James BondPop Culture

GoldenEye (1995) – James Bond, Resurrected

Goldeneye was the move that resurrected James Bond and gave him a fresh lease of life without losing his identity in a newly globalized and Cold War-less world. The movie was fast, fun and a delight to watch and most of that thanks should go to Pierce Brosnan


Directed ByMartin Campbell Produced byMichael G. WilsonBarbara Broccoli
Screenplay byRichard MaibaumPaul Dehn Based On: James Bond by Ian Fleming
Theme Song performed by: Tina Turner
Release date: 13 November 1995 Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Bond Series: 17/23 Distributed byUnited Artists
Budget: $58 million Gross Revenue: $352.2 million
Preceded by: License To Kill (1989) Succeeded by: Tomorrow Never Dies (1994)


Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova – A computer programmer at the Severnaya facility. She is feisty and has a boyish charm around her, very grit, determined and has lots of spunk.

Famke Janssen as Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp – Actually the villainess as Onatopp’s henchwoman


Judi Dench as M – The new is a lady and is cold, blunt, no-nonsense and makes no bones about her dislike for Bond. She is known for relying on analysis and statistics more than the “Bond way” of impulse and instincts, creating a Cold War between them. In reply to Bond’s jabs about her wrongly proven decisions, she replies that Bond does not like her and her methods and is a ego-encrusted woman hater who belonged to another era. She adds that she does not have any trouble in sending Bond or any man to their death.

Desmond Llewellyn as Q

Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade (CIA) 

Robbie Coltrane as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky – Zukovsky is a Russian mafia boss and is introduced as one of Bond’s earlier adversaries, whom he shot, stole his woman and car and escaped. Zukovsky carries a permanent limp due to this, and is one of Janus’ business rivals.

Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny – The ironically named Samantha’s first appearance as Miss Moneypenny. Like all women in the film, she shows Bond her place for the first time in the series saying: “I don’t sit at home every night praying for some international incident so I can run down here all dressed up to impress James Bond.” and warns Bond that one he will have to make good on his innuendos.


Alec Trevelyan was once Agent 006 of the British Secret Service and James Bond’s closest friend who in his own words, “Shared everything”. Alec staged his own death and anonymously found the Janus Crime Syndicate towards the fall of the Soviet Union which became infamous enough in a short span of time to come under the scanner of MI6. Though they were friends, Alec carried special contempt for James Bond for his undying loyalty towards Queen and Country. He also knows Bond inside out, all his moves and weaknesses and soft spots. Janus is not an evil manifestation or wants World domination, but just revenge. He lives on an old Soviet ICBM train. And the scars on his face make him look real menacing.

Janus/Alec is a Lienz Cossack, the child of Russian/Ukrainian Cossack parents who fought against Stalin along with Nazi Germany in WW2. These Cossacks were captured by the British Army at the end of the war and were housed at a camp in the Austrian town of Lienz. The British had given the Cossacks “the word of Soldier’s honor” that they would be protected. But in the end, the British handed all the Cossacks to Stalin who had many of them executed and the remaining sent to gulags. Alec’s parents survived this but committed suicide in shame. Alec carries tremendous bitterness and hatred towards Great Britain for this betrayal. He found the Janus Crime Syndicate with the ultimate aim of the downfall of Great Britain.


Arkady Grigorovich Orumov is a Russian Army General who was a Colonel before in the Soviet Army, the one that supposedly killed the captured Alec Trevelyan while James Bond escaped. He is also Commander of the Russian Space program. He is treacherous, corrupt and like most villain-associates is in the scheme only for the money. He readily teams up with Alec Trevelyan who promises him “More money than God” and helps him set up the Janus Syndicate. He however, does not know that Alec is a Lienz Cossack till Bond tells him so. He is in the end killed by James Bond who shoots him in the head even while he hold Natalya hostage.


Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp, true to her name, likes to be on top of things. She is Georgian, a vicious sadist and a lust murderer, deriving erotic pleasure from killing her enemies by shooting them or crushing them between her strong thighs. A former Soviet fighter pilot, she follows Orumov everywhere and is only too happy to kill for him. Extremely agile, toned and beautiful, she is the first Bond-Girl (Anti-Bond Girl?) since Pussy Galore to show Bond his place, matching his every move being a worthy opponent, right from chasing him in her Ferrari down the hills above Monte Carlo to the final scene where she is dispatched by Bond in a memorable and ironic scene where he straps her to a helicopter cable and then shoots the copter which pulls her up and crushes her in between two tree branches, killing her.

