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Published on November 15th, 2008 | by simeon

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Quantum of Solace

qsWith the success of “Casino Royale” featuring new Bond Daniel Craig, the world has waiting eagerly for the follow up, “Quantum of Solace” which continues the historic spy franchise.

Picking up exactly where the last film ended, Bond is walking a fine line between revenge and doing his duty after being betrayed by Vesper at the end of the last film. While interrogating a suspect with M (Judy Densch), it is learned that there is an organization that is very dangerous and influential that even has influence in the C.I.A. and MI6.

Before they can learn any further information, a shocking betrayal happens and Bond is in hot pursuit of the suspect across the rooftops of Italy and soon locked in a deadly confrontation with the traitor.
The recent events have M concerned and Bond is dispatched to Haiti to follow on a lead which thanks to a case of mistaken identity leads Bond to a woman named Camille (Olga Kurylenko). Olga is involved in a deadly game with a corrupt businessman named Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), and a Bolivian General named Medrano (Joaquin Cosio).

Unsure of their involvement, Bond follows Greene, and learns that he heads an environmental group and has designs on a track of desert in Bolivia. Unsure if Greene’s interest in the area is related to diamonds, oil, or something else, M tasks Bond with finding out what is going on, as her superiors are betting that it is related to oil, and with the C.I. A. involved, it is reasoned that the England cannot be left out of an already dwindling oil supply.

It is at this point that the film lost much of its steam for me as the final revelation seemed to be much ado about nothing as this sort of thing happens, and has happened the world over for years and is hardly worthy of involving the MI6, much less the worlds must dangerous spy.

What follows is a series of betrayals and a few action scenes leading up to a fiery climax which almost redeems the film.

Let me say at the outset that I am a Bond fan and a traditionalist. I understand change happens over time and I am not one who thinks that the role began and ended with Sean Connery. I enjoyed Roger Moore though found him a bit camp. Timothy Dalton did not work for me, and George Lazenby was only Bond for one film so it is hard to judge him fairly. That being said, I found Pierce Brosnan to have been the best Bond since Connery as his interpretation of the character is dead on.

Sir Ian Fleming created the character and has said that he was influenced by people he knew. Bond is a well educated and cultured individual who was educated at the top schools, was an officer in the Royal Navy, and is a suave and charming individual as well as a cold and deadly killer when needed. He is scarred by events in his past, as such he relies on alcohol, duty, and woman to get by, but never once allows himself to get to close to anyone.

When they rebooted the franchise with Craig, much of the 40 years of Bond as well as the essence of the character have been lost. Craig’s Bond is not a cultured blue blood, he is a common thug. In my review of “Casino Royale” I mentioned that the new Bond passed up spending a night with a woman in order to pursue a lead, and how Connery would have found time to do both with style.

Craig’s Bond is very light on womanizing and the film has zero sexual tension and only a very brief romance seen that seems tacked on. The underlying themes of Bond has been guns, gadgets, girls, and action, and this film has chosen to pretty much eschew almost all of this as there are zero gadgets in the film and to be honest, I found the plot to be uninspired.

I think that in many ways the people behind the film have tried to get as far away from the past Bond films as possible especially the maniacal villains who were bent on destroying the world.

As an action film, the movie does have its moments and if it was not a Bond film would be a passable action thriller. As a Bond film, it promises the world and will likely disappoint much long term Bond fans and appeal mainly to those who do not have a longstanding history with the character from book to film. I have to wonder if Sir Ian Fleming is spinning in his grave over what they have done to his gentleman spy in the name of progress.

3 stars out of 5


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