These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Badass Decay: At the beginning of the film it seems to have happened with Bond. The mission at the dam doesn't go so well, he's belittled for his womanizing, the Russians no longer take him seriously, the new M looks down on him, even Moneypenny has grown tired of his flirting. Then, he starts tearing through St Petersburg in a tank.
Also subverted in real life. Pre-production, many of the financial backers and studio executives were worried that Bond might not have much of a purpose in the Post-Cold War world.
Hell, the 'sex' scene with the Admiral is nothing compared to how Bond reacts during his 'sex scene' with Xenia in the sauna. Check out his expression upon being trapped by Onatopp's Murderous Thighs.
It should be noted this is the only time "safe sex" is ever mentioned, in any context, in the series' entire history.
Xenia Onatopp: You don't need the gun... Commander.
James Bond: Well that depends on your definition of "safe sex".
Foe Yay Shipping: 006 and 007. They used to share EVERYTHING. It doesn't help that their reaction to each others' betrayal — real or perceived — comes off looking more like scorned lovers. Yaoi Fangirls took that and RAN.
It also helps that the theme song is explicitly about a spurned lover looking for revenge.
Harsher in Hindsight: M tells Bond "If you think I don't have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong. I've no compunction about sending you to your death. But I won't do it on a whim.". After Skyfall, you'll see that's no idle threat.
Lessened by the fact Skyfall openly acknowledges Silva was in over his head with the work he was doing. In Goldeneye, it's more a threat against the boy's club attitude that Bond displays in not showing her any respect, rather than a political matter.
One-Scene Wonder: As in many Bond flicks, the MI6 officials only appear once in the beginning for mission briefing. However, Judi Dench steals the show in her debut as M, giving Bond a tongue-lashing that her predecessors could have only dreamed of.
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Modern viewers might raise an eyebrow at the emphasis of Bond being modern. Even though the franchise has been wrangling with that issue, the fact is that it has been a cinematic mainstay for the past twenty years. However, in 1995, the issue was more valid, as The Great Politics Mess-Up was more recent, and Bond had been on a six-year hiatus and changed actors.
Special Effects Failure: The two scenes of a cutting laser in the film fail under even casual scrutiny due to the actors: the piton gun laser is an actual laser beam being filmed, which shakes and wiggles off the actual cutting metal regularly and reveals that it's nothing but a light, while the special effects of Bond's watch laser bend as the actor moves his hand out of line with the sparks.
A model jetfighter crashes rather awkwardly into a model radar dish.
Tough Act to Follow: It's by far the most well-received of Pierce Brosnan's Bond films, and is generally rated as one of the best in the franchise. Then again, this was the film that revived the series after Development Hell.
Unfortunate Implications: Bond reveals to General Ouromov that Janus is of Lienz Cossack descent and he'll betray the Russians, not because of their history, but because it's in his nature to do so.
Bond is just digging at Alec and making a play at Ouromov's own expected racism. It's a weak ploy but actually seems to unsettle Ouromov.
There's also the fact that, in this film, Bond is chastised and talked down to for his attitude toward women - a reflection of changing gender politics. He's countered left and right across the fil:; Natalya challenges him emotionally, Xenia challenges him physically and sexually, Moneypenny rebukes him professionally after their years of flirting, and M gives him a severe dressing-down with the now famous 'sexist misogynist dinosaur' speech. Fine. Bond is still Bond in the film and nothing much really changes. But then by the next film, M and Moneypenny are actively telling Bond to basically use - with all that implies - a now-married ex-flame for information and joke about Bond having meaningless sex, respectively.
Viewers Are Morons: Very minor example, but is there any real reason that Tanner feels the need to describe an EMP as "the idea being to knock out the enemy's communication before he, she, or they can retaliate."? Did the writers think just using one of those pronouns wouldn't have explained it thoroughly enough?
EMP's were not very well known in The Nineties, so arguably yes, he did. In fact its movies like this that taught audiences what EMP even was.
"He, she, or they" is as a piece of subtle chauvinist irony. Tanner is an old-fashioned chauvinist just like Bond. Having just called his boss "the evil queen of numbers", he now goes out of his way to use an over-the-top PC phrase as an ironic gesture of submission. It's a passive-aggressive Take That at the politically correct culture personified by the new M. It's like he's saying, "Fine, I'll follow your conventions, but look at how silly they are."
Win Back the Crowd: After the low-grossing (in America, at least) Licence to Kill and six years of no films, Bond fans and the general public were very happy to see Goldeneye.