The Hunger Games return with such a sequel twist that you can't believe writer Suzanne Collins didn't think of film when writing. Catching Fire builds up with all types of subversive messaging which is interesting but also brings into relief the limitations of the genre and film.
Cormac McCarthy’s bones and Ridley Scott's style do not make The Counselor something more than an interesting curiosity. A film that seems destined more to be remembered as that move where Cameron Diaz does that thing with the car than anything else.
A year later on a joy ride in his DB5 Bond races against Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) in the hills of France. With his passenger, and pyschiatrist, freaking out Bond puts an end to the chase. That night 007 visits the local casino and plays cards against Onatopp. After losing and some flirting with Bond Onatopp leaves with a Canadian admiral. Having already sent the information Bond receives a radio transmitted briefing from Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) that Onatopp is connected to a mob family and is an ex fighter pilot and that Bond is to observe Onatopp’s actions. On board the admiral’s yacht Onatopp kills him by crushing him between her thighs during sex.
The next day Bond sneaks onto the admirals yacht and finds him dead with his identification stolen. Nearby a presentation of a new stealth helicopter is taking place. Onatopp and an unseen villain steel the helicopter as Bond attempts to stop them.
Meanwhile as a Space Weapons Control Center in Siberia Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) deals with hacker Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming). After Boris takes a smoke break outside Onatopp and Ourumov murder the other computer programmers after taking the Goldeneye key and codes and programming the Goldeneye satellite to shoot on that very position. With fighters on the way Onatopp and the general escape in the stealth helicopter that keeps them safe from the Goldeneye’s EMP blast. With the Russian fighters on the way the blast disables the fighters causing them to crash into the complex. Natalya barely escapes and is supposedly the only one left alive.
The new M
Meanwhile at MI6 Bond and the new M (Judi Dench) watch, by satellite feed, the activation of the EMP pulse and the missing stealth helicopter leaving the scene. With the possibility of Ourumov being involved M warns Bond not to take thing personal and sends him to Russia to find Goldeneye. Bond stops by and picks up a belt buckle repelling line, grenade pen, and BMW from Q (Desmond Llewelyn).
Meanwhile Natalya makes it back to Moscow contact Boris via the internet. Boris sets up a time and place for them to meet. At the meeting place Natalya is ambushed and taken by Onatopp.
Entering Valentin’s club Bond asks Valentin to set up a meeting with Janus. After agreeing to taking the money Valentin agrees and tells Bond that Janus is a Cossack and during WWII the British government used them to defeat the Germans and then through them back to Russia betraying them. Back at his hotel enjoying some alone time Bond is visited by Onatopp who attempts to kill him. Bond gets the drop on her and has her drive him to the meeting place with Janus. At the meeting Janus appears and it is Alec Trevelyan who is heavily scarred. Alec tells Bond that he was the child of two Cossacks that was adopted by a British family when he was very young. MI6 believed that Alec had forgotten the experience and accepted him to be 006 on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Alec is Janus
After being knocked out Bond wakes up in the stolen stealth helicopter with Natalya in the co pilots seat. Before the missiles could hit the helicopter Bond activates the ejector seat allowing the two of them to escape only to be captured by the Russian police. Taken to a bunker Natalya tells Bond that she is one of the missing programmers and that Boris is working for Alec. When Mishkin arrives Bond explains the situation in which Mishkin begins to believe Bond. General Ourumov arrives and realizes that Mishkin has found out Ourumov is working for Alec. Too keep his secret Ourumov kills Mishkin and attempts to kill Bond and Natalya.
Bond and Natalya escape
During the fire fight Ourumov captures Natalya. Bond chases them in a tank to Alec’s private train. Using the tank Bond stops the train with a head on collision. On board Bond is forced to chose between catching Alec or saving Natalya. Bond chooses Natalya and kills Ourumov allowing Alec and Onatopp to escape. Alec tells Bond that he only has six minutes to escape the same six minutes that Bond gave Alec. While Bond uses his laser watch to cut through the train to freedom Natalya hacks Boris’s computer to find out where Alec is going. Just before Boris pulls apart his computer she finds out that they are somewhere near Havana.
Bond and Jack Wade
In Havana Jack Wade tells Bond that the moment they find out where Alec is that they can call in the troupes. The next day Natalya and Bond search the surrounding area for a large dish that would be needed to access the Goldeneye. After being shot at they find the dish hidden in a lake and crash land. Bond awakens with Onatopp trying to kill him. With Onatopp finally dead Bond and Natalya make their way into Alec’s base.
With the satellite in position to take out London Bond moves quickly and places a mine on a gas tank and is taken hostage as Natalya reprogrammes the dish. While hostage Bond finds out Alec’s plan to steal, with the help of Boris, all the money in London and then use Goldeneye to erase an history of any transactions. With Natalya found Boris begins to play with Bond’s grenade pen as he attempts to undo the damage done to the Goldeneye by Natalya. At the last second Bond kicks the grenade away triggering the mine.
Bond and Natalya safe
Natalya and Bond escape to transmitter. With Natalya looking for transport Alec chases Bond up into the transmitter. Inside Bond realizes Boris fixed the transmitter and jams the giant chains that move it. During their fight Bond finds himself holding onto Alec as he hangs from the transmitter. 007 drops his old friend and takes off with Natalya who found a helicopter. With Alec’s facility blown up, Boris dead, and Goldeneye destroyed upon entering the earths atmosphere Bond and Natalya find themselves rescued by Jake Wade and the Marines.
Director Martin Campbell
With Licence to Kill under performing the franchise was put on a small hiatus. However during that time MGM/United Artists was sold off to an Austrailian production house called Pathe. MGM/United Artists then gave them the rights to the Bond back catalogue of films to broadcast on television. Eon Productions, the Broccoli families production house, then sued MGM/United Artists since they believed that MGM/UA didn’t have the rights to do anything of the sort. This legal battle continued to push back any production on a Bond film.
Brosnan revealed as 007
With Timothy Dalton still on a three picture deal a script was worked on in 1990. Pre production even started for shooting in Hong Kong but plans fell through. By 1994 and a second failed attempt to get a film off the ground Timothy Dalton resigned from playing Bond leaving the producers without a Bond once again.
Being the first Bond film shot after the fall of the Berlin Wall the producers decided that radical changes must be made to the Bond universe. One of these changes included recasting the role of M to an actor of the female persuasion which had never even been considered up to this point. For the role they cast Dame Judi Dench who jumped on the opportunity immediately who was a friend of Bernard Lee who played the role first.
On January the twentieth 1995 filming began on Leavesden Studios with Robbie Coltrane and Pierce Brosnan. Shooting continued with Judi Dench and then moved to Puerto Rico for the beach scenes which only took a week.
Wayne Michael ready to jump
For the dam jump the stunt team moved to Switzerland. Once there Wayne Michael’s double for James bond to perform the 700 foot drop. After several dummy tests they found out that after every jump they could not use the same rope since the wear and tear of a single jump compromised the integrity of the jump. After several days of testing Michael’s pulled off the stunt in the first take.
Released in 1995 Goldeneye was the best performing Bond film since Moonraker if you adjust for inflation. Critics praised the film for it’s action and thrills while praising Pierce Brosnan for playing a more complex and broken Bond. Also the choice of Judi Dench as M went over famously giving the dynamic between the characters never before seen.
Amongst Bond fans Goldeneye is considered to be one of the absolute best films in the franchise which at the time received a slew of awards and nominations by several different communities.