M: You don't like me, Bond. You don't like my methods. You think I'm an accountant; a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your "instincts". Bond: The thought had occurred to me. M: Good, because I think you're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur — a relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to the young woman I sent out to evaluate you.
The One With the tank chase.GoldenEye was the first James Bond film after a six-year hiatus following Licence to Kill, the first mainly set in Russia, the first done after the end of the Cold War, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as 007.The film opens in 1986: Bond and his partner Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) are dropped into Arkhangelsk to take out an illicit weapons depot, but things get sticky when an alarm is tripped and Trevelyan is killed by the ruthless General Ourumov in the melee.Cut to the present day, where spies have traded in their Walther PPKs for pocket protectors, and MI6 is being retrofitted for the 21st century — with a bureaucracy to match. Bond's mission, should he choose to accept it (damn, wrong franchise!), is to investigate the re-activation of an old Soviet space weapon, the titular Goldeneye, which has fallen into the hands of some wily ex-Soviets. But little does he know that there is far more to this mission than meets the eye (ho ho), and he will be forced to face his past when it comes back to haunt him. And shoot at him.The Bond Girls for this go-round include Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), a Russian programmer who knows more about the theft of Goldeneye than is healthy, and Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen), a sadist who crumples men between her thighs.A quick note on the origin of the name. It's named after Fleming's house in Jamaica, Goldeneye, which is in turn named after Ian Fleming's (who was at the time in British Naval Intelligence) plan for maintaining control of Gibraltar in the event that fascist Spain entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany, which in turn is named after Carson McCullers' novel Reflections in a Golden Eye.Bonus confusion: the fiction film GoldenEye should not be confused with the documentary film Golden Eye, which is about the aforementioned house in Jamaica. Especially not if you're a British newspaper giving away the latter on DVD bundled with the paper itself, and supporting said offer with a TV advertising campaign, Daily Mail. It tends to get you shouted at by the advertising regulator.Click here for the Nintendo 64 video game adaptation, or click here for the Nintendo Wii remake. Click here for the arcade pinball game from Sega.
Anti-Love Song: The theme song is from the point of view of a woman who's planning to get revenge on her former lover.
Anti-Villain: Trevelyan sets up his elaborate scheme in order to get revenge against the British government for his parents' death.
Artistic License - Gun Safety: When Ouromov shoots Defence Minister Mishkin and a guard with Bond's pistol, he removes the clip but doesn't clear the chamber. Bond could have shot him and walked away. Of course, the whole thing was a pretence to work in a chase scene and then the tank chase scene.
Likewise Q and Bond share a chuckle during the exploding pen demonstration.
Bavarian Fire Drill: Natalya pretends to be a teacher at an IBM showroom and blags her way into getting a private room with a test model of a new IBM computer, complete with a modem — which she then uses to contact Boris.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Natalya narrowly avoids being blown up by a Kill Sat, traverses Siberia on a dogsled, gets held hostage in a stolen helicopter, survives a shootout, a car chase through St. Petersburg, a train crash, and a bomb blast on that train. She never gets a hair out of place.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Bond and Natalya. Justified in that she's been running for her life and has no idea who to trust. After he saves her from the helicopter, helps her fight their way through the archive, rescues her from Trevelyan, and gets them out of an exploding train, she's a lot more receptive to him.
Berserk Button: Boris makes an attempt to crack Natalya's access codes, but quickly blows up from the pressure he's under.
Boris (screaming): "GIVE ME THE CODES NATALYA!!! GIVE THEM TO MEEE!!!11"
Ouromov has Bond at his mercy in the interrogation room and decides to gloat to Bond about his alternate scheme to frame Bond for Mishkin's murder and then shoot him. Not as bad as other examples from the series, as it was only going to take Ouromov another second to kill Bond, but it's just enough time Bond needs.
Bond is captured by Trevelyan's henchman in Cuba, and Trevelyan insists on talking to him rather than just killing him. However, a few minutes later when Natalya is captured, it's revealed that she reprogrammed the GoldenEye satellite to descend and burn up in the atmosphere. Trevelyan then holds Bond at gunpoint to make her fix it.
