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."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 (finally) 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 reactivation 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.For the Nintendo 64 video game adaptation, see here. For the Nintendo Wii remake, see here. For the arcade pinball game from Sega, see here.
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.
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.
This film contains examples of:
- '80s Hair: Pierce Brosnan kept his poofy Remington Steele hairdo (but toned down a bit) for his first outing as James Bond.note
- Activation Sequence: There's an elaborate sequence in which a lake in Cuba is drained to reveal that its entire basin is a satellite dish. Three structures that border the now-dry lake extend to towering heights to deploy the antenna array, with which the anarchists intend to transmit the "fire" command to an EMP satellite. Fortunately, Bond is on hand to screw up the device before the command is relayed.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Q can't help but laugh at Bond's "writing's on the wall" joke.
- Air-Vent Passageway:
- Bond infiltrates the Arkangel facility through an air vent dropping into a toilet stall.Bond: Beg your pardon, I forgot to knock.
- Subverted later in the film when Xenia, at the Severnaya facility, shoots the vent when she sees that the cover has been pushed out of place, but Natalya is hiding in the cupboard.
- Bond infiltrates the Arkangel facility through an air vent dropping into a toilet stall.
- The Alleged Car: Jack Wade's Zaporozhec, whose engine seems to have a love-hate relationship with Jack's sledgehammer.
- Always Save the Girl: There is a double subversion in the train scene because 007 tells Alec to go ahead and kill Natalya, but Bond chooses to save her life first even though he knows Trevelyan and Xenia will most likely escape.
- All There in the Script: In the script, M's real name is Barbara Mawdsley.
- And Starring: Judi Dench received the "And [her name] as M" billing.
- And This Is For...:
- M warns Bond against employing this trope when she sends him on a mission where he is sure to cross paths with the man who presumably murdered Trevelyan in the film's prologue. "Avenging Alec Trevelyan will not bring him back."
- A more subtle version as Bond faces off with former friend Alec Trevelyan. Earlier in the film Alec had referenced a small tradition they shared during a dangerous mission: "For England, James?" "For England, Alec." As Alec is about to die, he says again, "For England, James?" Bond responds, "No. For me."
- 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 magazine but doesn't clear the chamber. Bond could have shot him right there and walked away. Of course, the whole thing was a pretense to work in a chase scene and then the tank chase scene.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Need I remind you, 007, that you have a license to kill, not to break the traffic laws."
- The Atoner: Trevelyan asks Bond, "...if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect," which indicates that Bond is always trying to make up for his past mistakes.
- Attempted Rape: Xenia Onatopp tries to do this twice to Bond, although he eventually overpowers her and brushes it off with typical flippancy both times.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
- Between M and 007. Despite delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Bond and even saying she has no problem sending him to his death as long as it was worthwhile, M's farewell to him is:
- She also makes a point of reminding him that Alec Trevelyan's death was not his fault.
- Likewise, Q and Bond share a chuckle during the exploding pen demonstration.
- Bad Boss: Colonel Ourumov has no qualms about executing his own men if they slip up, as seen during the standoff with Bond in the chemical plant. Then of course, there's his later treachery...
- Bavarian Fire Drill:
- Played with when Ouromov steals the GoldenEye keys. He does actually have the authority to access them, as Bond notes later, but bluffs his way around his obviously unsanctioned visit by pretending it's a surprise inspection, getting the base commander to happily turn over the keys as part of the test.
- 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 and her make-up remains pristine.
- Bond also manages to be impeccably dressed despite holding a gun on Xenia.
- 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: GIVE ME THE CODES NATALYA!!! GIVE THEM TO ME!
- Big Bad: Janus/Alec Trevelyan
- Big "NO!": Boris when the Goldeneye satellite burns up and explodes.
- Blasphemous Boast: In a minor example, Trevelyan tells Ouromov "...in 48 hours, you and I will have more money than God."
- Blatant Lies: Bond telling Alec, "Kill her. She means nothing to me." If Bond truly didn't care about Natalya, he wouldn't have asked, "Where is she?" earlier. It's also clear throughout the scene that Trevelyan is very confident that Bond will try to save Natalya first.
- Bond One-Liner:
- With Xenia's death, Bond quips to Natalya, "She always did enjoy a good squeeze."
- Earlier, at the Severnaya massacre, Xenia tries for this — "I had to ventilate someone." Unfortunately for her and Ourumov, Natalya wasn't actually hiding in the ventilation shaft.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: This is a Bond movie after all.
