GoldenEye is one of the best Bond films. No doubt. I was a little doubtful it'd be any good after the disappointment of Tomorrow Never Dies - but all my doubts were proved wrong, it was excellent. It's long been a favourite film of my brother, and it really is an excellent film. Perhaps it's not directly a Bond film, and it hasn't got the typical Bond things in it, but neither has Skyfall. In many ways, it's very similar to Skyfall, and yet also to The Living Daylights. All three are semi-reinventions, and GoldenEye is a reinvention in the middle of them. It goes some way to complete change, it's confident in changes - but it doesn't revamp everything, keeping the big base and the evil mastermind firmly in place.
To start off with then, my one negative. The one thing which may stop it from taking the place of 2nd best Bond film ever (first is still Skyfall). Perhaps it's one and a half negatives. My half is that perhaps it's not engaging enough, I mean in the way Skyfall is. When you watch Skyfall, through fast and slow parts, you can't take your eyes off the screen. In GoldenEye, though I'm not watching it in a cinema, you don't get the same effect. Some scenes seem a little out of pace (eg, the pre-titles should be longer, the tank scene, though awesome, should be shorter). But that's one tiny fault - even Skyfall has slow parts (last comparison I hope). My main problem - and it is a fairly major problem, is Xenia Onatopp. I can't stand her. She is properly annoying, she is an amalgamation of everything that shouldn't be in a Bond film. Maybe in some X-rated spy movie she'd be great, but kids go and watch James Bond! Xenia's various.. um... 'noises' when she kills people is, though I realise you're meant to feel it's this but, sickening. Her killing people with very little clothes on (both parties are wearing very little in most cases) with her legs is just... wrong. It's not for James Bond. I'm not the greatest Bond girl fan anyway - but Xenia seems to have such a big part in the film, and it just annoys me. What annoys me more is that she's ADVERTISED as a Bond girl. And what annoys me further is that Bond is INTERESTED in this woman! That really, really irritates me, her character really irritates me (you might have guessed), and she just degrades the whole film and turns it into some disgusting... whatever it is. Not good, though.
So to the rest of the film, the actual Bond film, the actual important components of a Bond film. It's awesome, it is really rather good. Pierce Brosnan doesn't give the best performance as Bond, but that's personal preference. He makes quips better than he does in Tomorrow Never Dies - but it's a story that requires emotion, and I don't believe Brosnan provides this quite effectively. He's good though. His relationship with Natalya is also good - and she is an excellent Bond girl. She's strong, she hates him at first, and again they make her relationship into a proper one with Bond, like Bond/that girl from The Living Daylights in, believe it or not, The Living Daylights. She is really good. Brosnan is good. And a huge special mention to the marvelous Sean Bean - he's awesome. He plays Alec fantastically, as both SPOILER good and bad guy, and he's brilliant. Oromouv (or however his name is spelt...) is good as well, a nice evil General that fits well into a Bond film.
Which leads me onto the plot and the big battle scenes. All the big battle scenes are well done. Finding the satelite under a pond echoes You Only Live Twice - but this doesn't need a big all-guns-blazing battle, they instead pick something that's personal, that fits, which is where Tomorrow Never Dies fails. The battle between Bond and Alec at the end is great, it works really well. The plot is also good, relatively simple, handled well, the action fits perfectly into it - and it's also very Bond like. It doesn't set itself up for a fall (again, like Tomorrow Never Dies does).
Other things worth talking about are Boris... and Boris. Boris is.. interesting. He's a good character, he provides comedy. So... he's good. Not significant enough to discuss further though. The American, Wade I think his name is, is quite irritating so I'm glad they didn't use him further. They handle everything well. The script works, it's realistic, and it's taken seriously. There are appropriate scenes chosen to end the film, not pointless battles, and the chase with the tank (though a bit long and ultimately pointless) is quite awesome. It has the action, the *sigh of annoyance* romance which I guess is important, and it has good characters!
Most of all - I enjoyed it, and except from Xenia, it didn't let me down.
So maybe this has become third, after On Her Majesty's Secret Service in second.