GoldenEye ★★★½

James Bond bungee jumps into the '90s in the franchise reboot, Goldeneye.

The Cold War may be over, but the adventures of James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) continue, as 007 tracks a rival agent/past ally (Sean Bean) who has seized control of a giant space weapon that threatens global devastation. Bond won't be raking any moons as of yet, but he'll definitely be rushin' to Russia.

While I came of age during this era of Bond, I must confess that I have no particular nostalgia for this movie, outside of playing Goldeneye 64 religiously. To that end, while rewatching the film I kept having pixelated flashbacks to hours logged as a young teen stalking my best friend and subsequently blowing (or chopping) him away in the co-op mode of the game. This was especially amusing/surreal during the scene where Bond enters a toilet stall via the overhead vent. My favorite hiding spot. But I digress.

While Brosnan is probably nobody's favorite Bond, he acquits himself quite well to the iconic role in this, the seventeenth installment in the franchise. Good looking and oozing with charm, Brosnan is essentially the '90s analog to Roger Moore here. Martin Campbell, who would return to reboot the franchise once more with Casino Royale, merges the campy tone of those Moore flicks with only the finest stunts and special effects spectacle 1995 could offer. It also helps having a deliciously feral Famke Jannsen on hand as one of the spiciest (and sexiest) villains in Bond history. The finer points of the plot get a little soggy as the film presses ahead, but there's always something entertaining and/or ridiculous around every corner of the film.

Having recently completed a run-through of the Craig films, I found Goldeneye to be a refreshing change of pace. Yes, it occasionally sags under its narrative bloat, but at least it's never boring. Released in 1995, featuring incidental music by U2, remaking the franchise in a campier image -- I am loathe to label it the Batman Forever of the Bond franchise, but if the cowl fits...

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Nintendo 64 I need to dust off. Anyone wanna crush some Goldeneye 64 while binging on Mountain Dew and/or Fritos?

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