- 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 he's obviously thinking on his feet, and it was only going to take Ouromov another second to kill Bond... but that's more than enough time for Bond to turn the tables.
- 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.
- The worst case is during the climax, where Trevelyan manages to start overpowering Bond during their final showdown and succeeds in grabbing Bond's gun, training it over him. Instead of just firing immediately, Trevelyan holds it on him for several seconds and then starts to smirk as he begins to gloat, which gives Bond the chance to notice that he's directly over the antenna platform and kick the ladder to it out, sliding down it to the platform while Trevelyan wastes the gun's remaining ammo trying to shoot at the space Bond had previously just been standing at.
- Bookshelf Dominoes: Bond and Natalya push over a row of bookshelves to block a door.
- 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.
James Bond: But it still boils down to petty theft. In the end, you're just a bank robber. Nothing more than a common thief.
Trevelyan: You always did have a small mind, James. It’s not just erasing bank records, it’s everything on every computer in Greater London. Tax records. Stock market. Credit ratings. Land registries. Criminal records. In sixteen minutes and 43... 42 seconds, the United Kingdom will re-enter the Stone Age.
- Alec smugly points out that it's a lot more than banks; the GoldenEye will wipe out all of the UK's records, effectively annihilating the country that betrayed his parents.
Bond: A world-wide financial meltdown. And all so mad little Alec can settle a score with the world, 50 years old.
- Bottomless Magazines: Exactly how long is Xenia standing there machine gunning the programmers on a single magazine? How long can Bond fire an AK-74 before reloading? Attempted to be averted by showing Bond pick up new AK-74s as he goes.
- 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.Alec: Oh please, James, spare me the Freud! I might as well ask if all the vodka martinis ever silence the screams of the men you've killed. Or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women... for all the dead ones you failed to protect.
- Brick Joke:
- Xenia and Bond make back and forth quips in their encounters about the "pleasure being all theirs"—first after their meeting at the casino, where Bond says it; next after the sauna, in which it's more cynically given to Bond by Xenia; 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....
- 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.
- Camping a Crapper: Bond knocks out a guard in a men's room.
- 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.
- Captain Crash: Natalya is utterly convinced that Bond destroys every vehicle that he gets into; she's not entirely wrong. He drives a motorcycle off a cliff into a nosediving plane and barely straightens it in time; he barely manages to eject out of a helicopter before its own missiles destroy it; he wrecks a huge portion of St. Petersburg in a tank by ramming right through buildings; he derails an armoured train by firing a tank shell at it, and then uses the tank as a roadblock; he barely escapes the booby-trapped train before it blows up; then, in Cuba, the plane he's flying gets shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
- Car Fu: During the tank chase scene, General Ourumov directs his driver on usage of a car's bumper.Ourumov: Use the bumper! That's what it's for!
- Carpet of Virility: Brosnan's Bond is the first since Connery's to have a hairy chest, as a couple of Shirtless Scenes show.
- The Casanova: Bond of course. Though in this film it gets lampshaded a few times. M gives Bond a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and calls him "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur" in regards to his womanizing ways. Trevelyan asks Bond if he "found forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect." Finally. Natalya gets angry at Bond for treating her like a Girl of the Week.
- Catch-Phrase: Beyond Bond's classics, there are:
- 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.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Bond changing the timers on the explosives from six minutes to three. Trevelyan gives Bond and Natalya "the same six minutes you game me" 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 descendent) to Ourumov during the train scene partly to try to break the Mexican Standoff situation. 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.
Alec Trevelyan: It's in the past...
Bond: He'll betray you! Just like everyone else.
Ourumov: Is this true?
Alec Trevelyan: What's true is that in 48 hours you and I will have more money than God...
- 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." She disables the last satellite by ordering it to deorbit and burn up over the Atlantic Ocean.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Bond genuinely cares about Natalya and her well-being, and he's very affectionate and playful towards her. He even gives her a several Eskimo kisses near the end, which people usually only do when they sincerely like (and not just lust after) a romantic partner.
- 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. And then the liquid nitrogen tanks burst.
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Topps Comics launched a mini-series adapting the film, but it was cancelled after only the first issue and 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 '90s.
- 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:
- Trevelyan puts Bond in a helicopter that's about to blow itself up, which he escapes from. This one has a justification, 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 explosion). 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.
