GoldenEye is a 1995 spy film and the seventeenth official installment in the James Bond film series. It is the first to star Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and also introduces Judi Dench as M, Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny and Michael Kitchen as Bill Tanner. The film also features Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan, the film's villain, Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp, his vicious henchwoman, and Izabella Scorupco as the Bond girl Natalya Simonova.
In 1986, MI6 agents James Bond 007 (Pierce Brosnan) and Alec Trevelyan 006 (Sean Bean) infiltrate a secret Soviet chemical weapons production plant in Arkhangelsk. They enter a room full of chemical canisters, where Bond begins to plant explosive devices so as to destroy the facility. However, the alarm is sounded and armed guards begin to pour into the room. Bond and Alec engaged them in a gunfight, but Alec is captured by Colonel Arkady Ourumov (Gottfried John), who orders Bond to surrender. After Bond changes the settings on the timers from six minutes to three minutes, he begins to give himself only, only for Alec to yell “For England, James!” prompting Ourumov to execute him with a bullet to the head. Bond activates a conveyor belt and leaps onto it, shooting out the locs holding hundreds of canisters which fall on top of Ourumov's men.
Bond escapes via the conveyor belt but is pursued outside by the Colonel and his men. Bond spots a Pilatus PC-6 Porter taxiing down the runway and chases after it, stealing a motorcycle along the way. After Bond dispatches the pilot, the plane careens over the mountainside. Bond follows and leaps from his motorcycle into the plane, managing to regain control of it just before it crashes into the ground. A bemused Ourumov watches Bond fly away to safety seconds before the explosives charges detonate and destroy the chemical production facility.Nine years later, Bond is driving in Monte Carlo in his Aston Martin DB5 while being evaluated by female MI6 psychologist Caroline (Serena Gordon). Caroline is clearly uncomfortable with how fast Bond is driving, and the situation only deteriorates further when a beautiful woman pulls up next to Bond in a red Ferrari and Bond engages her in a drag race. Caroline becomes enraged and demands that Bond stop. He does so before revealing a bottle of chilled Bollinger and kissing her.
Later that evening, Bond arrives at the Casino de Monte Carlo where he finds the same woman playing Baccarat Chemin de Fer. He briefly joins her and wins. He stops her from leaving before she can storm off and learns that her name is Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen). “Onatopp?” asks Bond. After trading innuendos Xenia departs with Royal Canadian Navy Admiral Chuck Farrell (Billy J. Mitchell). Bond follows and watches them board Farrell's yacht the Manticore while learning that Xenia is a member of a criminal organization called the Janus Syndicate via a voice transmission from Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond). Meanwhile, Xenia and the Admiral engage in fornication until Xenia orgasmically kills him by crushing his rib cage with her thighs.
The following morning Xenia and her associate, who impersonates the late Admiral, infiltrate a demonstration of the Eurocopter Tiger, an experimental new aircraft designed to withstand an electromagnetic pulse. Xenia sneaks away to the lower decks, where she encounters Captain Bernard Jaubert (Wayne Michaels) and Lieutenant François Brouse (Simon Crane) and pretends to seduce them. “I think I've gone to Heaven,” says Captain Jaubert. “Not yet,” Xenia replies before shooting them both dead.
Meanwhile, Bond sneaks onto the Manticore and, after an encounter with a deck hand, discovers Admiral Farrell's corpse hidden in a closet. He races across the bay to the demonstration, where Xenia and her associate have replaced the pilots and take off in the Tiger. Bond tries to stop them but he is tackled into a wall by some guards. He watches in anger as they escape with the Tiger.At the Space Weapons Control Centre in Severnaya, Level Two programmer Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) is forced into playing a word game by her colleague Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming). After Boris is told off by Anna Nishikov (Michelle Arthur), he goes outside to smoke a cigarette while Natalya goes to make coffee. Boris witnesses Xenia landing in the Tiger alongside Ourumov, now a General. They enter the facility, obstensibly for a surprise inspection. Ourumov has the on-duty officer (Simon Kunz) bring him the control for the GoldenEye orbital weapon system. After doing so, the major is gunned down by Xenia, who proceeds to open fire with a machine gun on the defenceless workers inside the bunker, killing all of them including Anna. Xenia detects someone hiding in the kitchen and shoots out the air vent where she thinks they are hidden; in fact, Natalya is cowering in a cupboard. Another wounded worker pushes a security alarm before Xenia kills him and she and Ourumov quickly depart.