Boring Insult: Bond uses this on Trevelyan to describe Trevelyan's scheme. What makes this especially hilarious is the look Boris gives Trevelyan following the exchange.
James Bond: You break into the Bank of England via computer, then transfer the money electronically, seconds before you set off the GoldenEye, which erases any record of the transactions. Ingenious. Alec Trevelyan: Thank you, James. Jams Bond: But it still boils down to petty theft. In the end, you're just a bank robber. Nothing more than a common thief.
Bowdlerise: A small amount of content, mostly fight footage, was cut so the film could be released in British cinemas with a 12 rather than a 15 following the lackluster commercial success of the 15-rated Licence to Kill - an uncut DVD edition was later released.
Breaking Speech: Trevelyan often tries to demoralize Bond by pointing out his body count or his many dead lovers.
There's lines between Xenia and Bond in their encounters about the 'pleasure being all theirs' - first after the Casino, where Bond says it, next after the sauna, in which it's more cynically given to Bond by Xenia - despite her actually having an orgasm during the sauna scene and clearly enjoying herself - and finally in the jungles of Cuba, where she beats on Bond and pretty much demands that the pleasure will be all hers.
And Boris' Catchphrase "YES! I AM INVINCIBLE!", which he deploys toward the film's end after declaring it earlier on. Until....
Callback: Boris' situation at the end mirrors Natalya's one earlier, as he survives a destruction of a satellite control station and ends up in something cold.
When Bond first encounters a still living Trevelyan, Bond says 'Do you expect me to feel sorry for you?' to which Trevelyan responds 'No, I expect you to die for me' in reference to the classic 'Do you expect me to talk?' from Goldfinger
Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: Invoked during the sauna scene. Xenia attacks Bond while while he's having a leisurely swim at his hotel. He retrieves his gun from alongside his towel once out of the pool, and sets it down when Xenia begins to kiss him. Conveniently, it disappears when Onatopp starts crushing the life out of him, presumably as not to ruin the tension and provide a too-easy ending to the fight - although Bond curiously retrieves it from the same spot he set it down on earlier at the scene's end.
Chase Scene: This entry avoids the usual Bond movie car chase scene, due to BMW signing on too late for their Product Placement and only providing the film makers with a prototype, so it couldn't be damaged in any way. However, it more than makes up for it by having a chase scene with a tank. One of the most memorable in the Bond franchise.
Bond changing the timers on the explosives from six minutes to three. Trevelyan does it back to him and Natalya when he leaves them to die on the train.
Boris's habit for clicking and spinning pens. The use of the pen grenade activated by clicking it rapidly seems to have a natural conclusion.
The oil leak in Trevelyan's base.
It's a Bond movie, so of course, all the gadgets Bond receives at Q Branch. The only exception is the Watch Laser, which isn't shown or talked about, so it ends up as a Deus ex Machina. It's inadvertently subverted with the BMW. Q explains all of the awesome things it does, and then Bond uses it to .... drive to a meeting point. The reason for this is that not only it entered production too late to write a scene with it, but also BMW lent the only prototype for production of the film, so they couldn't use it in any stunts or action scenes where it might get damaged in any way. Otherwise we would've seen it do what Bond cars usually do.
It's made up for in the tank chase, which is conveniently foreshadowed when Bond is on the run in the Archives Library, as he looks down through the window at the motorpool.
Boris' "spiking" computer attack.
Boris explaining the way "spiking" works to Natalya, which comes in handy when Bond and Natalya use it to find Trevelyan's second base of operations.
Q explaining how his gadgets work. In particular, when Q explains how the belt grappling hook works, and Bond asks "What if I need additional support?" to which Q replies, "It's tested for one." which becomes prominent later when, while preparing to use it, he has Natalya with him and can't use it for both of them. Then she falls through the floor and is captured, thus solving that part of the problem.
Valentin explaining to Bond about the Lienz Cossacks. Bond will reveal it (Alec being a Lienz Cossack) to Ourumov during the train scene. Obviously, Alec betrays Ourumov like the Lienz Cossacks did with the Russians in WWII.