- This gets a Lampshade Hanging by Bond when he's being interrogated by Mishkin.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 returns to be a supporting ally of Bond's in The World Is Not Enough as well, where he even saves Bond from Elektra King's garrote chair.
- Composite Character: After the release of GoldenEye, critics and fans have observed that Pierce Brosnan's interpretation of 007 is an amalgamation of his predecessors; he has Connery's charisma, Lazenby's vulnerability, Moore's humour and Dalton's grittiness.
- Computer Equals Monitor: Boris, toward the end. Then again, he is visibly frazzled.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool Train: Trevelyan's missile train base.
- 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.
- Cutting the Knot: When Natalya spikes Boris to trace the new GoldenEye facility, Boris cuts the signal by tearing out all the boards for the mainframe. It doesn't quite work, as the trace goes on long enough for Natalya to narrow it down to Cuba and from there figure out the only place big enough to hide a dish of the necessary size.
- 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.
- Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Some of the various Russian soldiers gunned down.
- Deadpan Snarker: Samantha Bond's portrayal of Moneypenny is the snarkiest of the four to date.
- Death by Irony: Xenia, who enjoying crushing men to death, was crushed to death herself by a tree when Bond shoots down the helicopter that was holding the safety harness that Xenia was in. As Bond himself Lampshades, "She always did enjoy a good squeeze."
- Death by Looking Up:
- Subverted by Natalya in Severnaya when the set of computer screens falling from the ceiling stop right above her.
- Trevelyan, when he lands in the drained reservoir and the cradle falls right on top of him.
- Decon-Recon Switch: Begins by asking if Bond's still relevant in a post-Cold War world. Answers that question with "He drives a goddamn tank around St. Petersburg."
- Deconstructor Fleet: The header quote nicely sums up Bond's uneasiness with The '90s. The series had trouble finding its niche in a politically-correct world; hence, Bond literally finds himself a man out of time:
- 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. She then proceeded to prove just how good a choice that was by outlasting Brosnan's Bond by several films.
- Destroy the Product Placement: Bond destroys a Perrier truck with the tank.
- Deus ex Machina: The watch laser that Bond uses to escape from the train car. Not exactly far-fetched since it's a 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.
- Dirty Communists: Referenced throughout the film, as the characters talk about the Cold War and the post-Cold War world.
- Disposable Love Interest: Trevelyan asks Bond "if you've found forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect."
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the words of Bond himself, Alec's plan consists of "A worldwide financial meltdown, and all so mad little Alec can settle a grudge with the British Government fifty years on."
- Double Entendre:
- Boris' passwords. "They're right in front of you, and can open very large doors." (The riddle's answer is "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."
- Drink Order: When Bond and Xenia are in the casino, Bond orders his usual vodka martini, shaken not stirred, and Xenia orders the same, resulting in this exchange.Bond: How do you take it?
Xenia: Straight up, with a twist.
Bond: Your predecessor kept some cognac in the top d—
- This is also the film in which the new M states her preference:
M: I prefer bourbon.
- Dueling Hackers: Boris' favorite pastime at Severnaya when he isn't doing what he's supposed to do.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Trevelyan's lair in Cuba. Doubles as an Underwater Base while it's submerged.
- 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!
- Establishing Character Moment: For this iteration of M, it would be when she offers Bond a drink. While the previous M prefered cognac, her preference has turned to bourbon. From French brandywine to American whiskey.
- 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. He's also taken aback as Bond tells him that Alec Trevelyan is a Lienz Cossack, and therefore the child of a traitor. It's actually slightly odd that this shakes Ouromov, as he already knows Trevelyan is a traitor to a former employer, and had planned to kill one of his colleagues while enacting his exit strategy.
- 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 Trevelyan.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?
Bond: No, his wallet.
- Evil Counterpart/ Evil Former Friend: Alec Trevelyan, as a renegade 00 agent who was Bond's friend.
- Explosive Instrumentation: Severnaya and "Cuban Severnaya."
- Eye Take:
- Ourumov was... more than a little disconcerted by Xenia orgasming when she was gunning down all the Servenaya techs.
- Bond also has one in the steam room, where he seems a little flustered by Onatopp's viciousness and apparently enjoying being roughly shoved into a wall.
- Face–Heel Turn:
- Alec Trevelyan. Given he appeared to have died in that explosion, it's understandable why it hit Bond very hard to find that Trevelyan has turned traitor.
