Film review: Quantum of Solace
TWO YEARS AFTER Craig’s Bond debut in Casino Royale, he returns in the 22nd Bond film. This is the first time a Bond film has ever followed on from another and Marc Forster takes over the direction of the film. An unlikely choice for someone who has done little in this genre of film before but who perhaps wanted to offer us a new Bond.
Luckily, the ambiguous meanings behind the somewhat odd, though slinky sounding title, are likely to be clearer on your way out of the cinema than on your way in.
Quantum of Solace picks up where Casino Royale left us, in Lake Como, Italy, with a staggeringly dramatic car chase with such fast action it’s hard to not feel queasy.
Unsurprisingly, it has not taken Bond long to put aside his previous decision to resign as 007 agent as he heads off on the hunt to avenge the death of his girl Vesper Lynd whose betrayal he has put down to blackmail by a higher force.
The hunt leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a member of the Quantum organisation, who is wreaking further havoc through his attempts to monopolise the water supply of Bolivia whilst simultaneously swindling American CIA officers. >>>Aside from astounding fight scenes and car chases, a particularly striking scene is that of the packed Opera House in Austria with Bond carrying out some impressive detective work against the backdrop of Tosca.
Quantum of Solace does not bring out the typical smooth, rampant Bond you might expect, but rather a brooding, brutal one, much to the disapproval of M (Judi Dench). This has led to criticism of Craig. However, given Bond’s situation, the change in character appears understandable.
For once Bond had truly found his girl. His anger at her death means that there is less focus on his current love life and attractive charm and more on his mission to avenge Vesper’s death. Thus, it is not limited acting on Craig’s part but rather a decision not to degrade Bond’s strength of feeling.
Camille (Olga Kurylenko) and Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) still provide us with Bond girls and put in good performances, especially Kurylenko who is on a similar mission.
Daniel Craig brings style and passion to the role and a noticeably greater depth of character to Bond.
Forster has created a film for everyone. Action fans will not be disappointed with the fight scenes and chases on all forms of transport imaginable.
The 200 million dollar budget permits the film to cover equally impressive locations including Bolivia, Italy, and of course, rainy England. The plot is well thought out with relevant issues, though obviously it will be more enjoyable for those who have seen the earlier film.
Yet, it is difficult not to wonder whether, if the main protagonist was named differently, would Quantum of Solace even be recognisable as a Bond film? It borders on being any present-day Hollywood commercial, action adventure export with a number of scenes more reminiscent of a Bourne film than a chic 007 agent. Bond fans will be disappointed with numerous Bond characteristics being dropped.
We can only hope that future Bond films get back to normal, and we get back the witty, glamorous and stylish agent we are used to.