17 November 2008

Quantum of Solace

Bond's Chase Movie

After the huge success of 2006’s reboot Casino Royale, the next movie really has a big pair of shoes to fill. Does Quantum of Solace fill those shoes? Let me get it out of the way now. No, it falls short. But, was it a fun, entertaining movie worth the price of admission? Without a doubt. Daniel Craig returns as the MI-6 agent James Bond for his second go around. That puts him tied with Timothy Dalton for fourth for most time portraying the suave secret agent. He will need one more to take fourth and two more to tie Brosnan for third.

Quantum of Solace opens with a car chase that ends in a quarry, and the destruction of yet another Aston Martin and an Alfa Romero. This is the first of many chases in the film. We then see Jesper Christensen’s Mr. White return and mention that he is a member of a secret society that is so large they were afraid the CIA and MI-6 were looking over their shoulders, but it turns out they do not even know the society exists. This scene ends with another chase, but this time on foot. Bond chases a suspect on foot over roof tops similar to the opening foot chase in Casino Royale, but not to that caliber. It ends with a fight on ropes hanging from scaffolding. That was a unique touch. Bond then travels across the globe following a lead. This ends with another fight and then leads to another chase, followed by another chase, this last one on boats. So, we have had a car, foot, motorcycle, and boat chase. Along the way we meet Camille, played by Olga Kurylenko from Hitman. She plays a Bolivian agent on a revenge mission of her own. She is in bed with villain Dominic Greene, portrayed by French actor Mathieu Amalric.

From here, pieces of the puzzle are slowly put together between scenes of action and more chases. Dominic Greene and Mr. White, I do not know why they are all colors, are members of this secret society called “Quantum.” This seems to be the new SPECTRE or SMERSH. Greene’s sinister plot is to overthrow governments not willing to pay his company for services and replace them with ones that are. His final one is to hold the Bolivian water supply hostage. We discover this after a plane chase/dogfight.

Quantum of Solace shows Bond is still a reckless killing machine that needs much more refining. He still makes mistakes that require M, played again by Judi Dench, to cover for him. She is also put in places that require her to make decisions that Bond might not like. She sends Miss Fields out to bring him in, but she is disposed of in homage to Goldfinger. Gemma Arterton had the honor of playing the short-lived character. According to IMDB, she name was Strawberry Fields, but I do not recall her full name being used.

The climax takes place in a desert in Bolivia in a hotel that I am not sure exists or not. But, it looked amazing. First time action director Marc Forster did an amazing job with the action. That is why I was disappointed with the plot being so erratically dispersed. The movie seemed to focus on the action and the plot was second fiddle. With Jeffery Wright returning as Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis, I expected to have a better plot. Haggis and Purvis wrote the screenplay. They were the ones that wrote Casino Royale. Again, another reason the movie should have had a better plot. It was not like they were under any time restriction. Casino Royale is the longest movie in the franchise ad 144 minutes. Quantum of Solace is now the shortest in the franchise at 106 minutes.

Verdict: Well, I hope that this is the film that finally allows Bond to become Bond. I would also like to see some of the classic characters brought back. I miss Q and Moneypenny. I do not think that they need to have all the crazy gadgets, but Q was just the head of the armory. Monneypenny could easily be written in after the events of this film. M could use the secretary. Should you see it? OF COURSE! Why not? I am thinking 2 or 3 viewings of this should do me fine. Enjoy!

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