- Ouromov, who betrays the Russian government to join Trevelyan's 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. Played straight on Trevelyan at the end, with a radio antenna dish.
- 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 final act in fatigues. There's one brief scene of her in a bikini, but with the exception of a view of her crotch area, the camera mostly avoids focusing on her body. In fact, one of the scant criticisms of the film was that such an obviously beautiful woman spent so much of the film attired so drably.
- Fatal Flaw: Alec remarks that women are Bond's greatness weakness.
- Female Gaze: There are several gratuitous shots of Bond leisurely swimming in the pool of his hotel. It's a mix of close-ups of his face and upper chest, plus wide shots of his body which serve very little purpose other than to demonstrate just how Tall, Dark, and Handsome and wet he is. This particular set-up makes Bond appear much more erotic during his Interplay of Sex and Violence fight with Xenia (which includes several sexually suggestive lines, including "That depends on your definition of safe sex" and "No, no, no. No more foreplay") because he's still dripping wet and only dressed in his swimming trunks.
- Final Exchange: Between Bond and his Face Heel Turned friend, Alec Trevelyan:Alec: For England, James? *Bond drops him off a giant satellite dish*Bond: No. For me.
- First-Name Basis:
- Alec Trevelyan was the only Bond villain up until this point in the series to address 007 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.
- For Want of a Nail: Two utterly mundane tasks—getting a cup of coffee, going outside for a cigarette—save Natalya's and Boris', respectively, lives when Ouromov and Onatopp show up at Severnaya. though we later learn, this was deliberate on Boris' part.
- When Ourumov and Xenia steal the GoldenEye equipment and set the satellite to fire on Severnaya, look at The Big Board carefully; the second satellite's orbital path is clearly visible.
- 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 becomes this after it turns out Trevelyan is alive:M: Avenging Alec Trevelyan will not bring him back.
Bond: You didn't get him killed.
M: Neither did you.
- 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?"
- Fruit Cart: A Perrier truck is plowed by Bond's tank during the tank chase.
- Funny Background Event: The poor guy in the airbag-equipped phone booth (twice!) and the car airbag in Q's workshop.
- Gallows Humor:
Q: Don't say it.
- When Q demonstrates the pen-grenade to Bond, by sticking it in a suit-clad dummy's pocket and running. After the explosion:
Bond: ...the writing's on the wall?
Q: Along with all the rest of him! [laughs]
Wade: Are you sure you wanna do this? The last guy who dropped in there uninvited went home air freight in very small boxes.Bond: Make sure they send me home first class.
- When Wade is dropping Bond off at Valentin's lounge:
Mishkin: So, by what means shall we execute you, Commander?
- When Bond is being interrogated by Mishkin.
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.
- Gender Flip: Judi Dench becomes the first female M in the series. Mind, she's a new official inheriting the position after the previous M retired, rather than the same character's role being recast, like Bond himself.
- Girl of the Week:
- Lampshaded. Natalya becomes angry at Bond for treating her like this. (This doesn't stop it from occurring.)
- Minor gender inversion; Xenia seems to treat Bond in this way, albeit in her unique fashion.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Alec Trevelyan's right cheek is heavily scarred from the explosion, but the left side of his face does not have matching scars, which is the reason he chooses "Janus" as his alias.
- Go Out with a Smile: The fate of the Canadian admiral that was at the casino with Xenia. When Bond finds his body stuffed into a closet, well, the look on his face tells us just how much he really enjoyed his good squeeze...
- Boris uses his catchphrase and smiles as he is frozen by nitrogen tanks.
- Grappling Hook Belt: One of Q's gadgets, which, of course, Bond uses to get himself out of a tight spot.
- Groin Attack: Narrowly averted. Valentin shoots between Bond's legs when Bond disparages his mistress' singing, but doesn't hit him. Intentional, considering it was fired from barely 50 cm away.
- Gunship Rescue: Trevelyan tries to call one in to get rid of Bond while on top of the transmitter. It then turns into one for Bond, as Natalya stowed away and pops up to point a gun at the pilot's head.
- Handicapped Badass: Played with in the scene in Q branch. Bond encounters Q in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast. However, it's just one of his gadgets; a concealed rocket launcher.Bond: Good morning, Q. Sorry about the leg. Skiing?
Q: [fires a rocket out of the cast and blows up a target] Hunting.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Bond and Natalya.
