DIRECTOR: Martin Campbell
May Contain Spoilers!
Licence To Kill spelt the end of Timothy Dalton’s short-lived stint as James Bond, and left the franchise is limbo. It was Martin Campbell who revived Bond in 1995, as he would do again in 2006 with Casino Royale, but Goldeneye was the first of one of the best era’s for Bond, that of Peirce Brosnan.
This was his best one, in terms of quality, though I do have a soft spot for the fun of Die Another Day, the one with the invisible car and the death knell of Bond in 2002. It’s this point with proves that I am NOT a Bond fan per say, but that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate a good espionage romp.
Goldeneye is a well crafted Bond thriller, with twists and turns, decent bond girls with and Sean Bean making a good villain, certainly as at this point when he was best known in the U.K. for playing the Napoleonic hero, Sharpe. But it’s the tone and complexity of the plot which makes this work and there’s no doubt that Campbell is one of the best Bond directors to date.
He seems to understand the subject and the compromises needed to have Bond driving a tank through Moscow, his Siberian Bond girl donning the ubiquitous bikini and the post Cold War Russian sociopolitical structure. Yes, this is pared down to Robbie Coltrane playing a hammy gangster but still, it’s entertaining yet plausible. It feels more real than most if not all of Rodger Moore’s efforts.
There’s little to be done with Bond in away. So far there have been 22 films, with number 23 on the way and even though it must adapt as the decades roll on, it must also adhere to the formula, which is action, sex and a talking when the plot needs explaining. This film pushes these limitations to their limits, talking as good a plot as it plays out in action.
Goldeneye is one of my favourite Bond films, but saying that, so is Die Another Day, so maybe to a Bond fan, that’s actually saying very little.