Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Dame Judi Dench, Joe Don Baker, Gottfried John, Alan Cumming, Desmond Llewelyn. Written by Jeffrey Caine & Bruce Feirstein. Directed by Martin Campbell. Rated PG-13 for violence, sex.

Is Pierce Brosnan up to the challenge of playing super-spy James Bond? Believe it! "Goldeneye" is the best Bond flick since the heyday of Sean Connery, and Brosnan deserves much of the credit. He was the first choice to fill the shoes of 007 when Roger Moore stepped down, but his contract with TV's "Remington Steele" forced him to pass. Now, as the fifth incarnation of the womanizer with the license to kill, Brosnan has the chance to show everyone just how good a Bond he can be. And show us he does.

While on leave in Monte Carlo, Bond bumps into an ex-Soviet by the name of Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) at the gaming tables. Recognizing her accent, he acts on a hunch and transmits a photo of her to his intelligence sources back in the U.K. Confirmation of her nefarious past prompts Bond to follow her. It's not long, however, before she steals a French combat helicopter that incorporates stealth technology and is on her way back to Russia. There she aids General Ourumov (Gottfried John) in testing the new Goldeneye device which, with its electromagnetic pulse fired from a satellite, can knock out all electrical circuitry in a wide radius of its target.

When British Intelligence gets wind of the Soviets capability, M (Dame Judi Dench) sends Bond to investigate. After some dealings with a shady former nemesis, he links up with Natalya Simonova (Izabella Scorupco), who witnessed the Goldeneye test. The two escape from the clutches of Ourumov at which time Bond discovers who has really been behind it all. It seems that Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean), formerly agent 006 and presumed dead, is alive and kicking with his own personal vicious agenda.

After a rousing, death-defying opening sequence, "Goldeneye" takes off into further espionage and adventure. Heavy on action and humor, the film still has an inventive plot which, if it's not up to Tom Clancy standards, more than holds its own in the Bond saga. At one time, movies featuring Ian Fleming's debonair spy hit the theaters every two years. With Pierce Brosnan in the role, let's hope they can pare down the wait even further.

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