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Goldeneye: The Resurgence of Bond

March 27, 2015

Goldeneye movie poster

Goldeneye was a return to form for James Bond in 1995. After the scattershot Timothy Dalton era the series needed a reboot. Goldeneye delivered with aplomb as it accrued an 82% RT rating and collected $352 million at the worldwide box-office. I love Goldeneye because it was the first Bond film I ever watched and it opened up my world to the suave/deadly/alcoholic spy. It is my sentimental favorite and I love all of its bumps and bruises.

Here are my five favorite Bond films in case you were wondering.

1. Goldeneye

2. From Russia With Love

3. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

4. Casino Royale 

5. Skyfall 

Instead of diving into the minutia of the Bond series I want to talk about what made Goldeneye so effective. What I love is it featured the Bond tropes (overambitious world destroying ploys, monologues) and introduced progressive ideas (Judi Dench as M, A Bond woman who actually helps) into the world.  The choices made are still relevant today and have helped mold the Daniel Craig Bond era.

1. Martin Campbell is the king of the reboot.

Campbell directed the game changers Goldeneye and Casino Royale. These two films successfully brought the series back to life and made them cool again. I love the way Campbell shoots action because he lets the camera linger and doesn’t rely on a ton of editing or tricks. He knows the Bond world and the way he handles the female cast was groundbreaking. After Denise Richards played a scientist and Die Another Day crushed souls Campbell was brought back to save the day again with Casino Royale. If you own the Bond Blu-ray set you need to watch the Martin Campbell Goldeneye documentary.

In the immortal words of Sean Bean “It’s nice to work with somebody who knows what they are doing.”

2. The badass trailer moment.

The fact that Bond knows how to drive a tank is cool. However, watching him adjust his tie whilst in a tank chase is really cool. It made for a great trailer moment and was later perfected in Skyfall.

goldeneye tie

 

skyfall

 

3. The former agent turned bad guy

Skyfall is the number one grossing Bond film of all time ($1.1 billion worldwide). Part of the success of the film belonged to former MI6 agent Raoul Silva. Silva was betrayed by the MI6 and comes up with an incredibly intricate plan to kill M. My favorite Bond villain is 006 Alec Trevelyan. He could match Bond’s skills and had a legit Bone to pick with the Brits. I love that they were former friends and he tried to embrace early cyber-terrorism (Silva perfected it). Of course, their plans are insane but that is what the Bond world needs. When you give Bond a legit opponent it brings out the best in him.

006 gif

 

4. The jaw dropping and character defining cold open 

How do you revitalize the Bond series? Well, you start with a badass opening that is filled with practical stunts, humor and intrigue.  We get bungee jumping, motorcycling and mid-air plane rescues. There are one-liners, double crosses and plenty of personality. Bond was back! Martin Campbell did the same thing with Casino Royale. He understood the importance of starting strong.

Litte known fact: The guy doing the world record bungee jumping was more afraid of annoying director Martin Campbell than of the actual jump.

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5. The Bond girl who is more than a Bond girl

What I love about Natalya Simonova is that she plays a big part in assisting Bond. She hacks into computers, commandeers helicopters, shoots guns, escapes certain death and is a believable runner. She lives when she should die and resists Bond’s attempts for a big chunk of the film. Izabella Scorupco owned the role and aside from Eva Green she is my favorite Bond girl.  The success of her character opened up the door for Michelle Yeoh, Sophie Marceau (imagine her in a Daniel Craig Bond film), Denise Richards (joke) and Halle Berry (ouch).

Goldeneye

 

6. The athletic bond

Sean Connery and Roger Moore were fantastic but you could never call them physical. Roger Moore is a noted pacifist and Connery hated spiders.

Bond gif

They were great but were never interested in long sprints or spirited fisticuffs.  George Lazenby threw a great uppercut but we never saw enough of him to figure out his prowess. In Goldeneye we had a running. jumping and physical Bond. Brosnan did a lot of his own stunts and that gave the film an authenticity. His brawl with 006 was fantastic and you could see the physical Bond perfected with Daniel Craig.

Casino Royale

 

7. Judi Dench!

Dench is awesome and her introduction in Goldeneye was game changing. She called Bond on his crap and she lasted all the way through Skyfall. Her casting was brilliant and gave the films an Oscar pedigree.

m

 

8. No more foreplay – Xenia Onatopp 

Xenia was a direct link to the cheeky names of Bond lore. What I love is she takes the henchman role and puts a modern spin on it. She was a step up from other femme fatales and gave the world some great trailer moments. The Best Bond films need great henchman and Xenia delivered.

Xenia Onatopp gif

 

9. The Aston Martin DB5/DBS!!!!!

Four out of my five favorite Bond films feature the Aston Martin DB5/DBS (sans From Russia). I love that car. It proved that Bond was going back its roots and respecting the storied history. Campbell brought it back in Casino and the usage was perfected in Skyfall.

 

Aston


NHMSS

 

Aston Martin Skyfall

 

 

 

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