Back in London, Bond returns to the MI6 building where he briefly flirts with Moneypenny before speaking to Chief of Staff Bill Tanner (Michael Kitchen). It is here that we also meet our new M, Barbara Mawdsley (Judi Dench). Tanner reveals that MI6 have located the Tiger through satellite imagery and explains that Severnaya is secretly the tracing system for the GoldenEye. GoldenEye is revealed to be a satellite weapons system consisting of two satellites, Petya and Mischa, capable of firing an EMP blast at a target on the ground.
At Severnaya, after Natalya covers her friend Anna's body with a coat, she sees that Ourumov and Xenia have set the Petya satellite to fire at the facility. With seconds to spare, Natalya dives under a stairwell as the bunker explodes around her. Meanwhile, three Russian MiGs arrive to fly over the area in response to the alarm being triggered. The blast instantly destroys two of them, killing the pilots before the third MiG crashes into the side of the bunker. This causes the satellite antenna to plunge through the roof, forming a new hole through which Natalya can escape. Bond, who witnesses the EMP attack along with M and Tanner, spots Natalya fleeing.
Bond and M head into her office, where M reveals Ourumov's links to the Janus Syndicate and warns Bond not to treat the mission as a vendetta to avenge Alec Trevelyan's death. After a tense verbal standoff between the two, where M calls Bond out for being a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur,” she assigns him to travel to St. Petersburg, where Janus is headed, and investigate. Before Bond exits, M tells him to “come back alive.”
Bond drops by Q's (Desmond Llewelyn) lab to be given his latest gadgets. These consist of a laser wristwatch, a belt with a grappling cable and a ballpoint which doubles as a grenade when clicked three times. Bond then flies to St. Petersburg and is met by buffoonish CIA agent Jack Wade (Joe Don Baker), who he identifies by a tattoo of a rose on his buttocks bearing the name “Muffy” (named for Wade's third wife).General Ourumov attends a meeting of Russian officials held by Defence Minister Dmitri Mishkin (Tchéky Karyo) in response to the Severnaya attack. Ourumov is presiding over the investigation as he is the head of Space Division and announces his intention to resign, concluding that the attack was the work of Siberian separatists. However, he is unnverved to learn that there were two surivors including Natalya, as he had preiously believed that only Boris had survived. Meanwhile, Natalya tricks a Computer Store Manager (Constantine Gregory) into letting her use a computer to send an e-mail to Boris, confirming that he is alive, and they set up a meeting at the Church of Our Lady of Smolensk. However, when Natalya arrives, Boris is revealed to be in league with Janus and allows Natalya to be taken by Xenia.
Wade tells Bond that he'll set him up with Janus' main competition, who turns out to be ex-KGB man turned gangster Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), who walks with a limp given to him by Bond during a past encounter. Bond approaches Zukovsky at his club, where his mistress Irina (Minnie Driver) is butchering a rendition of “Stand by Your Man.” After Zukovsky orders her to “take a hike” Bond strikes a deal with Zukovsky to set Bond up with Janus. Zukovsky reveals to Bond that Janus is a Lienz Cossack, who were betrayed to Stalin by the British following the end of the Second World War.That evening, Xenia visits Bond while he is relaxing in Turkish bath. She at first tries to seduce him, then tries to kill him, almost simultaneously. However Bond gains the upper hand by holding Xenia at gunpoint and forcing her to bring him to Janus. She relcuctantly drives him to Fallen Monument Park, where he knocks her out and enters the graveyard of statues. A familiar voice says “Hello James” and Bond turns to find himself face-to-face with Janus. When Janus emerges from the shadows, he is revealed to be none other than Alec Trevelyan.
Alec explains his motives to the shocked Bond. His parents were Lienz Cossacks, and although they survived Stalin's execution squads, his father couldn't live with the shame and he killed both his wife and himself in a murder-suicide. Alec was taken in by the British Government, who assumed he'd be too young to remember, but he did and plotted his revenge for years. He faked his death at Arkhangelsk, but his face was badly burned due to Bond deviating from the plan and altering the timers. Bond is then shot in the neck with a dart and knocked out; he wakes up tied in the cockpit of the Tiger, along with a screaming Natalya. The Tiger fires it's missiles, which have been primed to turn around and fly back at the Eurocopter, destroying it. Bond manages to headbutt the ejector switch and he and Natalya are saved just in the nick of time. Their troubles aren't over yet, however, as they find themselves surrounded by Russians security forces.