Bond: Ourumov, what has this Cossack promised you? You knew, didn't you? He's a Lienz Cossack.
Wade telling Bond that if he needs help, to get on the horn, and Wade will send in the Marines. Sure he will.
Chekhov's Skill: Boris scoffs that Natalya is a "second-level programmer" who "works on the guidance system." Guess how she disables the Goldeneye?
Collapsing Lair: Trevelyan's base in Cuba. First, the pen grenade combined with the oil leak tear the base apart, then it becomes even worse when the antenna falls on the dish, the wreckage perforates the ceiling and it invades the underground base. Complete destruction.
Comic Book Adaptation: Topps Comics launched a mini-series adapting the film, but it was cancelled after only the first issue and as of 2014 the complete adaptation has never been published.
The cancellation is often rumoured to have something to do with this◊ cover; no-one is entirely certain what actually happened to get both issues pulled rather than making a variant cover, although Topps Comics did not have the best fortune during the 90's.
Comic Book Time: The first Bond film to really avert this. While previous films in the series had made mention of incidents in other films, this is the first where a serious jump in time occurs with nine years passing in between the pre-title scenes and the rest of the film. Emphasis is placed on the fact that the scenes before the title sequence took place during the Cold War and that it's over now.
Comically Missing the Point: Mishkin pretends to be interrogating Bond, but Natalya Simonova is his real target. Bond even suffers a Take That one-liner from Mishkin after Simonova spills the beans.
Complexity Addiction: This is a Bond movie after all. However, unlike most movies in the series this one has a justification.
Trevelyan puts Bond in a helicopter that's about to blow itself up, which he escapes from. Justified, since Trevelyan was not trying to kill Bond (he was pretty sure Bond would get out of it), but intending to incriminate him for crimes Trevelyan has committed or had carried with his "Janus" cover against the Russians with that very helicopter (namely, the shootings at Severnaya and the subsequent cover-up with the bombing). When the Russians show up after the explosion and find Bond with the wreckage, they assume the worst and take him into custody.
It's played straight when Trevelyan tries to kill Bond in the train car rigged to explode in "The same six minutes you gave me." feeling the need to give Bond a Karmic Death, and of course, it's just enough time for Bond to escape. There was no reason Trevelyan couldn't have set the timers just long enough for his chopper to get clear or have used explosives that could be detonated by remote or simply not told Bond about them.
Mishkin: So, by what means shall we execute you, Commander?
Bond: What? No small talk? No chit chat? See, that's the problem with the world these days; nobody takes the time to do a really sinister interrogation anymore.
Bond himself does it. When asked by Valentin why Bond just shot him in the leg and didn't kill him, Bond replies, "Call it professional courtesy.", though there might be more to it than just that. If Bond had killed Valentin before the events of the movie, he wouldn't have an ex-KGB agent to seek out in order to set up a meeting with Janus. Valentin continues to play a major role in The World Is Not Enough as well.
Concert Kiss: At the end of the film, while making out, and thinking they're alone, Natalya asks, "Suppose someone is watching?" to which Bond replies, "There's no one within 25 miles of here." Then Wade suddenly appears, and Bond and Natalya are a little embarrassed but thinking it's not too bad, Wade suddenly calls out a command, to which dozens of Marines, right in the area where Bond and Natalya were making out, blended in with the ground by camouflage, suddenly appear.
Contrived Coincidence: Bond's performance evaluation just happens to take place in the same city where the Tiger helicopter is scheduled for demonstration.
Since M says she sent the 'girl' to evaluate Bond, it seems more likely that Bond was already there on the trail of the Janus syndicate, and his evaluation took place in the field. Although that explanation would simply make the contrived coincidence be the fact that Bond gets into a flirtatious car chase with Xenia, the very person-of-interest he's there to track down...
Cool Car: Bond's tricked-out BMW got to the filmmakers too late to be use in the movie (thus the tank chase) but was so cool that it apparently followed Bond to the USA, where Jack Wade traded an airplane for it.
Creepy Cathedral: Where Natalya goes to meet Boris and gets kidnapped by Trevelyan.
