Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Many fans nowadays could have doubt he was the best James Bond, altough others really do. But the truth is that no matter how good you see him as Bond, you can’t discuss what a great actor he is. From his first silver screen roles in the 1980s to the Bond-between roles in the 90s and his Hollywood-esque movies from the 2000s and 2010s, we’ll now make short reviews of some films showing the versatility of an actor like him.

Pre-Bond Career

THE FOURTH PROTOCOL (Rank Films, 1987) | Thriller – opposite Michael Caine, Julian Glover, Ned Beatty, Joanna Cassidy and Michael Gough. Directed by John McKenzie.

Those who still doubt Pierce Brosnan could have made a gritty Bond have obviously not seen THE FOURTH PROTOCOL. Playing a KGB agent assigned to blow up an American Military Base in London, Brosnan gives a cold-blooded performance to the role of Major Valeri Petrofsky. It stands out a shocking scene where he cuts out the throat of a homosexual guy who tried to seduce him after mistakenly have witnessed a top secret exchange between Petrofsky and a Russian agent disguised as a pilot.  In this movie, he acts more than what he speaks, and those performances are great. THE FORUTH PROTOCOL was, indeed, one of his many strong points of his pre-Bond career.

Pierce Brosnan as Major Valery Petrofsky in
TAFFIN (MGM/UA, 1988) | Thriller – opposite Alison Doody, Ray McAnally, Alan Stanfor and Jeremy Child. Directed by Francis Megahy.
Here we got Brosnan playing quite a different part: Mark Taffin, a rude, beardy and long haired debt-collector who faces the building up of a chemical plant that might cause serious climatic problems in his Irish town, where the beer-drinking citizens seem to disapprove his behavior, until they start realizing the men behind the chemical plant are really tough people not to mess with. A very interesting film, again showing another side of Pierce’s acting, speaking catchy lines like shouting “Maybe you shouldn’t be living here!” to his lover-turned-girlfriend Charlotte, played by A VIEW TO A KILL’s Alison Doody.

Alison Doody and Pierce Brosnan in a
scene of TAFFIN

LIVE WIRE (New Line Cinema, 1992) | Action – opposite Ron Silver, Lisa Elibacher, Ben Cross, Tony Plana and Norman Burton. Directed by Christian Duguay.
This should be the best Brosnan movie from his pre-Bond period. In this low budget production he stars as Danny O’Neill, a FBI bomb defuser with a marriage in crisis after the accidental death of his son. When middle-east terrorist create a liquid bomb that looks exactly as water and activates within the body, targeting US Senators, O’Neill is charged to investigate and protect Frank Traveres, the Senator who is having an affair with his wife. Despite its cheap looking, when you see this movie you can actually see Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, two years before he actually took over the role. His character, of course, lacks the sophistication of 007, but he makes up imaginative home-made explosive disposal methods for the goons infiltrating the Senator’s mansion in the film’s climax, so there’s you got something of Bond’s wit, as well as we can see Pierce dressed up in a more Bondian style with suits and white shirts.

Brosnan plays FBI agent Danny O'Neill
in 1992's LIVE WIRE

Bond in Between

DANTE’S PEAK (Universal, 1997) | Adventure – opposite Linda Hamilton, Jamie Renée Smith, Jeremy Foley and Grant Heslov. Directed by Roger Donaldson.
Pierce Brosnan was already James Bond with a blockbuster film like GOLDENEYE and his second 007 adventure TOMORROW NEVER DIES round the corner. Was he typecasted in the role? In an affectionate way, he was. You look at him and you see James Bond. But his acting here was no Bond-esque: he plays a volcanologist who lost his wife and is now warning people from Dante’s Peak to leave their town after a long dormant volcano might wake up. We might see him furiously driving a car escaping the hot lava rescuing the mayor Rachel Wando’s family, but he needs his glasses due to long-sight problems and acts in a paternal way to the mayor’s children too.