- Hell-Bent for Leather/Villainous Fashion Sense: Pretty much all of Trevelyan's troops wear the same clothe uniform. The one time Xenia is seen in one (the attack at Severnaya, and her death scene), she is wearing a custom leather version.
- 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.
- High-Altitude Battle: The final fight between Bond and Trevelyan on top of the transmitter dish.
- High Concept: In-universe, Bond describes Trevelyan's plan as just "petty theft" and Trevelyan as a "common thief".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Not an entirely straight example, but Trevelyan being crushed by the transmitter dish certainly counts.
- Hollywood Hacking: Like you wouldn't believe. Still, it was 1995, and some of it can be attributed to Technology Marches On.
- 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 real talent to sound like you're strangling a cat.
- Homage: The spectacular Bond vs. Trevelyan fight was deliberately choreographed to be this to the equally excellent Bond vs Grant fight in From Russia with Love—in particular, note the part where Bond blocks Trevelyan's blows in a manner almost identical to the way Bond blocked Grant's.
- Hope Spot: After "Cuban Severnaya" explodes, Boris survives and yells "YEESSS! I AM INVINCIBLE!". Then vats of liquid nitrogen explode and freeze him.
- Human Shield: Ouromov uses Natalya as one.
- If I Wanted X, I Would Y: M putting down Tanner's "Queen of Numbers" quip by saying if she wanted sarcasm she could get it from her children.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Trevalyan gets a bit unwelcome-touchy with Natalya after she's been captured and they're on the train, eventually forcing a kiss on her. She responds by giving him a smack on the face.Trevalyan: You know, James and I shared everything. Absolutely everything. You'll like it where we're going. You'll even learn to like me.
- Indecisive Deconstruction: See Decon-Recon Switch. A lot of the self-critiquing moments are offset by puns and gadgetry straight out of the Connery and Moore films.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Ourumov takes several swigs from his flask during the St. Petersburg chase. Can't blame him; it's not everyday you get pursued by a tank....
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Bond and Xenia's fight in the steam room.Xenia: You don't need the gun, Commander.
Bond: That depends on your definition of "safe sex."
Bond: No, no, no. No more foreplay.
- There's also:
- Invincible Villain: Boris thinks he is one. He's not.Boris: YES! I am ''EENVEENCEEBULL![tanks of liquid nitrogen explode, freezing Boris in place]
- 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.
- Iron Lady: "I hear the new M ... is a lady?"
- Ironic Echo:
- "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 Bond 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- It's Personal:
- Alec Trevelyan's motive for terrorism - his parents were sold out by the British government. Although Bond later suggests that Alec is merely using that as a thinly-veiled excuse to be a thief.
- Bond's motive for going after Trevelyan later in the film: "No. For me."
- Before leaving for Russia, M tells Bond, "Don't make it personal," in regards to Ourumov.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Bond remarks to Trevelyan, "It's too easy", having noticed that they've had zero difficulty in breaching what should be a very secure facility. He's right, of course, since the whole thing is a setup for Trevelyan's defection.
- I Was Never Here: Jack Wade, before giving Bond a small plane, warns him "I am not here. The CIA has no knowledge, no involvement, nothing to do with your insertion into Cuba, if you catch my drift."
- Jerkass Façade: Natalya calls Bond out for it.Natalya: How can you act like this? How can you be so cold?
Bond: It's what keeps me alive.
Natalya: No, it's what keeps you alone.
- 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.
- 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.
- Karmic Death:
- Xenia enjoying a good squeeze.
- Alec Trevelyan attempts to kill Bond in this manner by giving Bond the same six minutes that Bond gave to him.
- Kick the Dog: Ouromov's moment is in the chemical plant when he shoots a Soviet soldier who gets nervous and fires on Bond using chemical tanks as cover after Ouromov orders the soldiers not to. Possibly justified, as Ouromov is worried that the resulting explosion/chemical leak will kill them all.
- Kill It with Ice: What happens to Boris.
- Kill Sat: The weapon GoldenEye itself.
- Lame Pun Reaction:
- Lampshade Hanging: Cold War spy drama and modern gender politics had moved on from the Bond template, prompting a lot of this throughout the film as well as lots of Genre Savvyness. Trevelyan asks Bond if their missions "For England" were really worth it, and whether all the vodka martinis and willing women dull the pain. The new M is a woman and considers Bond a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur" and "relic of the Cold War." Natalya becomes angry at being the Girl of the Week. Even Moneypenny tells Bond she has a life outside him. However, despite bringing up all these points, the formula plays out as usual.
