“Tell me, James, do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?”

Goldeneye (1995)

THE VITALS

Director: Martin Campbell
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Alec Trevelyan
Notable Bond girl(s): Xenia Onatopp, Natalya Simonova

I’m a big Sean Bean fan, and I mean big. The other night while I was looking for something at my parent’s house I came across one of my old high school homework diaries. While other girls had pictures of pop stars stuck into their diaries I had quite a different assortment: a small photo of Orlando Bloom as Legolas, a fewer larger pictures of the rugby player Jonny Wilkinson and one massive picture of Sean Bean.

Sadly, my darling Sean ‘Beanie Baby’ Bean let me down in Goldeneye. I can’t place my finger on it exactly, but this film left me wanting. I wanted Bean’s double-crossing agent Alec Trevelyan to be more sinister, and I found the reason for his treachery to be very weak. In many respects, I found the big reveal to be very anti-climatic, and that Famke Janssen’s psychopathic Xenia Onatopp was the one who really gave Bond a good fight.

If my rating was based on the strength of Brosnan’s debut, however, I would give it much more than three stars. Visually, Brosnan fills 007’s boots very well. Though in his early 40s when filming began, Brosnan brings boyish charm to the role. In some respects he is hybrid between Moore and Dalton: he throws himself into the action (Dalton) while also reciting ‘witty’ one-liners (Moore).

★★★

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

THE VITALS

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Notable villain(s): Elliot Carver
Notable Bond girl(s): Wai Lin, Paris Carver

I’m not sure whether it’s because of the media-related plot – I’m a magazine journalist by trade – but I really enjoyed Tomorrow Never Dies. The plot certainly resonates in the present day, with media organisations employing underhand tactics to ensure they get the scoop…

Once again, Brosnan thrills, throwing himself into the action scenes wholeheartedly. Jonathan Pryce makes a delicious villain as the devious Elliot Carver, filling the shoes of a megalomaniac media mogul very well. Unfortunately, I felt that the Bond girls, Michelle Yeoh as Chinese spy Wai Lin and Teri Hatcher as Elliot Carver’s wife Paris, were very disappointing and lack lustre, especially after Xenia Onatopp!

★★★½

Current order of preference: GoldfingerThunderballYou Only Live TwiceLicence to Kill, The Man with the Golden GunDr. No, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Living Daylights, A View to a Kill, GoldeneyeOctopussyThe Spy Who Loved MeLive and Let DieDiamonds Are ForeverFrom Russia With LoveFor Your Eyes Only, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and, in last place, Moonraker.

You can read all my mini reviews and posts in my Bondathon series here.

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