Cut the Juice: The GoldenEye does this by destroying everything electronic in its blast. It's essentially the Kill Sat version of an EMP.
Cyberpunk: Arguably, seeing as the film was made when the Internet was only young and computing was really beginning to take off. This can be seen in Boris being a wizard 'hacker' as well as Natalya demanding to use several IBMs with jargon-infused specifications at a computer shop.
Trevelyan asks Bond if "all those vodka martinis" can drown out the screams of the men he's killed, and suggests his chronic womanizing is a means to forget the numerous women he let perish. Cynical stuff!
The casting of Dame Judi Dench as M. It provided something never before seen in the Bond universe: a female authority figure.
Deus ex Machina: The watch laser that Bond uses to escape from the train car. Not exactly far-fetched since it's Bond movie, but what makes it fall under this category is it not being shown during the scene with Q where all the other gadgets are shown and talked about. Since it's a Bond film, a Type 3 Chekhov's Gun "to write the story out of a corner" variant occurs with the other Q gadgets.
Died Standing Up: After the explosion around him, Boris Grishenko comes out of the desk he used as cover unharmed to shout: “YES! I AM INVINCIBLE!!”; failing to notice the tanks of liquid nitrogen which explodes… freezing him in his current pose.
Digital Destruction: The Ultimate Edition DVD suffers from overly cropped picture. This became fixed for the Blu-Ray Disc, but that disc unfortunately has more severe digital noise reduction than any other James Bond Blu-Ray.
Disproportionate Retribution: "A worldwide financial meltdown, and all so mad little Alec can settle a grudge with the British Government fifty years old."
Double Entendre: Boris' passwords. "They're right in front of you, and can open very large doors." Knockers.This becomes a plot point later, when Natalya is trying to crack one with a string of Double Entendres, but the answer is actually innocuous. "You sit on it, but can't take it with you." Chair.
And of course it wouldn't be a Bond film without 007 using them.
"As you can see, I have no problem with female authority."
"Let's drink to your evaluation. A very... thorough evaluation."
Embarrassing Tattoo: Wade has a tattoo on his leg of a rose and the name of this third wife, Muffy.
EMP: The titular Goldeneye is possibly the best example in modern cinema.
Empty Quiver: The entire plot is set off by the theft of the GoldenEye weapon. (It's a nuclear warhead in orbit, designed to shoot a concentrated EMP at a single target when detonated, rather than making a burst that destroys everything in range of the blast.)
Enemy Mine: Bond gets Valentin to help him by using their common enemy in Trevelyan.
Valentin: He wants me to do him a favor!
Et Tu, Brute?: Bond's reaction to Alec's fake death and his plot to destroy England's financial systems.
Even Evil Has Standards: Xenia's orgasmic massacre of the Severnaya satellite control center's staff is enough to startle General Ourumov, albeit briefly.
Ourumov is also taken aback as Bond tells him that Trevelyan is a Lienz Cossack, and therefore a traitor.
Every Man Has His Price: Wouldn't be Bond without him using money to deal with at least one situation; in this case, getting Valentin to set up a meeting between Bond and Janus.
Wade: So let me get this straight. Jimmy; you shot him in the leg, you stole his car, you took his girl, and now you want Valentin Zukovsky to set you up with Janus? What are you gonna do? Appeal to his heart?
Face-Heel Turn: Alec Trevelyan, but given he appeared to have died in that explosion, it's understandable why it hit Bond very hard to find that Trevelyan has turned against England.
Ouromov, who betrays the Russian government to join the Janus crime syndicate.
Falling Chandelier of Doom: Subverted at the last second at the Severnaya base, when a hanging rack of computer monitors falls from the ceiling onto Natalya, stopping mere centimetres above her body. Though played straight on Trevelyan at the end.
Fanservice: Xenia is oozing with Fanservice, but with Natalya, it's understated. Despite being played by a model, she spends most of the film in very ordinary office clothing and the end in fatigues; there's one brief scene of her in a bikini, but the camera does everything it can to avoid focusing on her body. In face, one of the scant criticisms of the film was that such an obviously beautiful woman spent so much of the film attired so drably.
