Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace

It's been a tough time posting anything lately and for that I apologize. Actually I'm behind on like three other films, it's just been so damn busy. Anyway, I got a chance to see an special early screening of Bond sans the Star Trek trailer, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I have read all of the critics bashing it for being a little too intense and being a bit short on plot, and truthfully they are correct. But even though it was all of those things, watching Daniel Craig go through it was a thrill just the same and I have no qualms of watching this one again. It's darker, brutal and short on sex and clever gimmicks or lines. It is a force of nature, not quite the Quantum of Solace one might expect from the title.This one takes off about an hour after Casino Royale. Bond (Daniel Craig) has Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) in custody and M (Judi Dench) wants to start the investigation into this secret organization that has gone unnoticed until now by MI-6. Bond's revenge is focused like a lazer beam as he kills anyone that gets in his way. He also finds a kindred spirit in the very beautiful Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who is looking for a little vengence of her own. Bond digs deeper into the organization known as Quantum to discover what their dasterdly motives are, ironically a little more mundane then past Bond villains but no less vile. The toady Dominic Greene who, as was pointed out to me, is a dead ringer for Roman Polanski. He's less evil and more slimy, kind of reminds me of an oil executive.

Greene unfortunately is not one of the better villains and his master plan is something taken from one of Fleming's books which is not really on a grand scale. I really wasn't bothered by it but Cody and a few others I talked to really wished the plot was a little more heavy duty. I don't think it needed to be world domination all over again but I guess in hindsight it could have been a little more dire. We got some nice homages to past Bonds like Goldfinger and for some reason that Desert hideaway reminded me a bit of the desert stronghold in Diamonds are Forever. The hot women were in short supply in this flick, I must say, You had Olga who I mentioned above and the very bubbly Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), thankfully she was only called Fields in the film itself. But that was really about it, no other hotties and hardly that much skin. A large complaint again from the peanut gallery, but again, it didn't bother me all that much.Honestly I really enjoyed Daniel Craig fufilling my dream of a direct Bond from the book. He is cold, he is merciless and he is deeply flawed. Craig embodies these traits so well. The more I see him cracking someone's skull or beating a man to pulp and then killing him by cutting off his circulation just reminds me even more how silly Roger Moore and even Pierce Brosnan's Bonds were. I do hope that they move onto other adventures that do not include Quantum and they keep the realistic tone and the action. One thing I think I would get rid of though is the Bourne Identity shaky cam during action scenes. I know this is the new thing with action movies but I am starting to get a little tired of it. This is why I loved 300 so much, you can see everything!! I'm not saying slo-mo is the way to go with Bond but, I'm just asking the next director to ease off on the car crash style cinematography I would like to keep the popcorn in my mouth. Perhaps this was a choice by newbie action director Marc Forster (Kiter Runner & Finding Neverland), I think he should honestly just stick to dramas though. They had a kick ass team directing the action but sometimes the in-between scenes needed a bit of polish and maybe a bit more storytelling. He got a break in a sense because Daniel Craig literally could have done this entire movie without speaking a word but his face speaks volumes. This was truly the selling point for me of the film. You could just tell that Craig's Bond is searching for answers, that he is a little lost and maybe at times a little over his head but he keeps pushing through like a bulldozer because he has to know. So let's chalk this one up to the action packed sequel to Casino Royale and get down to Brass tactics for Bond 23. I heard Daniel Craig promise more sex in the next one--so that's one problem solved.
Grade: 3 Buckets

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