ANALYSIS OF GOLDENEYE
AND THE FUTURE OF BOND
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Last updated 11 DEC 95.
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I. THE MOVIE
As a regular film, it does very well. It has all the elements of current action films: lots of violence, with plot workings that are not heavily emphasized. Fun to watch, but not very memorable.
As a Bond film, it doesn't do too well. Although it follows the so-called "Bond Formula", the plot of the film is more of a skeleton for action scenes. There is no real character development for the most part, and the film seems to lack the excitement of dangerous adventure found in other Bonds (this may be do to the fact that many of the plot devices and action scenes (except for the tank in St. Petersburg), are just rehashed parts from other films).
However, there is definetely a feeling of fanatasy in the world of GoldenEye. A true fan must remember that it has been six years since the last film, and that some appreciation of the producers' efforts to bring Bond back is needed. If the future films are better than this one, all can be forgiven.
For whatever its' worth, I rather have GoldenEye than no Bond at all!
When Natalya and Bond are flying through Cuba to look for the second dish, they pass over the location of the satellite and head toward the shore when Bond says that they should take another look. Their plane is just reaching the shore when the missile came out of the water. If the missile hit them at that point, how could the plane hit water and then crash onto the shore if they were already over land? Even if he had turned the plane around when the missile was fired, they would most likely not have reached the shore before sinking. Bad editing.
When Bond and Natalya manage to get into the complex, they split up, Natalya heading for the computer room, and Bond going to set the limp mines on the gas tanks. Guards start shooting at him as he maneuvers around the tanks. Two problems here: 1) Are the guards so stupid to shoot at gas tanks? 2) After Bond arms and attachs one of the mines, he appears to arm the second one, turn around a corner and slide the second one across the floor . . . right towards the guards that appear, their weapons pointed at him. Not a single one of them even looks at the direction of the mine! A friend thought that he was sliding his gun across the floor, not the mine. If that is true, then where did the other mine go? Again, poor editing.
Finally, one more problem: in the final fight scene, Trevelyan appears to have the upper hand when the helicopter appears. When he looks toward it, the helicopter is facing towards the left of the screen and we cut to Natalya appearing and holding the gun behind the pilot's head, also towards the left of the screen. However, after Bond defeats Trevelyan, we see him look up towards Natalya in the helicopter, which has turned 180 degrees and is now facing towards the right side of the screen. However, when we again cut to Natalya, she smiles towards Bond while she is still holding the gun at the pilot, towards the left hand side of the screen.
If you know of any other errors, please email me.
Many people did not believe that the opening plane chase stunt was possible. It is entirely possible: if someone is chasing a plane while both are in free fall, it is possible for the person to be accelerating at a faster velocity, thereby enabling him to reach the plane (remember your high school physics, folks!).
And many others complained about the beach scene set in the Caribbean, just before Bond and Natalya set off for Cuba. This scene works very well in the script as it has two earlier references in the film: 1) Natalya mentions to Bond, while cruising in the BMW, that she has always dreamed of going to the Caribbean, and 2) when we first see Natalya, at Severnaya, if you look carefully, you will see that there is a postcard of a white, sandy beach attached to her monitor. In the script it makes sense to have the beach scene, and I rather like because it is beautifully filmed.
I am sorry to say that the quality of Derek Meddings' work has gone down for this film. The Russian MIG fighters scene over Severanya is sad. It is doubly sad because Meddings passed away this year from cancer (the film was dedicated to him).
The crash of one of the fighters into the satellite dish, depicted at right, was the worst part: as the plane model lands, you can see it bounce off the ground on impact.
On the up side, the chasing tank in St. Petersburg was both artful and hilarious. The entire city landscape builidings, sidewalks, roads, etc. was recreated in England for this scene (it must have cost a fortune!).
I thought it was a bit silly to have the casino scene in Monaco reflect the first time we saw James Bond in Dr. No, with Bond sitting down at the game of chemin de fer, in front of Xenia. The parallel was too obvious to miss. Then again, it is a way to reintroduce Bond to the screen, and to a younger audience.
Added 12/11/95. Many people have who have responded to this analysis are under the mistaken impression that I didn't like or enjoy the film; on the contrary, I thought that I made it quite clear that I enjoyed the film, but feel that it could easily have been stronger than it is. Additionally, I am very happy that the film has already generated US $70M in just the first three weeks! (Information from Kimberly Last's excellent Agent 007 page).