First Name Basis: Alec Trevelyan is the only Bond villain in the series to address Bond as "James" instead of "Mr. Bond." It may also double as Something Only They Would Say. Bond, already on edge, instinctively points his gun in the direction of the voice, but gradually lowers it in shock and surprise, just as Trevelyan reveals himself.
Ouromov at first addresses Mishkin by his title of "Defense Minister" and does so at first when he is yelling at Mishkin after he bursts in on Mishkin interrogating Bond and Natalya. After a brief argument, he addresses Mishkin by his first name of "Dmitri" when he calms down and asks him a question, prompting Mishkin to yell for the guards.
Our first glimpse of Alec Trevalyan comes as he is pointing a gun at Bond's head shouting at him in Russian.
Some of the lyrics to the theme echo Trevelyan's future motives. Not that this is new for the franchise, but it's used in a more subtle manner to hide the plot twist.
This exchange between Bond and M early on in the film.
M: Avenging Alec Trevelyan will not bring him back. Bond: You didn't get him killed. M: Neither did you.
Then it turns out Trevelyan is alive.
Friend or Idol Decision: When Bond gets on the train, Trevelyan has Ourumov holding a pistol to her head, while he and Xenia stand on the other side of the car, giving Bond a sadistic choice: "So, what's the choice James? Two targets; time enough for one shot: the girl or the mission?"
Funny Background Event: The poor guy in the airbag-equipped phone booth (twice!) and the car airbag in Q's workshop.
He Who Must Not Be Seen: Janus. Prior to Bond meeting him it's mentioned that he hasn't been seen by anyone outside of his syndicate. This keeps people from finding out that he's actually Alec Trevelyan.
Hidden Army Reveal: Just when Bond and Natalya think they're alone, a field full of marines and a sky full of helicopters turn up.
Hollywood Tone-Deaf/Irony as She Is Cast: Irina, Valentin's mistress, played by Minnie Driver, absolutely massacres "Stand By Your Man", which is funny considering Driver is actually a very good vocalist. Then again, it must take talent to sound like you're "strangling a cat", as Bond put it.
Intimate Marks: Bond is told he'll know Agent Jack Wade from a distinctive tattoo he bears. The tattoo turns out to be the word 'Muffy' (the name of Jack's ex-wife) tattooed onto one of Jack's buttocks.
"For England." This line is used by Alec on his and Bond's mission in Archangelesk when they say it to each other. It's first repeated a few minutes later as a Meaningful Echo right before Alec is shot by Ourumov, but it then becomes an ironic echo twice. The first time is after Alec reveals himself as Janus and has Bond shot with a knock out dart. The second is right before Bond kills him by dropping him to his death. This time Alec asks it to Bond, which enables Bond to turn it into a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
Alec Trevelyan: For England, James? Bond: No. For me.
"Set timers. Six minutes." During the Archangelsk mission Alec tells Bond to set the explosives on the gas tanks for six minutes, but when Alec is captured, Bond changes the timers to three minutes. Later, when Bond and Natalya are trapped on Trevelyan's train base, which he's rigged to explode, he comes over the speaker and says "Good luck with the floor, James. I set the timers for six minutes. The same six minutes that you gave me. It was the least I could do for a friend." Which leads Bond to know that Trevelyan means "three minutes".
Boris does this to himself unintentionally with the line "I am invincible!" While at Severnaya programming computers, Boris jumps up and yells the line. He does so again in the same manner after surviving the destruction of Trevelyan's lair right before the liquid nitrogen tanks behind him explode and pour all over him.
After Bonds beats Xenia at cards and introduces himself to her, Bond uses the line "The pleasure, I'm sure, was all mine." Later, after he survives her Murderous Thighs, Bond forces her to take him to Janus. After doing so, she says "Well, once again, the pleasure was all yours." Xenia then attempts to make this an ironic echo later when she attacks Bond in Cuba, saying, "This time, Mr. Bond, the pleasure will be all mine." right before her Karmic Death.
