Quantum of Solace – Decent Fare

The dissenters may quibble about a chase falling short, a car still being shiny after a dusty race or some other pedestrian goof.

Or even, good lord, that Bond is human with human feelings after all, just like us ordinary mortals.

But we’ve always believed that a James Bond movie is more than the sum of its individual parts, so much more.

Quantum of Solace (directed by Marc Forster) hews to the standard Bond fare of fast car chases, sexy girls, M, thrilling action scenes, fireballs, betrayals, an evilly evil villain and a fiendish plot.

Quantum of Solace

But the latest version of the Bond franchise – the 22nd in a series that started 46 years back – also marks some deviation.

The new Bond is not afraid of showing that he’s a man of feeling too. Not just the cool, unflappable, unruffled-under-any-circumstance MI6 agent of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Bond is capable of that dark emotion revenge, the leitmotif of this movie.

Revenge for the death of his girl Vesper, who dies toward the end of Casino Royale.

Also, the hot, cool gadgets are missing unless you count a cell phone that can transmit pictures as one.

The new movie starts off where the last one Casino Royale ended – A fast car chase with Bond at the wheels of an Aston Martin, the captured villain in the trunk followed by the bad guys in an Alfa Romeo on the obligatory crowded, winding hilly road.

No sooner does the chase end than we encounter another Bond staple – betrayal – as M’s bodyguard Mitchell helps the villain Mr.White, who Bond has brought there for interrogation, to escape.

Yes, Quantum does have people everywhere.

Daniel Craig is an excellent actor.

Perhaps the best among several who have donned Bond’s classic suits and possessed that rare license to kill.

Whether in the daring action scenes as he leaps across roof-tops in pursuit of the betrayer Mitchell or fighting high-up in dark, tall buildings or showing that faintly noticeable flicker of emotion about Vesper, Daniel Craig is a joy to behold.

You don’t expect great acting in a Bond movie, a Jason Bourne flick or a Superman sequel but Daniel Craig delivers.

French actor Mathieu Amalric plays Dominic Greene, a vicious character in normal clothing and a leading member of the shadowy Quantum organization.

Amalric is an impressive actor although he doesn’t have that much scope here given the confining framework of a Bond film. We plan to watch his other movies soon.

No, oil is not the precious commodity that Amalric and his cohorts are trying to corner. No, it’s not gold either. But a more mundane commodity that could be the harbinger of future wars among nations.

Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko is effective as Camille Montes, a Russian-Bolivian agent who is on her own revenge trip over a past tragedy.

There are chinks, of course. And the biggest is the decision to make Quantum of Solace a sequel.

A sequel always makes it difficult for those who were not part of the original journey to really comprehend the motivations of the dramatis personae in the later versions.

Besides the studios, Quantum of Solace was filmed in Italy, Spain, Mexico, Panama City, Chile and Austria.

Its shortcomings notwithstanding, Quantum of Solace is decent fare – a lavish buffet set on a well decorated table with most of the usual Bond ingredients in abundant supply.

11 Responses to "Quantum of Solace – Decent Fare"

  1. SRINIVAS   November 17, 2008 at 12:36 am

    This time around .. i will agree with your review …decent fare ….yes

    SI: Daniel Craig is an excellent actor. Perhaps the best among several who have donned Bond’s classic suits and possessed that rare license to kill.

    Pierce Brosnan was much better than Daniel Craig .. this guy doesn’t emote well .. even where its required.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write above: This time around .. i will agree with your review

    Oh, lucky us (sarcastic sigh).

    2. We’ve seen Pierce Brosnan in a few non-Bond movies like Shattered (a.k.a Butterfly on the Wheel outside the U.S.), the Tailor of Panama, Matador… as well. For sure, Brosnan’s good but we think he falls short of Daniel Craig in the acting department. BTW, the recent Hindi film Kidnap was a lift of Brosnan’s Shattered.

    We’d vote Brosnan’s performance in The Matador as one of his best.

  2. BIGBADMF   November 17, 2008 at 3:20 am

    1.Heard/read some where that QoS was the shortest Bond movie ever but still wondered why the studio opted ‘not to hire’ an editor for the movie.
    2. Daniel Craig is talented actor but i wouldn’t say that after watching QoS. I wouldn’t say R.De Nero is a good actor after watching city bank commercial!
    3.When i walk into a cinema to watch a Bond movie unlike a movie based on an original screenplay I have some expectations. I wish to watch the usual ingredients at its best. QoS lacks all of them. When some critic wrote that the Fox from Wanted drove A.Martin better than the QoS Bond he said it all and the first ever Bond not to bed his lady, what a pity!
    4.O.Kurylenko is wasted in the movie and the tan and the scar on her back looks bad. When you use a gorgeous face your intention is to show a good face or else you could have casted some one else (don’t want to mention any name). What is the point of hiring one of the best ladies out there and paying hefty sum to the make-up crew to make her look ugly. well, in our part of the globe we call them idiots.
    5. Marc Foster’s best work till date is Stay. I consider him as a very good director but in QoS he just proves that his German born Swiss bred blood doesn’t contain the appropriate adrenalin level to direct a Bond movie. Go around and search for best sellers like Kite Runner, find a studio that can cash $12Mio, that is where you belong.

