Sunday, 16 September 2012

Goldeneye Commentary

I'm a huge fan of the James Bond franchise.  I think they do a good job of making top notch action movies that are obviously not feasible in real life.  That's a tough thing to do without making the audience roll their eyes for two hours.  And I think the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies have done the best job of that.  Goldeneye takes the epidemic of organized crime and corruption that plagued Russia after the Cold War and turned it into a Bond movie that has all the hallmarks and things we come to expect.  It has the two girls (one good, one bad), the syndicate that inexplicably has the resources to pull a huge crime off, single use gadgets and a second in command henchman that kills people in an absolutely ridiculous way.  But, because it is grounded in a historically real situation combined with a personal element between Bond and the villain, it feels a little more real than the Roger Moore Bond movies.

Technically, I think this is also one of the better movies.  It came out at a time when CGI was just coming into its own and, even though it is easy to see that it is heavily green screened, I've seen recent movies that do a vastly worse job than Goldeneye.  As far as settings go, it does what we expect in Bond movies.  There's cold Russia, the Caribbean, Europe, etc.  So there's really nothing special there.  One of the things that really stands out here is the innovative tank chasing Ouromov through the streets of St Petersburg.  Normally, Bond uses his own car with all of its gadgets.  In Goldeneye, he had to improvise with something he isn't familiar with and it results in some cool over the top property destruction.

I know why they had to switch to Daniel Craig to play James Bond.  And I like the Craig movies and the direction its going.  But I am saddened that Brosnan was made to stop.  I really think that he saved the franchise at a time when people were kind of tired of it.  He brought new life and coolness to the character that Timothy Dalton couldn't.  Fortunately, we have four Brosnan Bond movies and all of them are watchable (and Tomorrow Never Dies is my favourite of the franchise).  So see it.

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