Goldeneye ****

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“Goldenye” is one of my favorite James Bond films. It has everything that makes a James Bond movie great and more. Pierce Brosnan takes the role of Bond in this movie for the first time and immediately makes it his own. The story leaves behind a lot of the cartoon elements of some of the previous installments and becomes a modern espionage thriller.

The villain is a former agent of MI6 played by Sean Bean. For the first time in a 007 movie we actually get pretty in depth in to his complex history. He has real motivations for revenge. His plan is to steal a Russian made satellite known as the Goldenye. This particular piece of hardware is capable of sending an electro magnetic pulse from space that can shut down all electronics and wipe out their hard drives.

For the first time in the series M is played by Judi Dench, a woman. She is also harder on Bond than his previous bosses and sees right through his charming facade. Money Penny is still answering the phones but this time is more immune to 007’s charms.

The director is Martin Campbell, who is a veteran of smart action films. He finds a perfect balance between sensational stunts as well a surprisingly human story.

The action sequences are all awesome. Right at the beginning we see Bond drive a motorcycle off a cliff to chase down a plane in mid air. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t tell you if he makes it or not. Later in the movie there is a chase sequence involving Bond driving a Tank and causing all kinds of havoc.

I especially liked the final show down between Brosnan and Bean. Their fight is fierce and violent. It reminded me a bit of the brawl between Bond and Grant in “From Russia With Love”

“Goldeneye” successfully launched James Bond in to a new era. It was six years between this movie and the previous installment. I think it was well worth the wait to get this thing right.

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