At one point, Trevelyan holds Natalya hostage and threatens to have her killed if Bond doesn't do as he says. Bond's response is "Kill her. She means nothing to me." Later, Trevelyan holds Bond at gunpoint and threatens to shoot him if Natalya doesn't undo her sabotage of the Goldeneye satellite. Natalya coolly replies "Kill him. He means nothing to me." Bond silently but wearily accepts the point.
I Surrender, Suckers: Bond plants explosives in Trevelyan's base while under fire from his henchmen and then surrenders to them, so they'll take him out of the blast radius. However, Trevelyan turns out to be Genre Savvy.
Jack Wade: "I am not here. The CIA has no knowledge, no involvement, nothing to do with your insertion into Cuba, if you catch my drift."
Just Following Orders: Trevelyan is angry at Bond for Bond's loyalty being "always to the mission, never to his friend."
Just Plane Wrong: The real-life Eurocopter Tiger is not, in fact, any less prone to EMP than the aircraft sent after it, does not have an ejection system, and cannot lock missiles onto itself. Vaguely handwaved with the MC of the demonstration announcing it as a stealth prototype with new features.
Just a Stupid Accent: Obviously, all Russians speak English with a Russian accent, even when everyone present is Russian. It's not like they have their own language or anything.
Kansas City Shuffle: After Xenia kills the programmers at Severnaya, she hears Natalya in the kitchen and sees the crooked ceiling vent. She shoots it up and leaves satisfied. Turned out Natalya was hiding in the cupboard the whole time.
"For England, James.", the first time it's echoed by Trevelyan.
After beating Xenia at Baccarat, Xenia tells Bond in regards to the money he's won, "Enjoy it, while it lasts" to which Bond replies that those are the very words he lives by.
When Natalya is held at gunpoint by Ouromov, Bond attempts to bluff by saying "Kill her. She means nothing to me". She gets to say those words right back to his face when they get captured in Cuba, and he's the one being held at gun point.
Meaningful Name / Take That: In the 60's, one of the fiercest critics of the early Bond films was a guy named John Trevelyan. One wonders where Alec Trevelyan got his name.
Mood Whiplash: When Bond, who is responsible for the bullet wound in Valentin's leg that causes him to limp everywhere, asks Valentin for a favour:
Valentin:[Laughing boisterously with his men] He wants a favour! Did you hear that?! He wants me to do him a favour! [Instantly threatening] My knee aches. Every single day. Twice as bad when it is cold. Do you have any idea how long the winter lasts in this country?
Mugged for Disguise: Xenia and another accomplice (implied to potentially be Ourumov) steal the Tiger helicopter during a demonstration this way. Xenia stops the two pilots, tells them she's got a surprise from their friends at the barracks, then pulls a pistol and shoots both of them before stealing their uniforms and helmets.
Boris foolishly plays with Q's grenade pen, which causes a huge explosion, providing a distraction for Bond to escape, though to be fair, there was really no way he could have known.
If they hadn't shot down Bond's plane, he never would have found the secret base. He was even saying how he was about ready to give up just as the missile hit.
Xenia also gives Bond the lead to Trevelyan. By insisting on her usualmethods in order to achieve orgasm during her fight with Bond, she gives him the chance to disable her. She could have just brought a gun to the steam room fight, straddled him and then shot him. But then it wouldn't be enjoyable for Xenia.
Valentin is both one himself, being an ex-KGB agent, and lampshades this about Bond when he asks Bond, "So, still working for MI6 or have you finally decided to join the 21st century?"
Ouromov as well.
Outrun the Fireball: Done by Natalya after the GoldenEye fires on Severnaya. Later by Bond and Natalya in Trevelyan's base in Cuba after Boris unknowingly triggers Q's pen grenade, destroying a ton of the base.
Out with a Bang: Xenia only feels pleasure when killing people, and does it while having sex. This results in a Karmic Death for her. It says a lot to reason that shooting people is probably Xenia's method of masturbation.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Valentin's description of the fate of the Lienz-Cossacks, despite the collateral damage, is as "Still, ruthless people. They got what they deserved."
Trevelyan views his actions with the GoldenEye satellite as this.
