My Review of “Quantum of Solace”!

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“Quantum of Solace” the latest chapter in the Bond franchise featuring Daniel Craig as Bond is a direct sequel to the 007 Reboot “Casino Royale”. I should start my review by saying that I believe Daniel Craig now completely owns the role as James Bond. Even if he plays him here as a somewhat humorless, incredibly vengeful man on a mission in this latest adventure.

With a successful restart of the franchise in “Casino Royale”, does this movie deliver the goods?

Yes it sure does.

The film starts off with a pretty dynamic car chase leading into one of the best Bond credit sequences in the series. I was not a fan of the Jack White/Alicia Keys theme song, but watching it with the sequence worked for me better than the Chris Cornell song in “Casino Royale”. After this the movie jumps right into the action. This is the way the film is paced. And for a shorter running time than the previous film, you get your money’s worth. And while kick ass, smash em’ up, shoot em’ up action is always fun, it was also one of my problems with the film.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed “Quantum of Solace”, but the film takes no time to breathe or sort out the plot. The movie goes from one chase, to another chase, to another chase. And while each chase upped the action ante from the one previous, it would have been nice to get a clearer understanding of the plot. I was reminded of the film “Cloverfield”. Not because of the overuse shaky cam action sequences (I’ll get to that in a minute), but because the movie is essentially one long action sequence. Again, it’s not a bad thing, because “Pirates of the Caribbean 3” was a series of action sequences and I hated that film. Here I was enjoying the action. And no matter how ridiculous it may have become (it seemed in every scene someone was trying to kill Bond) I was still into it. You are either on board with the craziness or not. And the majority of the people at the screening I went to seemed to be on board with it.

Side note: Two sequences were somewhat lifted from “The Bourne Supremacy”. There is an intense hand to hand combat fight just like the one in the last “Bourne” film. And there is also a high speed roof top chase like the one featured in the last “Bourne” film. But I won’t complain.

Daniel Craig as Bond delivers yet again. While he may be too serious in this film, I have to say I enjoy watching a tougher Bond who doesn’t rely on ridiculous gadgets and unbelievable trickery that made the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies boring and stupid. While he is busy wrecking stuff trough out the movie, I also sat there envious of the fact that all of his clothes were impeccably tailored. (Even when he was bloody and bruised). So now it’s time to hit the gym hardcore and follow it up with a trip to my tailor down the block.  

Now that we all know that Craig owns as Bond, so let me get to one of the biggest reasons guys go to see Bond. The Bond Girls. While I thought Eva Green as Vesper Lind was OK in “Casino Royale” (she is a stunningly beautiful girl) I wasn’t really believing the romance in the last movie. It was actually one aspect of the film that I thought bogged it down a bit. So when they mention Vesper about 50 times in this movie, I just didn’t connect with the idea that Bond was supposedly tortured about her death. Especially since he now had the ridiculously beautiful Olga Kurylenko as “Camille” to deal with. She is smart, fearless, and has her own agenda throughout the film that doesn’t distract from the main storyline. She is a worthy Bond girl who works well with Craig (who he also doesn’t even sleep with). I’m guessing they don’t do the deed at all (despite their obvious chemistry) because both were on this linear route to revenge that they had no time to realize that they were both good looking people.

But it wouldn’t be Bond if he didn’t get in a little fun, so of course in typical Bond tradition, there is the 2nd string Bond girl, and here that is Gemma Arterton as “Fields”. She serves no purpose other than to look hot in a trench coat and high boots.

If you notice, I haven’t really gone into plot details. And while I usually never delve deeply into details in my reviews, I have to say this movie was probably really thin on plot that to describe it I would be telling you the entire film.

The direction by Marc Forster was OK. I enjoyed the film but I oftentimes hated the way the action was handled. Instead of framing it so that the audience can see what is going on, most of the time the action was filmed too close. And the shaky cam got a bit annoying after a while. While shaky cam is common for the “Bourne” series, it works for them, and you can see what’s going on despite the moving camera. In this film sometimes I found my self trying to see what was going on. Had the director taken a step back to try and frame the action wider, I would have been more satisfied with this film.

Despite the above critique, I did enjoy the film more than “Casino Royale”. It’s fast paced, action packed. I saw a really late show, yet I stayed up until 1AM because I was pretty involved. Had the movie been a snoozer, I would have been knocked out and asleep like the way I was during “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.

In the end I recommend the latest Bond adventure. Thin plot and shaky cam action aside, it’s a pretty lean, fast paced, and ultimately fun film that does it’s job to entertain. Daniel Craig has fully claimed the iconic role of James Bond and he is fun to watch. I fully intend to follow him to the next chapter. But hopefully next time, the people behind the scenes will work on the flaws this film has to deliver a real modern action classic.

But for now, this is fun and good enough to entertain.  

My Rating – B

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1 Comment

  1. Quantum of Solace is entertaining at least… a lot of high quality visuals, but the movie as a whole could stand to lose six or seven fewer chase scenes


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