It would be six years between 1989's License to Kill and 1995's GoldenEye.
Why so long? Lack of financial success was one factor, as License to Kill was the least profitable Bond film (in the U.S.) up to that point. A lawsuit was another factor. Both factors kept production on the anticipated seventeenth (Eon) Bond film stalled for years.
Due to the late start of production on Goldeneye, there would be only three Bond films in the 1990s, with a fourth Brosnan film, Die Another Day, appearing in 2002. The 90s Brosnan films are: GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and The World is Not Enough (1999).
Not-So-Fun Fact I: Pierce Brosnan's wife appeared with Roger Moore as "the Countess" in For Your Eyes Only. She died not long after.
Pierce Brosnan was a great Bond. He was, in my opinion, the first fully-formed Bond, whereas previous incarnations only showed us different aspects of the same character. Before Brosnan, we had Bond the Killer, Bond the Sportsman, Bond the Lover, and Bond the Action Hero. After Brosnan, we had the complete Bond - the Bond pieced together from previous interpretations. I still think that Brosnan is/was the best Bond, and that Daniel Craig's subsequent, if interesting, interpretation is not the most fully realized adaptation of that character.
Brosnan's first Bond film, GoldenEye, is a great movie, and compares favorably to any of the films that came before or after it. And it's not just a good Bond movie - it's also a good action movie. In this sense it resembles Timothy Dalton's best film, The Living Daylights.
It should be noted that director Martin Campbell, who directed 2006's Casino Royale, also directed GoldenEye. It is also the first appearance of Judi Dench as M, and she would play this character right up to 2012's Skyfall. Many of the more "realistic" elements that Casino Royale gets credit for appear in GoldenEye, including the more psychologically astute approach to Bond.
The sequel to GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, is a step backward. It retreats into formula, the villain and his villainy are less than plausible, and there is little chemistry between Brosnan and costar Michelle Yeoh. It's not a terrible movie, but it's not nearly as good as GoldenEye.
The third Bond film of the 90s, 1999's The World is Not Enough, is not bad, but definitely not great. Robert Carlyle's Renard is an excellent villain, though this film drags toward the end, and one begins to wonder what the bad guys are really doing, and why.
Fun Fact II: Sean Bean, of Game of Thrones fame, costars as Agent 008 in GoldenEye.
Fun Fact III: Michelle Yeoh would go on to star in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon two years after Tomorrow Never Dies.
The biggest mystery about Tomorrow Never Dies is the villain's motivation. Yes, I get that he's some kind of media mogul along the lines of Ted Turner, but why go to such lengths for headlines? Or for broadcast rights in Mainland China? Aren't most newspaper headlines hyperbole anyway? And what does it matter if they're true?
And that "terrorist bazaar" Bond investigates at the beginning of Tomorrow Never Dies? Ridiculous.
As stated above, Michelle Yeoh and Pierce Brosnan don't have much onscreen chemistry, though that scene in the Vietnamese safe house was a nice touch.
Yet even Michelle Yeoh's character looks believable next to Christmas Jones, the nuclear scientist played by Denise Richards (and her gigantic breasts) halfway through The World is Not Enough. The scene where she first emerges from her containment suit had me giggling, and it only gets worse from there. Putting her in the same scene with Sophie Marceau is just adding insult to injury.
Fun Fact IV: Tomorrow Never Dies is actually the second time Bond traveled Vietnam by junk. He also did so in The Man with the Golden Gun, though in that film he is supposed to be in China.
Of the three films, the only good theme song is GoldenEye, sung by Tina Turner and written by 2 of the guys from U2. Sheryl Crow's theme song might be the worst ever, and Garbage's theme to The World is Not Enough is, well, garbage.
There are two Bond girls in GoldenEye - Xenia Onatopp and the Russian computer programmer. The former is one of the best Bond girls in the series, and the latter has some good lines toward the end of that movie. You gotta love a woman who uses her thighs to squeeze men to death.
Teri Hatcher is good in the beginning of Tomorrow Never Dies, though she exits early and she's basically another damsel in distress. Michelle Yeoh has been discussed above.
The Bond girls seen in The World is Not Enough are both very beautiful, though one wonders how much of Denise Richard's beauty is the product of cosmetic surgery. Sophie Marceau gets my vote as the most beautiful Bond girl of this era, and her character is one of the more interesting characters in that film.
Fun Fact V: GoldenEye was also the name of author Ian Fleming's estate in Jamaica. Fleming named the estate after an operation from his days in the diplomatic service.
Fun Fact VI: Joe Don Baker, who appears as Bond's CIA contact in these movies, appeared in the earlier Living Daylights as an arms dealer that Bond eventually kills.
Where Does Bond Go?
Starting with GoldenEye and ending with The World is Not Enough, Bond goes from Russia, to Monte Carlo, to Russia (again), to London, to Russia (again), to Cuba, to Russia (again), to Germany, to Vietnam, to Spain, to London (again), to Azerbaijan, to Kazakhstan, to Azerbaijan (again), and to Turkey.
And in Conclusion...
No conclusion yet! But I'm getting there...
Other Bond Entries:
Bond: The 1960s
Bond: The 1970s
Bond: The 1980s
Bond: 2002 to the Present
Bond: The Conclusion!