In the role of Harry Dalton, Pierce Brosnan
tries to convince Linda Hamilton that
DANTE'S PEAK isn't a safe place anymore

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (MGM, 1999) | Suspense – opposite Rene Russo, Ben Gazzara, Denis Leary, Faye Dunaway and Esther Cañadas. Directed by John McTiernan.
People say this is one of the few cases where the remake is better than the original version, and it’s fair to assume Brosnan’s acting is one of the reasons. While Steve McQueen played a fully racional Thomas Crown in the original 1968 version, Pierce adapted the role into a bon vivant first class stylish robber, who also (unlike McQueen’s version) tends to fall in love with the detective sent to investigate him (Catherine Bannigs/Rene Russo for Brosnan, Vicky Anderson for McQueen). We can now notice in Pierce the influence of being Bond in his smiles and one-liners, but he also plays his role perfectly trough the romantic tone of the remake version. Indeed, this one’s one of his biggest hits.

The windmills of your mind - Pierce Brosnan
and Rene Russo in the 1999 remake of

THE TAILOR OF PANAMA (Columbia Pictures, 2001) | Espionage – opposite Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Leonor Varela, Catherine McCormack and Brendan Gleeson. Directed by John Boorman.
Pierce plays an MI6 agent, Andy Osnard – but this guy is the direct opposition of James Bond! He’s rough, tacky, smartass and a terrible agent. After an ill-fated mission, he has to recover his prestige (if he ever had one) with a mission in Panama.
Brosnan shows here the antithesis of 007: a man who thinks on his own convenience beyond the patriotic standards of Ian Fleming’s character, who seduces women in a very macho way and frequents whorehouses and places like that. And he achieves the effect!

THE TAILOR OF PANAMA: Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush)
is faced against his troubled past by Andy Osnard (Pierce Bronsan) 

Post Bond career

LAWS OF ATTRACTION (New Line Cinema, 2004) | Romantic Comedy – opposite Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Frances Fisher and Nora Dunn. Directed by Peter Howitt.
Brosnan’s post Bond career focused in romantic comedies more than in the action/adventure genere that brought him to the role of 007 in 1994. In this film, we see him as Daniel Rafferty, a charismatic but successful lawyer attending a celebrity divorce case. Shortly after he falls in love with Julianne Moore’s character, the lawyer behind the rights of the other part of the couple.
In a slightly reminiscent way to 1988’s TAFFIN, we can appreciate here part of Pierce’s Irish heritage on screen. Even when portraying a New York lawyer, we can feel Pierce Brosnan The Irishman is here, particularily during the last scenes taking place on an Irish castle.

They never lost a case... until they had to work against each other!
Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore in LAWS OF ATTRACTION

REMEMBER ME (Summit Entertainment, 2011) | Drama – opposite Robert Pattinson, Emile De Ravin, Chris Cooper, Kevin McCarthy and Tate Ellington. Directed by Allen Coulter.
Almost reaching 60 years old, Pierce Brosnan is seen here playing Robert Pattinson’s father. A strict New York business man, Charles Hawkins has a really distant and bad relationship with Tyler, who despises him for being completely cold towards his children.
This is probably one of the memorable roles he made. You could believe him he’s a tough guy and an uninterested father. As a fascinating tidbit, we can see a young looking image of Brosnan back of the 90s during a scene of the film, where Tyler watches photos from his childhood.

Like father, unlike son - Brosnan faces off
Robert Pattinson in 2010's REMEMBER ME

SALVATION BOULEVARD (10TH Hole Productions, 2011) | Comedy – opposite Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, Ed Harris and Isabelle Fuhrman. Directed by George Ratliff.
I’m quite sure many times you’ve seen those Pastors who love making money with their “religion”. And here, you got Pierce Brosnan playing one of them! Dan Day is a mega-church pastor that accidentally shoots Peter Blyalock, an atheist writer. As the man is in comma, the members of the church will try to protect him while “believer” Greg Vandemeer, the only witness, has the moral doubt of telling the truth or not.
 This is probably one of the funniest portrayals he has ever made: he sings alone and shouts the name of God like those crazy predicators you see on TV. Not sure how many actors can play this role in such a great way, but Pierce does it credibly well.

Pastor Dan Day in SALVATION BOULEVARD, one of
Pierce Brosnan's funniest films.

Images courtesy of The Pierce Brosnan Files

Nicolás Suszczyk


1 comment:

  1. The facts and the other informative features mentioned here are really considerable and to the point as well and it would be a good idea to have more of these kinds to look for more.

    Corporate bonds in Panama