- Large Ham:
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While Natalya and James are making out, Natalya says, "Suppose someone is watching?" Then Wade, two dozen marines, and three helicopters emerge from cover.
- Leave No Witnesses: After acquiring the GoldenEye key, Ouromov has Xenia machine gun the Severanya facility's entire staff.
- Licensed Pinball Table: Click here.
- Lighter and Softer: Pierce Brosnan was a considerably less serious Bond, using much more humor than his predecessor, Timothy Dalton.
- Literal Metaphor: Bond and Q invoke this trope when demonstrating the pen bomb.Bond: They always said "the pen is mightier than the sword".
Q: Thanks to me, they were right.
- MacGuffin: The GoldenEye key.
- Made of Explodium: Yes, it's Bond, but a steel radio dish?
- Man Child: M describes Bond's brand of charisma as "boyish," and Q says "Grow up, 007!" in exasperation. Alec asks Bond, "Why can't you just be a good boy and die?", and Natalya accuses him of being "boys with toys."
- Meaningful Echo:
- "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.
- Multi-Track Drifting
- Murder-Suicide: Trevelyan's father killed his wife and then himself from the shame of the British government's betrayal and survivor guilt.
- Murderous Thighs: Xenia kills targets by making them enjoy a good squeeze from her thighs mid-coitus.
- The New Russia: The first film set post-USSR.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- 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 usual methods 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.
- Nobody Poops: Averted near the beginning. Bond sneaks into the chemical weapons plant through the bathroom and knocks out a guard taking a dump.Bond: Beg your pardon, forgot to knock.
- Noodle Incident: Between Alec Trevelyan, Valentin Zukovsky, and the Janus syndicate, it feels like the audience has missed a film or two.
- No One Could Survive That!: Alec Trevelyan in the Soviet chemical plant pretended to get his head blown off by General Ourumov, then Bond blows up the chemical plant, which Bond naturally assumes burned Trevelyan's body. The only damage Trevelyan takes is a permanently scarred right cheek.
- Not a Game: Natalya says this to Boris in Cuba about the use of the GoldenEye when she's captured.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: German actor Gottfried John as General Ourumov doesn't really appear to be attempting a Russian accent, but fortunately he doesn't sound too obviously German so most English speaking viewers probably wouldn't notice. This is also the case with French actor Tcheky Karyo as Russian Defence Minister Dimitri Mishkin, but to be fair, it's probably not easy to speak in a language that's not your own and do a foreign accent at the same time.
- Not Quite Dead: One of the Severnaya techs survives Xenia's massacre, and once Xenia and Ourumov notice he's alive, he manages to push the red mayday button before Xenia shoots him dead for real.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Played with, Trevelyan survives the fall from the antenna, but it crushes him a minute later, killing him before the audience knows if the fall was fatal.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Defense Minister Mishkin thinks this is the case with the GoldenEye, but he is oh so wrong.
- Obsession Song/Stalker With a Crush: "You'll never know/how I watched you from the shadows as a child..." Tina Turner's Thematic Theme Tune, written by Bono and The Edge, has some pretty stalkerrific lyrics.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Bond when he sees Alec being held at gunpoint by Ouromov.
- Natalya when she realises Severnaya is about 4 seconds away from destruction. Then, kaboom.
- Ouromov knows he's in deep trouble when Mishkin tells him that Natalya, and not just Boris, survived the destruction of Severnaya, meaning he has another witness to take care of.
- Natalya again. She's relieved to find Boris at the church where they planned to meet, then sees Xenia (who she recognizes from the Severnaya shoot-out) with him and in about one second realizes he's in on the whole thing.
- Bond in the Tiger helicopter when he sees the missiles it's just fired have just turned around and are now heading back to it.
- Ouromov again when he sees the tank crash through the wall. The novelization expands on this and explains that Ouromov is a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan War and had a bad experience with a tank.
- Boris after receiving the message on his computer telling him the transmitter dish is malfunctioning.
- Obligatory Joke:Natalya: Hurry up! Get us out of here!
Bond: [struggling against bonds] I'm a little tied up!
- Old Soldier:
- Bond, which is part of M's verbal beatdown of him when she refers to him as "A relic of the Cold War".
- 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, whose age is showing.
- 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.
