Quantum of Solace – Movie review
Being a die-hard Ian Fleming/James Bond fan, I am rather critical even of well-made Bond movies and this movie is no exception. And Quantum is certainly not the best of the Bonds.
To me to the James Bond movies have all been about subtle humour and the wit, and in fact the repartee between James and Miss Moneypenny is something I always looked forward to. I also prefer a slower pace (for the Bond movies) and like to watch the plot thickening and the action building up. The villians are also important. Remember Jack Spang (Diamonds are Forever) and Gold finger? Well, the villian in Quantum of Solace, the international businessman Dominic Greene, falls quite flat. Not in terms of acting, as Mathieu Amalric does a great job of being and acting evil – in fact I have yet to see a cinematic villain who appears so ordinary but is able to exude evil. It was the character of Greene which fails to make an impact…
This film is also moves too fast…so fast that one needs to have superhuman vision to follow the action sequences. I also confess I didn’t understand the plot fully. I think it is difficult for the average viewer to figure out what’s happening. In fact, this movie is being compared to the Bourne movies and has actually been called The Bond Identity but well, The Bourne Identity is a better movie, with a an intriguing plot which I could follow easily…maybe because I had read the novel.
The plot (no spoilers)
The plot in Quantum, if one manages to follow it there and then, is all about a businessman plotting to get rich at the expense of the poor masses and about a corrupt general in Bolivia willing to sell out his people. As for our double-o-seven, he seems less bothered about saving the world and more concerned about taking revenge for the death of his girl-friend Vesper, who was killed in the previous Bond movie, Casino Royale. And as for “M” she has a bigger role in this movie but seems to be out of sync with what Bond is doing, a little odd considering that he is a favourite agent whom she understands so well.
The actors and characters
I was impressed with Daniel Craig. He does a great job and has the Bond look – a combination of wickedness and kindness. Two things are missing, which I feel are important to the character of Bond. One is the humour. Even “M” was funnier than him! And there is also his lack of bonding with the women… a complete lack of chemistry. James is supposed to be flirtatious, but that doesn’t come through in this movie. Well, I have no problem if the director has deviated from the original Bond character, but that is not the impression one gets. One feels that he is indeed trying to make Bond come across as Bond.
No James Bond movie is complete without its beautiful women. And there are two here… Camille (Olga Kurylenko) who has the big role. However her backstory seems cliched. She is hobnobbing with villain Greene, and right from the start James seems interested in her…but it is never explained as to why. Maybe it is because James feels that she can help him or because she is beautiful or because he has a kind heart and wants to “rescue” her. Who knows.
The other pretty woman in the film, Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) has a bit role and again, no chemistry between her and Craig.
Okay, if this seems as I am tearing the movie to shreds, that isn’t the case. The movie is tightly edited, well-directed and entertaining. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and now am certainly a Craig fan. I guess one should not compare this movie to the best of Bond, and one should go with an open mind and then one can enjoy it.
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