Bond and Natalya are arrested and brought back to the Security Archives in St. Petersburg. After getting to know each other a little bit, the two are interrogated by Minister Mishkin, who Natalya tells that Ourumov was the one who stole the GoldenEye. At that moment, a visibly drunk Ourumov angrily bursts in, claiming that the investigation belongs to him and that Mishkin is interfering. When Mishkin attempts to reprimand him, Ourumov picks up Bond's confiscated Walter PPK and shoots Mishkin and the on-duty guard, killing them both. Ourumov tosses the gun to Bond, telling him that he will frame him for Mishkin's murder. “Defence Minister Dmitri Mishkin, murdered by British agent James Bond. Himself shot while trying to escape...” Natalya quickly kicks a chair into Ourumov, allowing Bond to beat him up. As armed guards charge into the room, Bond fights with and disarms them before fleeing with Natalya.
They run through the hallways, Bond running and gunning down the enemy guards before they escape into the archives. Ourumov and his men pursue them and cause Natalya to fall through the catwalk where she is captured by the general. Bond escapes by using his Q-Branch belt tos wing across the room and jump through a window. He finds himself in a courtyard full of armoured tanks.Ourumov drags Natalya into a car and orders his driver to take them to the trainyard on the edge of the city. As they spin around the corner, Bond crashes through the wall behind them, commandeering a stolen tank. A chase ensues across St. Petersburg between Bond, Ourumov and the police. Bond follows Ourumov to the trainyard, where he and Natalya board an old Soviet bullet train where they are met by Alec and Xenia. After Alec scolds Ourumov for allowing Bond to escape, he has the general and Xenia leave him alone with Natalya. Alec tells her that “James and [Alec] shared everything” before forcing a kiss onto her mouth. Natalya shoves him away and slaps him.
The train driver (Trevor Byfield) spots Bond's tank emerging from a tunnel up ahead and alerts Alec. Bond fires a tank shell at front train carriage, killing the driver and causing the train to smash into the tank. Bond escapes in time as the train derails and he climbs inside. He finds Alec and Xenia and holds them at gunpoint with a Kalashnikov machine gun. However, Ourumov then appears behind him holding a gun to Natalya's head. Bond is forced to let Alec and Xenia go in order to kill Ourumov and save Natalya. As Alec and Xenia flee in a chopper, Alec warns Bond that the train is set to blow up in six minutes, which of course means that they only have three minutes. While Bond uses his laser watch to cut a hole in the floor, Natalya is forced to play another word game in order to log onto Boris' computer and find his location. She asks Bond “you can sit on it but you can't take it with you?” Bond replies “Chair.” This enables Natalya to track Boris to Cuba mere seconds before Bond forces to escape via the hole in the floor and the train explodes. Natalya asks Bond if he destroys every vehicle he gets into before they share a kiss.The two then travel to Cuba and are driving down a dirt road in Bond's BMW Z3 when a plane lands right in front of them. The pilot is revealed to be Jack Wade, and he trades Bond his plane for the car. As Wade drives away, Bond warns him not to touch any of the buttons. That evening, Natalya finds Bond sitting alone on the beach. Natalya is critical of Bond's lifestyle, seeing as how he will kill Alec because he is now an enemy and disregard their former friendship. Natalya believes that Bond's approach to life is what keeps him alone, causing Bond to grab her and pull her into a kiss. The two then proceed to share a romantic night together.