  3. StrYngLad74   November 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Quantum of Solace is an “Above Average” fare at best. It has the chutzpah and great stunts, that are trademarks of a good action flick, but it lacked the fine dramatic elements of Casino Royale. It’s better than most Bond films I’ve seen, but I felt that the script did not allow much time for the characters to build effectively and as a result, certain plot points were depicted in a hasty fashion. Definitely worth a view, though.

  4. aditya_k   November 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    just saw the movie…..its not a bond movie anymore….just looks like a normal action movie….they shouldn’t have done that…we already have so many normal action movies in hollywood….why take away one of the few special ones??

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: just saw the movie…..its not a bond movie anymore

    We thought it was a decent flick.

    U.S. moviegoers seem to have voted in favor of the movie as well.

    Quantum of Solace did much better at the U.S. box office compared to Casino Royale.

  5. shuaib82   November 18, 2008 at 4:10 am

    This movie was too boring.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Why did you find it boring?

  6. barneystinson   November 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    An unbiased review. Only hope it could be the same for all the Indian movies as well and some hollywood movies (The dark knight).

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write above: An unbiased review

    Wow. How blessed we are to win your approval (sarcastic sigh).

    2. You write above: Only hope it could be the same for all the Indian movies as well and some hollywood movies (The dark knight).

    Every single movie we review is unbiased and comes straight from the head (no, we don’t believe in that straight from the heart nonsense).

    BTW, you seem to think we were the only ones not to be too impressed with The Dark Knight. Forget the byways of the Internet, if you troll around the highways of the net, you’ll find a few other respected reviewers who were not as dazzled as you were with Dark Knight.

    But we also had some good things to say about Dark Knight. Here’s an excerpt from our review:

    To watch Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight is to rejoice in a performer who had reached the ne plu ultra, the summit of his short film career.

    Heath Ledger was just Vanilla good in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, the story of two gay young cowboys that won Lee an Oscar and Ledger a deserved nomination for Best Actor. But in The Dark Knight, Ledger is bloody good, literally and figuratively.

    With a hideously disfigured white face, a red slit of a mouth and a knife in his hand, Ledger is a gorgeous blood-dripping sundae, lip-smackingly good.

    Ledger cuts a more terrifying figure than Jack Nicholson after his fall in that vat of green chemicals in Batman (1989).

  7. the gora   November 19, 2008 at 12:44 am

    What the hell is BIGBADMF talking about with the scars on Olga Kurylenko’s back? If they are there and that is what she looks like normally then why should that be altered? That’s almost like saying they should have used editing in The Last King of Scotland to fix Forest Whitaker’s crazy eye so that his eyes look like he has two healthy/normal eyes. And should photographers have photoshopped out Cindy Crawford’s mole whenever she was on the cover of a magazine?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Good point.

  8. gandhiji   November 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Watched it yesterday because there was no other choice.. Slumdog Millionaire is nowhere to be found in our shanty little city. And my other choices were VA and Yuvvi!

    It was good.

    People are probably not realizing that this the early phase of Bond?! At the end he throws Vesper’s necklace away.. that probably means that we may a see a very different Bond in the next movie. Be patient, people. I have started liking Craig even more after this movie.

    I also thought Olga was weak.. I thought Eva Green (Have you watched Eva in “The Dreamers”? WOW!) was fantastic in CR. I thought her acting wasn’t much better than Nayantara’s. 🙂

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Will Watch Dreamers soon. 😉

  9. gandhiji   November 22, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Clarification – I was comparing Olga with Nayantara.. in case someone misunderstands that I think Eva is a bad actress.

  10. beni   December 18, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I thought this movie was v. disappointing!
    Way too many action sequences & incessant/badly handled sub-plot twists.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Way too many action sequences

    We’ve heard a lot of bizarre complaints in life…but this one is original – Way too many actions in a James Bond flick.

    Kiddo this is a James Bond flick not a faltu Jimmy Gaand movie. What did you expect?

  11. beni   December 18, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I just felt the movie was choppy and lost focus with all the action. It was more Mission-Impossible-ish. Bond was so menacing, he wasn’t funny or suave or sarcastic or smooth.
    Was Olga needed in the movie? What was the meaning of that scene where she climbs up the stairs to Dominic Greene? They made it seem like she was going to do smtg.

    What’s a Jimmy Gaand movie?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: What’s a Jimmy Gaand movie?

    A Jimmy Gaand movie is a Tamil or Hindi wannabe action movie.

    Like those clowns Arjun, Ajith or Vijay in Tamil or Abhishek Bachchan in Hindi films.

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