Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Trevelyan's Mainframe - FILE: Legacy, GoldenEye / Twenty Years Removed

Much to my own surprise, you’ve reached the final file in this collection of mainframe. It was inevitable, I suppose. This file will attempt to explain the very magnitude of the robust legacy GOLDENEYE left behind. All previous entries have prepared you for this. So, without further briefing, your codes once more check out and you may proceed. The following data is what we have on the legacy left behind by GOLDENEYE, twenty years removed from its original release...

In 1995, after a six-year hiatus, James Bond would explode back onto the scene in his newest, most cutting edge mission yet, GOLDENEYE. Debuting to mostly positive reviews in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom, the film would revive and stabilize the pulse of the James Bond franchise. However, in all fairness, the franchise was on the ropes before 1995. Former Bond Timothy Dalton decided to step away from the role, plaguing and prolonged legal disputes all threw the future of the films into question. Could Bond still spy and survive in a post Cold War world? Had Bond finally become passé? Who could be a strong enough Bond to breathe strong life back into the series? Doubts were at an all time high.

With so many looming questions, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli delivered some big answers. Usher in director Martin Campbell, writers Jeffrey Caine and Michael France, and a truly perfect leading man. GOLDENEYE would mark the first James Bond film to have Mr. Pierce Brosnan don the black tuxedo as Agent 007. With an ultra iconic marketing campaign of ‘expect no substitutes’, Brosnan’s portrayal of James Bond would be tailor-made for the nineties. He was a perfect mixture of the classic cool, smooth, and deadly of the past and the dark, sexy, sophisticated of the current. I daresay Brosnan as Bond couldn’t have worked any better. Janus even recognizes that. He couldn’t revitalize thing along though, of course. Brosnan’s performance, alongside strong performances from Dame Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Izabella Scorupco, Gottfried John, and Famke Janssen all reflected greatly on the film itself. GOLDENEYE would serve as a launching pad for several actors and actresses, as well as cement a new basis for others.

Cast and comeback aside, I would be remiss to not touch on a certain important section of this mainframe’s data concerning the game tie-in. That’s right, dear friend, we will now shift our focus to the virtual world. Videogames were just escaping their infancy in the mid nineteen nineties, so by the time the game version of GOLDENEYE came about, it turned the gaming community on its head. The first-person shooter genre would never be the same. With dozens of levels to choose from, spanning from the film itself to more loosely based settings, GOLDENEYE 007 delivered the variety and gameplay people flocked to. To this day, nearly twenty years after its release, it is still considered as one of the greatest video games of all time by fans, publications, and companies far and wide.       

Perhaps the most iconic piece of the GOLDENEYE 007 puzzle though, was its multiplayer feature. In this mode, you and three of your friends could battle to the death with any combination of weapons, characters, and modifiers you wanted! It made for long nights and weekends, I assure you that. In many ways, this game laid the groundwork for what would become known as multiplayer gaming as the stock in such a mode was raised considerably after GOLDENEYE 007’s release on the Nintendo 64 system. Simply put, without the legendary gem that was this film’s game, there may never have been a Half-Life, Call Of Duty, or Halo.

When it comes to the legacy of GOLDENEYE, our data shows great correlation. Its legacy is defined by its place in the Bond franchise, cinematic impact, cultural relevance, videogame reach, and ultimately, its own legion of greatly devoted fans. The film nearly defined a generation around the world. GOLDENEYE was THE James Bond film and Pierce Brosnan was THE James Bond. For me, GOLDENEYE meant a world apart from the everyday mundane. It introduced me to the entire James Bond franchise, thrusting me into a world of risk, reward, and ever-flowing cool. Without it, I suppose we wouldn’t even be here, would we?

All things considered, Janus and this mainframe data wouldn’t even exist without a certain passion for a simple Bond film released in 1995. But, perhaps it was just another Bond film to us. The images, action, and characters became ingrained, forever a part of days passed. As I continue to scour this file, it seems that the love for GOLDENEYE nearly transcends all known human barriers. So, one must give credit to where credit is due.

Side notes on GOLDENEYE’s legacy include some statistics and review scores that have been collected by several of our inside sources. Records indicate that GOLDENEYE ranked fourth-highest for worldwide film gross in 1995. It still holds a seventy eight percent ‘fresh’ rating on the review site Rotten Tomatoes. It should also be recognized that famous film critic, Roger Ebert, gave the film a three out of four stars! The Sunday Times named GOLDENEYE the best Bond film since 1977’s THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Countless critics agreed the GOLDENEYE vastly helped to modernize the series and push it much further along a respectable route. Also, IGN ranked the film as the fifth-best in the entire series.

Awards would soon follow so much praise. GOLDENEYE would go on to be nominated for two BAFTA award categories, including Best Sound and Special Effects. The film’s composer, Éric Serra, won a BMI Film Award for the greatly loved GOLDENEYE! The film also earned a handful of nominations, such as Best Action Film and Actor at the Saturn Awards, and Best Fight Scene at the MTV Movie Awards. Rightly so, as an action scene like the one present in GOLDENEYE still goes nearly unmatched, in my opinion.

In conclusion, GOLDENEYE was an unforgettable James Bond film. Twenty years later it is still getting as much praise and appreciation as it did upon release, if not more so. Nearly ten films and one actor later, GOLDENEYE is still a title that people near and far can fondly remember. Holding such a legendary aura guarantees GOLDENEYE eternal life, a life that will be celebrated and watched by generations and generations to come.

That’s about all you’ll gather from this mainframe on GOLDENEYE, old boy. You’ve read through a year’s worth of files. Janus has groomed you well. But, don’t get too emotional, as we’ll always be watching… So, until then, good luck.

As now brings closing time, friend. Last call.

- End transmission, Trevelyan.

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