29 November 2008

Movie: Quantum of Solace (2008)

Quantum of Solace, the 22nd James Bond (and the second film in the sort-of reboot of the franchise) is the first direct sequel of the film series. It begins mere moments after Casino Royale and opens with Bond taking Mr. White to be interrogated after the events of Royale.

While it’s a good action film, ultimately it fails to live up to what was begun (again) in Casino Royale. Daniel Craig makes for a great Bond and is more in tune with Connery’s take in the action part, but the film fails to capture what made Connery’s Bond so much the better. The whimsy and humor is all but gone, replaced by less than impressive villains and too much of an attempt to set the film in real world.

And, at times, one felt the production had watched the Bourne films too many times and tried to replicate it, but with less than stellar success.

And while director Marc Forster paid homage to its past, the film also tried to force itself into the real world, with political comments on the CIA, Bolivia and Hati, and seemly attacking corporations who claim to be green, but are using it as a way to cover up their involvements in coups and shady deals that make them money, even if a terrorist of sorts are born.

The action is intense, but there were a many of times when I felt I didn’t know who was who in the fight sequences. But the script is muddled down and at times, a complete mess. The villainous Mr. Greene is nothing more than a spoiled rich man, who does appalling things in pursuant of his goals, but evil genius he is not.

Still there are some great set pieces in the film, including the fight in the Opera House, the plane dogfight (which could’ve been done via CGI) and the opening car chase sequence.

In the end, it is a good action film, but Bond was never supposed to be one, I think. It was always supposed to be entertainment of the highest order, with beautiful women -the Bond Girls - great battles with villains who were more fantasy than real and gadgets. This turn to redundant, and silly realism might work in the long run, but the first two Bond films set in a post 9/11 world (as opposed to the Cold War) have shown that they have a way to go to make a truly glorious Bond film in the tradition of the 1960's Bond classics.

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