Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quantum of Solace

Quantum of Solace is a spy movie. That may seem obvious given that it is a Bond film, but Bond films rarely have the same taught suspenseful feel to them that a good spy drama has. Quantum of Solace has that. You’re never quite sure who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy, not only because the lines of “good” and “bad” are blurred, but because you’re not sure who’s double crossing whom.

I also felt like, for perhaps the first time, I really got a sense of Bond out there on his own, following leads, working on his assignments, with only the occasional help or support from London. While at the same time, we see a real relationship develop between James and M. Daniel Craig’s Bond is much more vulnerable and human than any other.

The action sequences are exciting and tense. Some of the camera work is overly jittery, but I never felt seasick from it and I could always follow what was happening (though I know other people had problems with that). It’s not as disturbingly violent as Casino Royale and doesn’t suffer from Peter Jackson Multiple Ending Syndrome. It has a cleaner story arch and a more centralized villain.

And even with all the new trappings of the Bond Re-Boot, at its heart it’s still a Bond film. The opening sequence intercut with scenes from Siena’s Palio Horse Race would have made Albert Broccoli proud. Bond easily charms every woman he meets, and one character’s death should remind any Bond fan of a similar death in Goldfinger.

All that said, I probably liked Casino Royale better, and it’s not a flawless movie by any means. The actress playing Fields is trying too hard to be Julia Stiles from the Bourne films and failing because, hard as it may be to believe, she’s not as good of an actress as Julia Stiles. The other Bond Girl, Olga Kurylenko , was really good. I’d watch a whole movie built around her character any day.

UPDATE & potential spoilers

It's interesting to note that Bond and the Olga Kurylenko character never sleep together in the film, something that would have been unheard of with any other Bond. As a result, their relationship is far more complex and layered and makes both characters far more interesting. That also explains the somewhat shoe-horned in affair between Bond and Fields. Bond had to get some action in the film.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. Now I just have to find time to see it.


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