Monday, November 03, 2008

Is This Bond!? Where's the fun?

Quantum Of Solace, unlike any previous Bond movie is a direct sequel to Casino Royale. The story continues on from not long after the previous movie ends and the action never stops... ...not even to quip.

Casino delivered us a very different Bond movie from what we were used to; a gritty hard-ass Bond without the wealth of experience or improbable far-fetched gadgets of his "predecessors". And it worked. Quantum however, takes that up a notch and turned Bond into a vengeful bastard with a giant chip on his shoulder. Make no mistake Bond is so far removed from the character you know it's like watching Daniel Craig play an older Jason Bourne. Craig's Bond reverts from the Walther P99 to using the Walther PPK not used since Tomorrow Never Dies, but other than this more Bond-esque weapon, he's almost unrecognisable as the character and I'm sorry to say the movie suffers for it.

Now it works on a modern level, to remove Moneypenny and the associated flirting as well as Q with the unrealistic gadgets but in Quantum they piratically lose Bond's devilish smile and almost all semblance of humour - they went a bit to far! Seriously, there are little or no quips, one liners or sexual innuendo from him in this movie and it's a notable absence. It appears they were attempting to recreate the James Bond from Fleming's books than re-energising the movie franchise. If I wanted to experience the book version then I'd read the goddamn book, it's not what I want or expect from a Bond movie.

Craig does deliver an incredible performance and I can't fault it for what it is. Judy Dench as M provides an life-raft for Bond's descent into darkness. But the babes Olga Kurylenko as Camille and Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields (and they don't use her full name on screen in a further siphoning of Bond humour), while hot, don't have the star power of any the Bond Girls of the past 10 years. Even the antagonist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) has no quirk that has been a staple of Bond Villains since Dr. No, unless you count a smarmy arrogance? The Jack White & Alica Keys title song is brilliant when heard against the somewhat muted opening titles with regard to the unimpressive graphics and David Arnold returns with a score to rival his Casino Royale masterwork.

What we do get however, is one of the best action movies of the year hands down. We open with a spectacular break-neck (and unfortunately break-car) Italian highway chase with shooting, crashes and explosions. Then there's a running chase through the sewers and rooftops of Sienna, Italy, an incredible boat-chase in Haiti and then in Bolivia, an aircraft chase! I think you get the picture.

This in an incredible adrenaline rush of a movie with frenetic chases, whiplash inducing fight scenes and glorious explosions but it almost bereft of what is truly Bond; so eager were they to cut away the chaff, they removed too much wheat.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ****


3 comments:

Former Grunt said...

Saw it too. A lot of style but little substance and almost zero character development for our new Bond until the last shot.

Most disappointing.

Vaughan said...

Loved it Colonel , as you well know ! I thought it was a perfect resemblance to the Bond of the books ,that final shot in Particular(Let's face it the Movies up to now were so far removed from the books ,that it would be possible to film the books again using their actual stories and just changing the titles!)
and as for the lack of quips..it was a revenge movie Colonel or would you rather we all go back to the days Moore would flirt with Moneypenney and you ended up feeling dirty cause it felt like watching yer grandparents trying to be sexy ( pauses as he waits for the colonels Flashbacks to begin and end up in a foetal position rocking himself back and forth)

Bruce Russell said...

I understand that the fun will be included as a dvd extra.