YMMV: GoldenEye

The movie

  • Adaptation Displacement: The licensed video game is at least as famous as the movie, and in some circles, definitely more so.
  • 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.
  • Complete Monster: Alec Trevelyan is one thing. But he really is mild compared to Xenia Onatopp, Trevelyan's psychotically sadistic Russian assassin, who has the dubious honor of being the most depraved Femme Fatale Bond has ever come across. Initially seen as a charming, elegant woman, Xenia reveals her true nature when in bed with her target, she kills him by crushing him between her thighs to suffocate him, getting clear sexual ecstasy from the murder; she later tries to kill Bond the same way. She steals her first victim's security clearance and murders several innocent sailors before eluding Bond. Later, when Xenia arrives in a Russian facility, she massacres all the techs with an assault rifle, getting very visibly aroused by the killings, to the point that General Ourumov looks a bit stunned at it. Xenia has one of the largest body counts for a Dragon in the franchise, and unlike the majority of her male counterparts, Xenia is in it for money and thrills. She has no issue helping to use the GoldenEye satellite to plunge England into the dark ages as long as she gets rich from it. The fact that this gives her the opportunity to express her sexualized love for killing is just another perk.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: It's actually difficult to find a character in this film who isn't well-liked by the fanbase, largely because this film (and the accompanying video game) was the Holy Grail for those who grew up with Pierce Brosnan as Bond.
    • Trevelyan. On Bond villain countdowns it's common to find him as the highest-placed character not to have appeared in an Ian Fleming novel, and Yaoi Fangirls also like him for some unknown reason.
    • Natalya and Xenia are both found in many "Greatest Bond Girl" lists online, which is particularly impressive in Natalya's case because her character is probably one of the most down-to-earth and fanservice-less in the franchise. Fans have latched onto Famke Janssen's absolutely scene-stealing performance and delight in playing such an over-the-top villain who is still dangerous.
    • Zukovsky, who was brought back for The World Is Not Enough.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Holy crap, Xenia!
    • There are those who would happily trade places with Natalya when Janus is explaining how he and James used to share everything.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Boris and his infamous Hawaiian shirt may be just be the trope codifier for this one.
  • Fetish Retardant: Xenia. The only 'real' sex scene she has in the movie is with a balding, overweight guy. And it ends with him being forced to enjoy a good squeeze.
    • 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.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • 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." If Raoul Silva's backstory in Skyfall means anything to you, M is not making an empty threat.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • It Was His Sled: Janus is Alec Trevelyan.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Alec Trevelyan
  • Magnum Opus: Considered by many to be one of the best films in the series and the best one with Pierce Brosnan.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: Thanks in large part to its multiplayer function, GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 is regarded as one of the best games of all time.
  • 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 (and contributing, no doubt, to M's increased prominence in subsequent films).
  • 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.
    • There are also several rather obvious instances of stunt doubles, particularly during the sauna scene. Even when not pointed out thanks to the commentary, the recent remasters of the film have made it obvious that it is not Famke Janssen kicking Pierce Brosnan around or pushing him onto the bench during the distance shots.
      • Also the very first shot of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond isn't him, it's pretty obviously a stuntman jumping off the dam.
    • The tank upsets a truck hauling obviously-empty Perrier cans.
  • 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.
  • Values Resonance: Viewers might raise an eyebrow at the idea of Bond being a relic of the past, but in age of warrantless wiretapping and Internet surveillance, the world of espionage in general has become a place where computers and the data-crunchers that sift through the data they gather are the movers and shakers of the profession, not glorified detectives in trench coats or suave ladies men sipping martinis. This film and later, Skyfall, both wrangle with the question, and both essentially come to the same conclusion: there's a place for Bond, even now. Technology is limited and made fallible by the people that control it, the world is still just as dangerous as it was before, but in a different way, and there will always be a time when men like Bond are very much needed.
  • 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 '90s, 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.