bond. James Bond."
British secret agent James Bond is back, and he's better than ever C almost. The movie contains a number of spectacular scenes, including a car ride to Monaco and a tank chase in St. Petersburg, but it also fails in many areas. The middle of the movie is very slow and the plot is somewhat twisted and contrived.
The first Bond movie in six years and the sixteenth overall, "Goldeneye" begins better than any action movie I can remember since "Raiders of the Lost Ark." It has Bond bungee jumping to a secret chemical warfare base in Russia, and then hilariously escaping from Soviet soldiers. This prologue ends with Bond jumping out of a motorcycle and landing in mid-air on a small jet plane, which Bond then flies away from the Soviets. This amazing stunt sequence is followed by the traditional credits, which are sleek, but not helped by a new title song written by Bono and performed by Tina Turner.
The movie then "starts" a few years into the future, when Bond meets a new lady, Xenia Onatopp, on a car ride. Unfortunately, Xenia turns out to be the central figure in the Russian's attempt to destroy London, and after that, the world. Their weapon: a satellite-aided destroyer called "Goldeneye." Bond is, of course, the perfect man for the job to neutralize the Russians. However, he is confronted by his former friend, Alec Trevelyan, and a general he fooled all those years ago in Russia. Not that 007 doesn't get any help. His new love interest is a Russian computer programmer who helps Bond track down the resting place of the Goldeneye command center. In the end, of course, Bond saves the world from Goldeneye and gets the girl.
This complicated plot is often slow and confusing C the major fault of the movie. The whole middle part is devoted to building the plot. Director Martin Campbell ("No Escape") tries to insert action: he puts Bond on a tank, an airplane, and a train, but this action occurs in spurts and it all doesn't seem to flow together. Like all the Bond movies, "Goldeneye" tries to be a combination of the direct-action genre (example: "Die Hard 3") and the suspense-adventure genre (example: "Clear and Present Danger). What the film-makers didn't realize is that there is no plot here, so why bother spending so much time developing it?
The movie stars Pierce Brosnan, who portrays a perfect Bond. Although he does not possess the muscles of his predecessors, Brosnan combines intriguingly good looks with a great sense of comical timing. I rank Brosnan second among Bonds, with Sean Connery atop that list.
I rate this movie a 7 out of a possible 10. It's good, but it could have been much better. Go see it for the spectacular stunt sequences, the humor, and the performances C but sleep through the slow plot development
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.