The following day, Bond and Natalya take Wade's plane and fly over the Cuban jungle search of the satellite dish controlling the GoldenEye. As they fly over a lake, a missile bursts from the surface of the water and strikes the plane. Bond is forced to crash land the plane in the jungle, knocking Natalya briefly unconcious. As Bond lies on the jungle floor drifting in and out of conciousness himself, he sees a helicopter hovering overheard. Bond stands up and watches as Xenia rappels down from the chopper and kicks him to the ground, then attempts to suffocate him with her thighs. Natalya wakes up and tries to strike Xenia with a machine gun, but Xenia grabs the gun from her and headbutts her. Bond grabs the gun and fires at the chopper, killing the pilot and causing him to crash into the jungle. Xenia is snared into a tree and crushed to death by her own cord, with Bond commenting that “she always did enjoy a good squeeze.”Bond and Natalya walk out of the trees and witness Alec's secret satellite array rise from the water as the lake is simultaneously drained. Alec spots them on a surveillance camera and sends his men to kill them. Bond and Natalya are forced to dive clear of gunfire and slide all the way down the dish until they reach the entrance to the Janus control room. The two split up; Bond kills some of Alec's guards and plants explosive charges on the backs of some fuel tanks, while Natalya tries to hack into the mainframe computer in order to deorbit the remaining Mischa satellite. Bond is soon cornered by enemy soldiers and forced to surrender. Natalya is also captured and they are both brought before Alec. Alec disarms the bombs via Bond's watch, then explains his master plan to Bond. He is going to electronically rob all of the money in the Bank of England, then fire the Mischa satellite at London in order to cover up the theft and devastate England's economy.
Boris flies into a rage when he learns that Natalya has changed his access codes for the GoldenEye. He picks up Bond's confiscated pen and begins to click on it nervously while trying to decrypt Natalya's programming. Bond realizes that Boris has armed the grenade and knocks it from his hand into some fuel which leaked from bullet holes in the fuel tanks during the preceeding gunfight. The subsequent explosion destroys most of Alec's computers and kills several guards. Bond and Natalya take advantage of the situation to escape.Alec places Boris under the watch of an armed guard, forcing him to continue trying to decrypt the new access codes for Mischa. Bond, meanwhile, knocks out a guard and gives Natalya his gun, telling her to get out of the facility before he heads off for the satellite's cradle. Alec arrives and engages Bond in a gunfight and chase across the various catwalks. Bond blocks the radar array's gearing mechanism with a pipe, preventing Boris from regaining control of the satellite. He then engages Alec in a brutal one-on-one fistfight during which Bond escapes down a ladder to the base of the cradle. Alec summons a rescue helicopter before descending to his final confrontation with Bond.
Alec manages to pin Bond down on the cradle and begins to choke him. As the escape chopper hovers nearby, Natalya suddenly pops up from behind the pilot and jams a gun into the back of his neck. This distracts Alec long enough to allow Bond to kick Alec over the edge, but Bond grabs him by the ankles and catches him. Alec asks “For England, James?” to which Bond replies “No, for me.” Bond drops Alec just as the Mischa satellite deorbits and burns up upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Bond leaps onto the chopper and Natalya forces the pilot to fly away from the array as the gearing mechanism blows up and causes the entire array to explode and collapse. Alec, who survived his fall, is finally killed when he is crushed and impaled by falling debris.
Amidst the wreckage, a surprised Boris realizes that he is the only surivor. He proudly announces “Yes! I am invincible!” before several containers full of liquid nitrogen explode and freeze him solid. The helicopter pilot drops Bond and Natalya off in a field in the middle of the jungle where they begin to kiss passionately. Just after Bond reassures Natalya that “there's no one within 25 miles” that could be watching, Jack Wade arrives and reveals that they are surrounded by camouflaged marines. Wade comments “Maybe you'd would like to finish debriefing each other down at Guantanamo?” However, Natalya jokes that she isn't going in a helicopter with Bond. Bond picks up and carries her away, asking “Darling, what could possibly go wrong, eh?”
Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan, a former MI6 agent by the name of 006, now the leader of the terrorist group known as the Janus Syndicate who wants to use the GoldenEye to rob and destroy London. He is the main antagonist of the film.
The score for the film was composed by series newcomer Éric Serra in his sole contribution to the Bond series. Serra's score has been widely criticized ad is generally seen as the farthest departure from a traditional Bond score. Serra composed and sang the end credits song The Experience of Love.
GoldenEye ranks highly among the Bond films. The film is seen as having brought Bond into the modern age with a bang, proving that the character would not be outdated in the post-Cold War era. The film is generally praised on all fronts; Brosnan's stellar performance as Bond, Scorupco's smart and resourceful love interest, and Bean's wonderful turn as the villain, coupled with the fantastic supporting cast, which includes the likes of Judi Dench and Robbie Coltrane. To this day, GoldenEye remains one of the most popular Bond films and is regarded as the best of the four Brosnan films.