What's the crummiest villain motive you can think of?There are lots of different ways to answer this question. And I can think of so many shoddy antagonists, from both B-films and big-budget pix... But I have a place in my heart for a certain Bond film - a place of despise and contempt.
GoldenEye was supposed to be a huge game changer. The Bond franchise sort of petered out with Timothy Dalton. So it was a big deal that the filmmakers finally got their hands on the person who had been the fan-favorite to take over after Roger Moore - Pierce Brosnan. Y'know the guy who would've taken the job if only CBS hadn't held him to his contract for Remington Steele.
I liked a few things about GoldenEye, but it was like getting a shoddy version of a hoped-for birthday present. I had big problems with several parts of it, and I felt no joy when the end credits rolled. The puns were back, which I wasn't thrilled about. So was Bond's knack for screwing everyone he works with and lying about being a decent guy.
I remember hating a car race that had music out of an especially lousy Subaru ad. I recall hating Robbie Coltrane cast as a Russian - it's a crummy role for him and I do believe that Russia has... actors. I didn't like Famke Janssen's part, which was overcooked and underwritten. And I hated that the "characterization" given to GoldenEye's Bond girl is that she shallowly gives 007 some armchair psychoanalysis.
Then we come to Trevelyan. Spoiler alert, but Trevelyan is a 00 operative that seems to die at the film's start. Just as Bond gains some ground in his investigation of a threat to England, his unseen adversary decides to reveal himself - and it's his old colleague! Played by Sean Bean!
I have sat through many villains' monologues in my time, of varying quality. But the scripting here was simply atrocious. It's a crime against cinema:
It's a veritable collection of everything I hate in villains. He's both jaded because of the Cold War - a motive used in like half the spy/action films of the mid-90's - and he's biting the hand that fed him (that also betrayed his parents). He does that thing where he talks about himself in the third person, using way too many in/definite articles, like Crowe's big scene in Gladiator - "the son of a father who was married to the wife who was a mother that owned a gift shop and was also the subject of a betrayal by the betrayers who would later themselves be the-"
Just hire a good writer, already, for f--k's sake!
While it may be true that a lot of bad guys are crazy, especially fictitious bad guys in film, the content of this whole expositive rant really takes the cake. "The luxury of dying in a mountain climbing accident?" Are you f--king kidding me? What part of falling, freezing, and/or being struck by or buried in rock/ice/snow sounds like a luxury?
Does Trevelyan realize how cozy it sounds to instead be forced to stay in a Russian gulag? I mean, their family unit wasn't even separated!
Speaking of, why is Trevelyan not more pissed at his own dad? Or the Soviets that left his parents in desperation? How does orphaning your kid help? And how could being in a gulag with your wife and kid represent such a dire situation that one kills one's spouse, then oneself - yet leaves one's little child behind? Now, I've never committed murder/suicide, but I'm pretty sure you gotta kill the other people first, then yourself; that's why the word "murder" comes first.
And the reason his dad killed 2/3rds of the family was... Shame. Shame that... other people betrayed him? WTF?!
I can't really enjoy a Bond villain if it seems like he ingested a lot of lead paint in childhood. Hell, maybe that's what they fed the li'l Cossack orphan in that gulag...