I was planning on writing about the most problematic of all my faves: James Bond. Like…for the life of me I can’t even explain to you what it is that I enjoy about this franchise. Nostalgia maybe? It’s certainly not about “action”; the Daniel Craig films are chock full of this, and those are among my least favorite. They don’t “feel” like Bond, you know?
Maybe it’s the levity…the campiness. It’s sure as hell not the intriguing commentary on gender politics. Honestly, I’m just plain confused. So in an attempt to figure this out, I rewatched my favorite James Bond film. The crème de la crème…the movie so fine, it produced a video game that still justifies the existence my N64 in my living room.
I am speaking, of course, of Goldeneye.
It’s not the hokey, yet drawn out slog-fests of the Roger Moore films, nor the assertively misogynistic Connery’s. There’s no Bond dribbling caviar out of his mouth as Lazenby charmingly showed us, and no random anger spells like the ones we got with Dalton.
Pierce Brosnan was a proper James Bond: professional and collected, yet witty and appealing. And his first film was easily the most engaging, from the iconic Xenia Onatopp to the dramatic Janus reveal. I couldn’t wait to revisit it.
But when I did…holy shit. What even is this film? There were just gaping, gaping plot-holes and illogic that filled the space in between middling action. Seriously, I was too distracted by all the questions I had to even begin to get sucked into the narrative. So I wrote them all down for you:
1. What is the lab? It says “chemical weapons facility,” but then there’s these randos throwing slabs of meat everywhere.
2. Why is Ourumov willing to let Trevelyan kill all his men, and who even is Trevelyan at this point? He couldn’t have been going by “Janus” (his face wasn’t partially burned yet), so he was just a promising young terrorist that Ourumov wanted to help?
3. No, seriously, how did Alec survive the blast with nothing more than some Phantom of the Opera scars?
4. What is Caroline evaluating Bond on…his professionalism? His driving? Isn’t he failing at both miserably? Oh wait, sex is a cure-all.
5. Why is Bond so suspicious of Xenia? Like seriously, he just starts following her around and taking her picture after their card game, and the only thing he has to go on is a potentially illegal license plate number. Is this what 00-agents typically do?
6. Who is this moron looking at Chuck Farrell’s license? They have to think it’s either Xenia or Ourumov who matches the tubby admiral.
7. What is with employment at the Space Weapons Control Center? Natalya seems to have no idea what she’s doing, and Boris is either being gross with her or hacking into the FBI and calling them “slugheads.” They need an HR department or something.
8. So are MI6’s analysts just shit at their jobs? I mean, how did Russia have the finance and technology to implement “Goldeneye”? And how did they miss the dude with the “traitor” sign around his neck?
9. We know the Americans are monitoring the situation as well as MI6, and given the Tiger was stolen from France, it’s not unlikely that other counties are looking into it as well. Don’t they also see the person walking in the snow? Also, Natalya takes sled dogs into a town. You’re telling me MI6 doesn’t bother to pick her up by a faster method? Bond spots it and they just let her walk away?
10. Why is this MI6’s responsibility?
11. When would MI6 ever need this phone booth?
12. Why does Bond take a dip during what’s supposed to be his meeting time with an international terrorist?
13. Why does Mishkin believe that a British government agent just parked a stolen helicopter in the middle of a creepy statue park and then decided to have a loud argument with the programmer who helped him out right next to it?
14. How does Bond start this tank up immediately? Was it already idling?
15. So does Bond have a license to break the traffic laws? Cause seriously…hella damage.
16. Why does Natalya taste like strawberries if she’s just been tied up in a helicopter, dragged off for interrogation, running around the archives, and then stuck in a car during a high-speed chase?
17. WHY is a brilliant programmer’s password “chair?” Further, why is it in English? And why does Natalya think you can’t take your butt with you when you leave? Why is she trying so many 4-character passwords when we saw that it was 5? SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS!!
18. Did Boris not know the target was London until that moment? Did he just not give a shit? Also why isn’t Boris ready to prepare the dish?
19. Alec obviously knows that the pen is from Q. Why does he let Boris take it and play with it?
20. Why does Natalya get so upset about Boris’s “guidance system” remark? She knows she just hacked his codes and re-programmed the dish. And also what is this “guidance system?” Why was someone on it able to learn how to fully control a space weapon-satellite?
21. HOW did Trevelyan survive that fall? But like. Seriously.
22. Um, what were the CIA guys doing the ENTIRE TIME shit was blowing up and basically going nuts. Or when the big satellite made its appearance? Like, how is this a back-up plan? And what are they backing up?
23. How did London get their money back? And why wasn’t that a bigger concern? Sure, the Goldeneye never fired, which would have completely covered up the trace of the crime, but Boris had still managed to transfer millions into whatever account Janus was using. And Bond seemed in no hurry to report this…
And seriously, this is what I considered the best movie. What on Earth is going to happen when I rewatch Moonraker?