Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Review of Quantum of Solace

The review is in! Quantum of Solace, which means a "measure of peace" meters average with other Bond movies but does not surpass Casino Royale which raised the bar in 2006. It does little to bring peace of mind. But Daniel Craig saves the film in his stellar Bond attitude.

While Daniel Craig is still captivating, his mesmerizing gaze and muscular and precise stunts are the only Bond elements in the movie. The directing and plot are weaker than a diluted Bond martini.

The opening chase scene is frenetic that I reached for an invisible seatbelt to prevent whiplash. Closeup shots and a jolting camera in nanosecond speed, left me asking, "Where's the movie? I can't see anthing". The director was Marc Jacobs (The Kite Runner). Someone forgot to tell Mr. Jacobs that a Bond car chase in the hills of Italy doesn't require a jockeying camera like kite racing in Afghanistan. Thankfully the pace slowed down that I could follow the rest of the movie.

Bond Girl, Camille, (played by Olga Kurylenko) fits the bill. Feisty, independent, and spellbindingly beautiful. Some critics would argue James and Camille lack chemistry. But this is intended given the plot of Bond's avengeance for the death of his Royale love, Vesper Lynd. This standard is lost when he beds agent Fields after meeting her for an entire twenty minutes. What happened to getting to know the girl before bedding her?

The multicultural backdrops of Austria, Italy, Colombia, Haiti and Russia were filmed in four different countries, the most of any Bond movie. But a new twist in traditional Bond disappointed loyalists. James never utters those sexy four letter words "martini, shaken not stirred". Instead when asked what he was drinking, the bartender rattles off the ingredients. Well the secret is out now.

While the movie plot is held together by a thread, Daniel Craig is the bonding agent that keeps the movie alive with his own sheer intensity absent the usual wit and playboy charm.

Another notable void is Q, the elderly, quirky inventor of Bond gadgets, although the touch-screen table screen for tracking known villains is Q quality. His supervisor M, played by Judy Dench, tries to rein in Bond from revenge but the matronly M trusts her number one agent and looks the other way. "Try not to kill anyone along the way" suggests M at the beginning and end of the movie. Lost words throughout the bodily populated action scenes.

Overall I give the movie four out of five stars. And I still love Daniel Craig!

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