Thursday, 27 November 2008

Quantum of Solace: Movie Review

Quantum of Solace: Movie Review

Rating: 5/10
Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench
Director: Marc Forster

Oh dear.
Bond's taken a slight mis-step; a stumble on his path from recent cinema resurrection.
After the visceral feel of Casino Royale, the reinvention of Bond and the furore over Daniel Craig taking the role, Quantum of Solace was always going to be a tall order.
The story picks up one hour after the end of Casino Royale with Bond, seeking vengeance for the death of Vesper Lynd, hauling in a member of the mysterious Quantum cartel for questioning.
Surrounded by M (always reliable Judi Dench) and a couple of other agents, the rug is pulled from under them by the revelation Quantum is everywhere - and there's nothing they can do as they don't have enough information.
So Bond, once again, sets out to find out more about the shadowy group and save the day - while taking in numerous fights, chases and betrayals.
Quantum of Solace is a difficult film - on the surface, there's nothing overtly wrong with it.
Daniel Craig is once again excellent in the role of Ian Fleming's spy - he's softening up a little bit but spends a lot of the film pursing his lips looking like he's swallowed a very tart piece of lemon.
However, the naysayers who thought Bond couldn't be a blond, have got it wrong - Craig is here to stay.
Judi Dench is brilliant as M - by turns she's harsh with Bond and as Craig's spy notes, acts like his mother; then in seconds she's rattled when she realises the Secret Service has been infiltrated by a group they know nothing about.
And yet, somewhere, somehow the film has lost its feel for what it is to be Bond.
It's now somewhere in action film territory where even some of the action feels muted (aside from the final explosive showdown which is welcome after 90 odd minutes of plodding)
I think the biggest problem with this latest outing of 007, is that the supporting characters and baddies are just (and I hate to say this) bland.
Bond girl Olga Kurylenko plays a damaged girl who has reasons for betraying Bond - but she has no real heart behind it; likewise, Mathieu Amalric is disappointing as baddie Dominic Greene, a villain whose motives appear to be nothing more than running a utility company which wants to take over the world by owning some of the natural resources (Maybe he'll cripple the financial world by giving the CEOs a massive payrise)
There are some nice nods to previous films - one (without spoiling it too much) channels Goldfinger.
But, maybe the film makers have gone too far the other way - with Casino Royale, it was about rooting Bond in some form of reality.
Quantum of Solace has made the menace realistic - but surely that was the USP of the old Bond flicks - the villains had super plans which were diabolical, and so insane they forced Bond to use bad puns when he despatched his nemeses.
The box office takings for this have already been stellar both in the United Kingdom and in the USA so it's inevitable there will be a Bond 23.

Just don't be surprised if you go to this one and find yourself leaving neither shaken nor stirred.

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