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‘A sexist misogynist dinosaur’ is how Judi Dench’s M wryly sums up Pierce Brosnan in his first assignment as James Bond.

However, that’s nothing compared to the behaviour of his one-time colleague (Sean Bean), who masterminds the theft of the GoldenEye, a revolutionary Russian satellite weapon.

Bringing much charm and a little edge to his 007, Brosnan’s handling of both the quips and the action scenes – the highlight of which is a memorable chase through St Petersburg in a tank – are spot-on.

Adding extra value, Robbie Coltrane is a Russian mobster and Famke Janssen a kick-ass baddie, while Desmond Llewelyn’s gadget expert Q comically makes his mark with a special pen.