Post Rape Taunt: Downplayed. Trevelyan doesn't actually rape Natalya (as far as we see) but does force a kiss on her and then gloat to Bond:
Trevelyan: Lovely girl. Tastes... like strawberries. Bond: I wouldn't know. Trevelyan: I would.
Also handled weirdly with regards to the sauna scene involving Onatopp; The sexual connotations take on a squicky tone when you realize that Xenia basically forces Bond into an unwilling situation to gain sexual pleasure. After the scene? Bond deploys a witty one liner and contributes to the film's ongoing joke between the two of them.
Then again, this isBond we're talking about, so it might not have been so unwilling; he himself called it "foreplay".
Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Bond drops in through a ceiling panel in a toilet stall, and says, "Beg your pardon. I forgot to knock." before knocking out the newspaper-reading soldier who was relieving himself.
Precocious Crush: The film's title song makes mention of this, with the lyrics, "You'll never know how I watched your from the shadows as a child."
Punny Name: This is a Bond movie after all, so at least one of the girls has one. Xenia definitely likes to be Onatopp of things, would you say? That pun is even used in Moneypenny's message to Bond when he's in his car after meeting Xenia at the casino. Now this is the same franchise that brought us Pussy Galore, after all.
This works even better in the German version, where Bond butchers her name into "Ohne Top" (Topless).
Ramming Always Works: Trevelyan attempts this when Bond parks his tank on the track that his train base is heading towards. Trevelyan orders the train to go to full speed to ram Bond. It might have worked if Bond hadn't fired the tank's main gun at the locomotive, derailing it. Xenia is, of course, entirely too excited by this turn of events.
Judi Dench's new M verbally dismantles the new Bond in the first third of the movie. As Bond's first female boss in the series, and as a female considerably older than Bond, M takes the Broken BaseAudience SurrogateUp to Eleven by telling him exactly what she thinks of him as a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" and "a relic of the Cold War". This may be exactly what some viewers thought when the movie premiered, because of world events in between this film and the last one, 1989's Licence to Kill. As in, "this is ANOTHER James Bond movie?"
Bond also gets one from Alec Trevelyan in the statue park.
Russians with Rusting Rockets: The film is one of the best western-made period pieces for the Yeltsin decade, heads above other similar films. Aside from the commonly explored topics like crime and corruption, special attention was paid to the early years of the new Russian Army (who wear Soviet uniforms with Russian insignia on their sleeves), and dissemination of western capital into the country (like the IBM store). Other examples aren't quite as spot on (St. Petersburg, where much of the film is set, is implied to be the capital of independent Russia, or at least home to the Defense Ministry, when it is neither), but it's consistent enough that audiences only familiar with 21st century Russia who never witnessed the transition, might think to be set farther in the past than it is.
Sadistic Choice: "So what's the choice, James? Two targets. Time enough for one shot? The girl or the mission?"
Sarcasm Mode: Wouldn't be Bond without his usual snarking. However, Natalya gets in on it too; "I'm fine, by the way" and "By the way, I'm fine. Thanks for asking." respectively after the two tims Bond rescues her and informs her of a bad situation.
Save the Villain: Subverted. Bond saves him from falling ... and then lets him drop after a brief verbal exchange.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Moneypenny, when she shows up at the office after a date, prompting a reaction from Bond.
M pointing out that the satellite pictures at HQ are live, because unlike the American government, the British government prefers not to get its bad news from CNN.
Ironically, in Skyfall Bond later gets some bad news via CNN.
Only in America. The British version of that movie has him receiving it from the BBC.
Trevelyan is named after a British film censor who didn't like the early Bond films.
The teaser trailer has Pierce Brosnan swagger into the light until the audience can see his face. He looks at the camera and asks if we were expecting someone else. Possibly a reference to the 4th and previous Bond; Timothy Dalton. Alternatively it could be jab at the run-of-the-mill action stars popularised by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, who had dominated the box office prior to GoldenEye and who, according to Brosnan and many others, just weren't as iconic or interesting as Bond.
What happens to Trevelyan. Bond drops him from the bottom point of a high and extremely large satellite dish. Trevelyan survives that...but the actions of Bond and Natalya dump the entire goddamn thing on him, on fire and all, complete with a splendid explosion.