VILLAIN SCHEME – Alec Trevelyan plans to get his revenge by economically destroying Great Britain. GoldenEye will be used to generate an EMP in outer space over London which will fry all electronics and obliterate all electronic data including financial data sending the Western world into financial chaos. He also plans to steal billions of Pounds electronically from the Bank of England, all traces of which will be wiped out by the EMP. Orlov will steal the access codes for the satellites from Severnaya and will kill everyone there and then use one of the two GoldenEye satellites to destroy Severnaya to wipe any tracks of his theft. The EMP-proof Eurocopter Tiger helicopter will be used to escape the EMP blast of the first satellite. Onatopp will seduce a Royal Canadian Navy Admiral to get his IDs to steal the Tiger

MEANS – Two GoldenEye Satellites which can generate an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from the stratosphere pinpointed to a location on the Earth, controlled by computer access codes. The EMP will permanently damage all electric devices within its blast radius. The GoldenEye satellites were supposedly deactivated at the end of the Cold War. The Tiger copter will be used as an escape vehicle. Command center will be in Cuba with its dish antenna disguised as a lake.

CARS BMW Z3 (Official Bond Car by Q-Branch), Aston Martion DB5 (Bond’s Personal Car), Ferrari 355 GTS Targa (Onatopp)

GADGETS – Laser Grappling Gun, Parker Pen housing a Class-4 Grenade, Omega Seamaster watch with cutting laser and bomb detonator, Belt buckle with piton and cable.

LOCALES – Archangelsk USSR, London UK, St.Petersburg Russia, Cuba.


Direct Kills: 16, Vodka Martinis: 1Captured: 1Tight Spot Escapes: 6, Romps: 2, Chases: 2, Fights: 5


VERY PUNNY, MR.BOND! (Bond quotes from Goldeneye)

Caroline: “I enjoy a spirited ride as much as the next girl, but…”
Caroline: “Who’s that?”
James Bond: “The next girl.”

James Bond: “It appears we share the same passions: three, anyway.”
Xenia Onatopp: “I count two: motoring and, uh, baccarat. I hope the third is where your real talent lies.”
James Bond: “One rises to meet a challenge.”

Xenia Onatopp: Enjoy it while it lasts.
James Bond: The very words I live by.

James Bond: “Are these pictures live?”
M: “Unlike the American government, we prefer not to get our bad news from CNN.”

Jack Wade: Jack Wade, CIA.
James Bond: James Bond, stiff-ass Brit.

Jack Wade: “Are you sure you want to do this? The last guy who dropped in uninvited went home air freight, in very small boxes.”
James Bond: “Make sure they send me home first class.”

Valentin Zukovsky: “James Bond. Charming, sophisticated secret agent. Shaken, but not disturbed.”
James Bond: “I see you haven’t lost your delicate sense of humour, Valentin.”

Xenia Onatopp: You don’t need the gun, Commander.
James Bond: Well, that depends on your definition of safe sex.

Dimitri Mishkin: “Good morning, Mr. Bond. Sit. I’m Defense Minister Dimitri Mishkin. So, by what means shall we execute you, Commander Bond?”
James Bond: “What, no small-talk? No chit-chat? That’s the trouble with the world today. No one takes the time to do a really sinister interrogation anymore. It’s a lost art.”

James Bond: “Governments change. The lies stay the same.”

Jack Wade: “Who is this?”
James Bond: “Natalya Simonova, Russian Transport Minister.”
Jack Wade: “Did you check her out?”
James Bond: “Head to toe.”

Alec Trevelyan: “Why can’t you just be a good boy and die?”
James Bond: “You first.” [To Xenia], “You, second.”

Natalya Simonova: “Do you destroy every vehicle you get into?”
James Bond: “Standard operating procedure. Boys with toys.”

James Bond: “She always did enjoy a good squeeze.”

Alec Trevelyan: “James… what an unpleasant surprise.”
James Bond: “We aim to please.”

