After Bond had a significant drop of quality in the 80s, GoldenEye was tasked to bring the franchise into the '90s giving the series a new coat of fresh paint. With Martin Campbell in the director's seat, GoldenEye sends James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) on a mission to investigate the mysterious Janus Syndicate which has control of GoldenEye weapons system which could be used for mass destruction.
From the very first breathtaking scene in this movie, I was completely sold. Where John Glen tried to bring the serious into the realm of serious spy films of substance he ultimately struggled. Martin Campbell however, nails it in his very first outing with the franchise. The action is breathtaking and so well crafted. GoldenEye is a film that understands the power of sound, it perfectly uses its impressive score from Éric Serra and the lack of it in certain scenes to add another level to the action in it. The entire film feels like a set up for the franchise when it comes to the filmmaking behind it with easily some of the best-looking cinematography of the franchise so far coming from Phil Meheux. The story itself is also one of the more intriguing ones of the franchise so far. Where it does have some moments where it feels a bit slow especially in the beginning where it takes so long for the film to actually get going, overall this actually was a pretty intriguing plot. Especially considering this was one of the major struggles the previous few Bond films faced, it is nice to see a Bond film with good twists and turns that actually help make the story memorable and interesting to watch.
The acting is also overall solid. Where actors like Sean Bean are pretty solid but the MVP of the film might just be Judi Dench who plays M. This feels like a completely new and fresh take on the character becoming chilling and almost scary which gives a great dimension to their relationship with James Bond. Speaking of Bond this is probably my most unpopular opinion regarding the film, but honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of Pierce Brosnan here. Where the intensity is good, the charisma never quite shined through how the film wanted it to. This is not necessarily rare for new actors taking over this role however and considering how fondly he is remembered as Bond, I am not super worried about his performance for future films. GoldenEye tried to breathe new life into the franchise and it succeeded. With only a few small missteps throughout particularly in the beginning as the film is setting its plot up, the film overall is quite clean and well polished. GoldenEye will definitely stick out as one of the better editions in the Bond franchise and I could even see myself returning to it again in the future, granted I might skip some of the unnecessary beginning.