The St. Petersburg chase scene involves Bond facing off against police cars...in a tank.
Tranquil Fury: Although Trevelyan manages to brush it off, Bond clearly hits a nerve when he describes Trevelyan's plan as 'petty theft' and Trevelyan himself as 'a common thief'.
Translation Convention: Despite the fact that it is mostly set in early Post-Soviet Russia, all of the computer screens, The Big Board and the e-mails sent and received are in English. Oddly averted with the actual GoldenEye satellite, which is marked "CCCP". Cyrillic for "USSR".
Unintentional Period Piece: All Bond films are a product of their time, but this one stands out as being particularly dated to 1995, featuring a mid-1990s plot laden with computers, Hollywood Hacking, and the early Internet. Plus, there are a lot of post-Cold War themes unique to the time period.
Variable Terminal Velocity: Bond jumps off a cliff on a motorcycle and somehow manages to catch the plane before it crashes. Yeah. What makes it worse is that the plane is doing a nose-dive with the propeller running, meaning its going faster than if it were merely falling.
Boris, when Natalya has reprogrammed the GoldenEye satellite, resigning its fate to burn up in the atmosphere. Boris tries to reprogram it...but can't break her access codes. He promptly flips his borscht.
Boris: GIVE ME THE CODES, NATALYA! GIVE THEM TO ME!!!
Boris again, losing the connection with the satellite while he has a pistol pointed at his head.
Boris: (violently shaking the monitor) SPEAK TO ME!
Weaponized Car: Bond has a BMW Z3 that is supposedly armed to the teeth but none of its gadgets are actually used in the film. See above under Chekhov's Gun. Despite this, it was still a big sell, and in fact, the limited edition "007 Model" sold out within a day of being available to order.
Weapon Stomp: Bond does this to Trevelyan's AK-47 during the train scene.
When the Russians have taken Bond into custody, believing him to be responsible for the attack on Severnaya as the result of a frame job by the Big Bad, Bond shoots lots of guards during his escape. Even though they're shooting to kill, the guards are decent guys who are only doing their jobs. The sole reason they are trying to stop Bond is because they've been led to believe he is a terrorist with lots of innocent blood on his hands, including that of their Defense Minister after Ourumov kills him and blames it on Bond, though given the situation, Bond's options are limited.
Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: Poor Bond. He's less than pleased with this state of affairs — particularly the part about kissing up to the same Russians he's screwed over in the past. It's never outright stated, but this could easily be the reason Ouromov and Xenia betray the Russian government by working with Trevelyan.
This comes up a few times throughout the movie with characters talking about post-Soviet Russia, how things have changed since the Cold War, and M referring to Bond as "a relic of the Cold War." It's also revealed to be Trevelyan's major motivation for his actions.
Bond: Why? Alec Trevelyan: (laughs) Hilarious question, particularly from you. Did you ever ask why? Why we toppled all those dictators? Undermined all those regimes? Only to come home. 'Good job. Well done. But, sorry, old boy, everything you risked your life and limb for has changed!'
Valentin Zukovsky at one point before Bond approaches him can be heard grumbling irritably about free-market capitalism.
Why Won't You Die?: Trevelyan to Bond on the train; "Why can't you just be a good boy and die?" Bond gives an appropriate response.
"You'll never know how it feel to get so close and be denied."
Would Hit a Girl: The first real time in the series this happens. Bond gets into a fight with Xenia in the steam room and is willing to slam her against a wall and throw her onto the steam rocks. He then knocks her out after she drives him to the statue park. Later, when she attacks him again, he kills her by taking out the helicopter supporting her, making her the first and one of the very few women he has directly killed in the series. Then again, she's one of the few women ever to try to directly kill him. Maybe Elektra King should've taken note before tempting fate by saying "You wouldn't kill me" to Bond.
Wound That Will Not Heal: Non-fantasy version. Valentin uses a cane to walk because of a limp on his right leg that Bond gave him by shooting him.
You! Exclamation: Not said out loud, but the look on Bond's face definitely says this as Janus reveals that he is Alec Trevelyan back from the dead.