Alec Trevelyan: “For England, James?”
James Bond: “No. For me.”


  • The Tank Chase between Bond and Orumov through the streets of St.Petersburg
  • Bond’s fight with Xenia Onatopp
  • Alec Trevelyan’s and Xenia’s Deaths

STORYLINE (Caution, Spoilers!)

1986. 007 James Bond and 006 Alec Trevelyan infiltrate an illegal chemical weapons factory in Archangelsk in the then Soviet Union. They are ambushed by Colonel Arkady Orumov who takes Trevelyan hostage and apparently shoots him while Bond narrowly escapes. Nine years later, Bond is in Monaco tailing Xenia Onatopp, member of the Janus Crime Syndicate. She along with Orumov (now a General) steal a Eurocopter Tiger helicopter and fly it to the control facility for the GoldenEye satellites at Severnaya in Siberia. Orumov as commander of the Russian space program secures control keys and codes of the satellites and Xenia massacres everyone except for their inside contact Boris Grishenko. They program one of the satellites to target Severnaya, which is destroyed by the EMP pulse while they fly away in the EMP-resistant Tiger. A programmer Natalya Simonova survives and escapes, but is later captured by Orumov using Boris to lure her after he learns that she is missing.

In London, M assigns Bond to find GoldenEye, the person and the reason behind it. He lands in St.Petersburg and through Jack Wade, a CIA contact, meets Valentin Zukovsky – a Russian mafia gangster and one of his old adversaries. For a bribe, Zukovsky tells Bond about the Janus Crime Syndicate and its leader Janus, and arranges a meeting between Bond and Onatopp. Onatopp tries to kill Bond but he overpowers her and has her lead him to Janus, who turns out to be Trevelyan himself. He tries to kill Bond and Natalya but they escape only to be immediately arrested by Police. They are interrogated by the Russian Defence Minister Dimitri Mishkin and Natalya tells them about Orumov’s actions and the second satellite when Orumov barges in and kills Mishkin. A gunfight ensues during which Orumov snatches Natalya and escapes in his car to Trevelyan’s armored Soviet ICBM train. Bond steals a Russian T-55 Tank and chases Orumov through the streets of St.Petersburg, leaving a huge trail of destruction in his wake which ends with him derailing the train using the tank. He boards the train and kills Orumov. Xenia and Alec escape by mini-helicopter after rigging the train with a time bomb. Bond and Natalya again escape and Natalya was able to run a traceroute program which pinpointed Boris’ location to Cuba.

In Cuba, Bond and Natalya’s plane crashes after being struck by a missile launched from a lake and are attacked by Xenia whom Bond kills. The lake then drains out and pylons rise on three sides with a giant antenna suspended between them, revealing that it was actually an enormous dish antenna. After a high-speed slide down the dish, they get to the command center under it where Alec/Janus and Boris are readying to fire the remaining GoldenEye at London. Bond and Natalya are captured, but not before she changes the access codes to the satellite and programs it to re-enter the atmosphere. Bond explodes his pen-grenade which sets of a chain of explosions and escapes onto the antenna and Alec fights him there. Bond sabotages the antenna causing explosions and it starts falling apart. Bond drops Alec 500 feet down onto the floor of the dish in the end. He leaps onto a helicopter Natalya had hijacked just before the antenna complex gives way and crashes into the dish killing Alec/Janus who had survived the fall. Bond and Natalya then land on a field where they are met by Wade and a small group of US Marines.


  • First ever James Bond movie which is completely written original, without any reference to/from any Ian Fleming book/story
  • Sean Bean who plays Alec Trevelyan was considered to play James Bond once as a replacement for Roger Moore
  • First Bond movie in the EON series production to be directed by a non-Britisher
  • Boris Grishenko’s email address was madvlad@mosu.comp.math.edu (source: IMDB)
  • Xenia’s hand of cards when Bond arrives at the casino shows two face cards and a seven, or a 007
  • The 6 years between “License to Kill” and “Goldeneye” is the longest interval between two Bond films
  • First movie where an MI6 agent turns a real rogue (006 Alec Trevelyan becomes Janus)
  • Pierce Brosnan’s first as James Bond, Judi Dench’s as M and Samantha Bond’s as Miss Moneypenny