- Playing Possum: During their escape from the Cuban satellite facility, Natalya plays dead in an elevator to lure in a guard, allowing Bond to ambush him from the ceiling and take his weapons.
- The Pen Is Mightier: Lampshaded as Bond is given the exploding ballpoint pen from Q:Bond: They always said the pen was mightier than the sword.
Q: Thanks to me, they were right!
- Percussive Maintenance: After Wade's car breaks while transporting James Bond, Wade tinkers with it, finally asking Bond for a hammer ("No, [not that one,] the sledge.") He leans over and lightly taps the engine with the gigantic hammer, then steps back and swings it full strength, making it run again.
- Post-Rape Taunt:
Trevelyan: Lovely girl. Tastes... like strawberries.
- Trevelyan doesn't actually rape Natalya (as far as we see) but does force a kiss on her and then gloat to Bond:
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 is Bond 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 you from the shadows as a child."
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Wouldn't be Bond without them.Helicopter Pilot: I think I've gone to heaven.
Xenia: Not yet. [shoots both pilots and steals their uniforms]
Alec Trevelyan: For England, James?
- Prior to Trevelyan's death:
Bond: No. For me.
- Product Placement: Bond's BMW. Also, the Perrier truck.
- 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? It's even used in Moneypenny's message to Bond when he's in his car after meeting Xenia at the casino. (This works even better in the German version, where Bond butchers her name into "Ohne Top", "topless".) Now this is the same franchise that brought us Pussy Galore, after all.
- Railing Kill: Several of the bad guys in the opening sequence meet this fate.
- 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. This does succeed in destroying the tank, but Bond fires the tank's main gun at the locomotive first, causing it to derail when it hits the tank. Xenia is, of course, entirely too excited by this turn of events.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- 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 Base Audience Surrogate Up 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mishkin, who lightens up after issuing some requisite threats to Bond.
- Red Scare: Subverted. Ourumov looks like he's trying to revive the Soviet Union with himself at the head. However, he's only trying to make money by assisting Trevelyan's real plan.
- Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Alec Trevelyan chooses the name "Janus" in reference to his facial scars.
- Renegade Russian: Ourumov and the Janus Syndicate seem like this, but are just criminals.
- Retraux: The Russia scenes look very much like they could be straight out of a Soviet-era work, even if everything has changed.
- The Reveal: Alec Trevelyan revealing himself to be both still alive and Janus, which the movie's trailer gave away.
- Revealing Cover-Up: Bond has just about concluded that Trevelyan's hidden satellite dish is in another location when they shoot down his plane.
- Revenge Before Reason: Bond points out that Trevelyan's grand plan would create massive economic chaos, all to get revenge on the British government of fifty years ago.
- Rewatch Bonus: Bond and Trevelyan having zero difficulty breaching the facility, as well as Ouromouv allowing Bond to escape makes perfect sense when you realize the whole thing was a cover for Trevelyan's defection
- Right Behind Me: Happens to Tanner with M right as he's describing her as the "Evil Queen of Numbers."
- Also to Natalya, even though she isn't badmouthing or even talking about the person in question. Not one second after hugging Boris, relieved to see him alive, she sees Xenia behind her and instantly realizes he's in on the whole plot.
- Right Under Their Noses: Xenia and an accomplice steal the Tiger helicopter by shooting the real pilots, taking their uniforms, and taking off during a demonstration.
- Rule of Sexy: Strictly speaking, the first fight scene between Bond and Xenia didn't have to occur near the pool of his hotel, but it did allow for a few Female Gaze shots of Bond swimming, and in addition to only being dressed in his swimming trunks, he's dripping wet during their confrontation. It's strongly implied that Xenia may be nude underneath her bathrobe.
- Russian Guy Suffers Most: Trevelyan's motive.
- 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 times 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.
- Pierce Brosnan Is About To Shoot You
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Moneypenny, when she shows up at the office after a date, prompting a reaction from Bond.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Sort of. Trevelyan asks Bond if "all those vodka martinis silence the screams of all the men you've killed".
- Shirtless Scene: Bond gets two: the first is during the pool scene, and the second is when he's in bed with Natalya.
- Shoe Phone: Played straight (explosive pen) and parodied ("Don't touch that! That's my lunch!").
- Sociopathic Soldier: Xenia fits the soldier part by being an ex-Soviet fighter pilot, and the sociopath part is made very evident throughout the movie.
