Goldeneye is the first of the Brosnan Bond films, and stars him, Famke Janssen, Alan Cumming, Sean Bean, Judi Dench, Izabella Scorupco, and Joe Don Baker.
Bond and Alex Trevelyan 006 (Bean) break into a Russian facility of some kind to blow it up. Trevelyan is killed, Bond returns to England, bangs the lady sent to evaluate him after a car chase with a mysterious sexy lady (Janssen), and gets sent to check out a Russian general Gottfried John. Said general and mysterious hot lady who crushes men between her thighs and loves every second of it (her name is Xenia Onatopp, FFS) kill a bunch of people at a secret weapons develop lab, leaving only two survivors - Boris (Cumming) and Natalya (Scorupco). Missed opportunity, there; I'd have named her Natasha.
Anyway, turns out there's a weapon that sends an EMP down to Earth and does EMP things, go to Russia, meet with Russian crime boss (Robbie Coltrane, with a fantastic cameo by Minnie Driver as his mistress), shoot, shoot, sex, sex, bad guy turns out to be Trevelyan, blah blah. It's a Bond film; you can't get hung up about plot too much.
I will say, though, that this was kind of the last really good one before we "rebooted" with Daniel Craig. There are some gadgets, but they don't overshadow the rest of the movie. The action is good and loud (TANK ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG), but it gives you some time to breathe (although the jump cuts are terrible). The performances are good. I enjoyed Brosnan's Bond, and I liked Janssesn very much as Onatopp. The glee she shows when killing people or being hurt is just amazing, and you very much buy her in the role. Likewise, Bean's villain is appropriately evil, and manages to hit Bond with a couple of zingers, which is always nice. Cumming really sort of steals the show as the neurotic, sort of slimy computer programmer; his death scene is the one people tend to remember.
The Bond girl (Scorupco) is sort of boring. She's pretty, and she is a hell of a lot more believable in the role than Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist named Christmas (we'll get to "W" eventually), but I think that she didn't stand out overmuch. But for a Bond movie, this one's pretty understated, which considering the amount of shit getting blown up, is a weird statement. So she works.
My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium
Next up: Gone in 60 Seconds