GoldenEye was awesome and fun. Though a professional movie-watcher might find a hundred technical flaws in the movie and might sing the “Bond-is-outdated” tune, I enjoy Bond’s 17th outing whenever I watch it. Pierce Brosnan was just perfect and it is no wonder that he was originally intended to be the Bond to replace Lazenby. Brosnan fit as snugly into the character as the Tuxedo fits on James Bond, playing the part to perfection. The wit, the unmistakable swagger, the ego, the devilish charm, the sharp dressing, the devil-may-care attitude, the daredevilry and the twinkle in the eye – He got it all just right, proving that even while the World had moved on, it still had got room for James Bond. Being a fully newly-written movie with none of the Ian Fleming induced constraints, the writers had a free hand to reinvent Bond and write in a fresh theme which would endear Bond to audiences once again. Every other line was a Bond-wit. The movie sure had its shortcomings like a too-good-to-be-true plot and weak graphics but these can be overlooked for the sheer awesomeness Brosnan presents. But the sourest point of the movie was that the BMW Z3 didn’t do anything and received only less than 2 minutes of screentime.

The movie starts off on a spectacular pace from the camaraderie between 006 and 007 to Bond’s escape in the end. GoldenEye gave a fresh start for Bond after some decades of silliness and stale and timed stories with a modern storyline, fresh faces, well executed sequences, character development opportunities for others and Bond Girls who could really act and stand up to Bond himself and were not just pretty Bimbos decorating the background. Both Xenia Onatopp who was self explanatory and Natalya Simonova could silence both Bond and Mishkin with a “Shut Up! Both of you!” would simply not exist in older Bond Universes. GoldenEye focuses a lot on James Bond the character himself, which is again something that lifted the movie and gave it a shade different from formula Bond flicks. The light shed on the complicated relationship Bond has with his boss, his friendship with a fellow agent Alec Trevelyan whose death devastates him, references to his past and parents, quips by Natalya, M and Alec about his nature, life, the way he behaves etc and his painful confrontations with Alec make Bond look more human than ever before, beyond all those cars and gadgets and charm.


GoldenEye came out at a time when everyone was sure Bond was almost dead. The last movie License to Kill had come out in 1989, six years before, and was a disaster. Pundits were already lamenting the end of Bond saying that he had no place in the 1995 post-Cold War world when political equations had changed drastically from the time when James Bond was conceived and thrived, an opinion echoed by M when she calls him a “dinosaur” and a “relic of the Cold War era”. Critics argued that it would be pointless to come out with another installment of the series and they were right. Bond as the World knew him was outdated with no relevance in the modern World, unless he adapted. For Bond to survive, the writers had to make him adapt to the new World, and that would be ditching Ian Fleming and starting over from scratch. A theme with a bit of sci-fi high-tech, the new Russia with its mafia and gangsters and a bit of cold-war hangover was exactly that. And they needed an actor who would give James Bond a solid makeover, who would convincingly put across the sophisticated secret agent for all that he was famous for. And Brosnan saved Bond. We had the Bond back who would not hesitate to stop and tighten his tie while in the middle of a gunfight chase in a tank through the middle of a city, an image freeze-framed in history as the ultimate portrayal of James Bond. And Bond had to step down from his pedestal, things had to be made clear. Hence Bond was suddenly more human, more down to earth, whose motives and mannerisms were even being questioned by his girls. This was a far cry from the Bonds the World had seen till then.

Goldeneye and Brosnan is the new generation what Goldfinger and Connery were to the old. It was the first movie to come out in the newly interconnected satellite World of the Internet, as it was the first one to be released on DVD and to get its own video game. The movie took the World by storm and especially so in India, which had recently tasted economic liberalization and now people in even small towns could watch Western movies pretty soon after they were released in the West. I remember us in school so taken by James Bond that people used to write their names with the 007 Gun-Logo at the end. James Bond had become modern, cool and fun! But only three movies later, he was facing oblivion again and the series had to be rebooted and is now going stronger than ever.


THE GOOD – Pierce Brosnan, the Bond Girls, Action Sequences, fast and intricate screenplay

THE BAD – The plot where everything comes together automatically, weak graphics

BOND SCALE: 4th Best out of 22, 8 Stars Out of 10

pics on Sodahead

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x