GoldenEye

dir. Martin Campbell

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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After a six-year hiatus, Bond returned in the well-groomed form of Pierce Brosnan in this megahit action spectacle, which has 007 trying to stop his former double-O comrade-in-arms from unleashing an apocalyptic revenge on England for fun and profit.

After a hiatus of six years, Bond returned in the well-groomed form of Pierce Brosnan in this megahit action spectacle that revitalized the series, quickly becoming the most successful Bond film ever up to that point. Despite being dubbed a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War" by the new, femme M (Judi Dench), Bond is still the only man for the job when a weaponized Russian satellite code-named "GoldenEye" is hijacked by parties unknown. Following the trail in Moscow, Bond is shocked to discover that his quarry-the mysterious head of a Russian crime syndicate called Janus — is actually his former double-O comrade-in-arms Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), who is plotting an apocalyptic revenge on England for fun and profit. Opening with two of the series' most incredible stunts — a record-setting bungee jump down an enormous dam, and a motorcycling Bond pursuing a pilotless plane off the edge of a cliff — GoldenEye motors smoothly along under the direction of action ace Martin Campbell (who a decade later would resuscitate the series a second time with Casino Royale), and introduced an instantly iconic Bond villainess with the steel-thighed and ridiculously named Xenia Onatopp, played with snarling, self-parodic relish by Famke Janssen.