- So You Were Saying...?:
- Spoiler Opening: The fact that Sean Bean is billed first in the opening credits does make Trevelyan coming back alive a little less surprising. Worth noting that this film came out before Bean made it really big in The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, so at the time, few viewers would have been able to pick him out of a lineup, much less recognize his name.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Addressed by M when she accuses Bond of being "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur."
- Stock Foreign Names: Boris and Natalya, almost the same ones used in Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- Super Window Jump: This is how the tank chase begins.
- Surprise Vehicle: At the end, three helicopters overhead.
- Survivor Guilt: Trevelyan parents survived the betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks, leading to Trevelyan's father ending up killing himself and his wife.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Wade delivers Bond a plane and a bag of tools while insisting that neither he nor the CIA are aware of Bond's plan to fly into Cuba.
- Take That!:
- 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 in most releases.
- 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 popularized 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.
- Tank Goodness: So awesome the next movie decided to counter with Bond driving a smaller vehicle (a motorcycle).
- Tempting Fate:
- Boris dismisses any chance Natalya has of disabling the GoldenEye satellite, deriding her as a moron and a second level programmer who only has access to the guidance system. A guidance system is pretty important for a satellite, as they find out moments later when her program kicks in and sets it to burn up in the atmosphere.
- Boris boasts "I AM EENVEENCIBLE!" Cue liquid nitrogen bath.
- The Pen Is Mightier: The pen bomb.Q: Thanks to me, they were right!
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
- 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.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: Wouldn't be Bond without him ordering a vodka martini, shaken not stirred. Trevelyan lampshades this when he asks him "if all those vodka martinis silence the screams of all the men you've killed".
- Trailers Always Spoil: The Reveal that the head of the Janus Syndicate is Alec Trevelyan back from the dead would have made an intriguing plot twist, if everything referencing the movie hadn't spoiled it.
- 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. (Boris even clues one of his passwords with a pun that makes sense only in English.) Oddly averted with the actual GoldenEye satellite, which is marked "CCCP" (the Cyrillic acronym for the USSR).
- Try Not to Die: M's last words to Bond before he heads to Russia are, "Come back alive."
- Two-Keyed Lock: Needed to operate the GoldenEye satellites.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Unusual for a Bond Girl, Natalya spends most of the first act in her own subplot, surviving the GoldenEye blast and figuring out a way to reach Boris, and doesn't actually meet Bond until about halfway through the movie.
- Unconventional Vehicle Chase: After Natalya gets taken by Ourumov in a car, Bond steals one of the tanks in the yard and pursues them, with the tank causing sizable damage to the buildings around town.
- Underwater Base: Trevelyan's base in Cuba. Double as an Elaborate Underground Base after it emerges.
- Universal Driver's License: Bond drives a tank like a pro.
- 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.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- We Can Rule Together: Subverted by Trevelyan's towards Bond.Alec Trevelyan: Oh, by the way, I did think of asking you to join my little scheme, but somehow I knew that 007's loyalty was always to the mission. Never to his friend.
- Wham Line: In-universe, although not so much out of it. We hear, "Hello, James," and Bond just about goes into shock as Alec Trevelyan steps out of the shadows.
- What Measure Is a Mook?:
- 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.
- Minor Lampshade Hanging by Alec Trevelyan when he asks Bond "if all those vodka martinis silence the screams of all the men you've killed," implying that Bond does actually feel guilt about killing mooks.
- 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 and how things have changed since the Cold War, like Zukovsky grumbling irritably about free-market capitalism before Bond approaches him; 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!'
- 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.Bond: You first. [gestures to Xenia] You, second.
- Woman Scorned: The narrator of the film's title song."You'll never know how it feel to get so close and be denied."
- Would Hit a Girl: 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 one of the very few women he has directly executed in the series. Then again, Xenia is one of the few women who has tried to directly murder him. Maybe Elektra King should've been taking notes 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.
- You Have Failed Me: Wouldn't be a Bond movie without this, in Trevelyan's response when Ourumov delivers Natalya to him:Alec Trevelyan: Either you've brought me the perfect gift, General Ouromov, or you've made me a very unhappy man.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Immediately after having the officer in charge of Severnaya bring him the GoldenEye key, Ouromov has Xenia kill not just him, but also the entire Severnaya staff.
- You Killed My Father: Alec Trevelyan's motive is revenge against the British government for betraying his parents.
- You Taste Delicious: Trevelyan licks the cheek of his hostage, Natalya, and says she "tastes like strawberries."