Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review: Quantum of Solace

Another day off, another movie matinee! Tuesday, we caught the newest installment in the James Bond oeuvre, Quantum of Solace. Up front, I will admit to not being a big Bond fan. Yes, I've seen nearly all of the movies - and I do have a favorite Bond (Pierce Brosnan). But I've never been one to run off to the theater as soon as the newest opens. I usually wait a few weeks and then take it in. Which was the exact scenario for this latest film.

It's basically a sequel to the previous film, Casino Royale. Bond (Daniel Craig) is mourning the death of his babe in that film, and is out for revenge. He traces the perpetrators to a mysterious organization called Quantum, which seems to be running the world. Along for the ride - and to help him - is Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who was a victim of one of the organization's puppets. Okay, it's actually probably a lot more complex than that summary, but that's the best I can do in this small space.

Suffice it to say, there are tons of car chases, tons of man-to-man combat, a little sex and lot of innuendo, and a few vodka martinis. We also get a lot of psychoanalyzing of Bond - what motivates him, what his goals are, etc. Clearly, Daniel Craig's Bond is a Bond for the new century.

Unfortunately the director relies heavily on handheld camera work for many of the action scenes. While it plummets you into the middle of the action, I found it very difficult to follow who was who, to figure out who was winning. (It's also nauseating to try to follow that type of camera work, my chief peeve about that style) I would have loved to have had the glass concession on set - they must have used every piece of glass in the country. (It's surprising that more of the combatants don't suffer from severe lacerations). The locations are lovely, as is standard in Bond films.

I'm not warming to Craig's Bond, though. I'm not sure why - is he not pretty enough for me? Is he too monosyllabic? Is it his seeming lack of chemistry with every female costar except Judi Dench's M? Am I just tired of the franchise? I'm really not sure.

So, if you go into the theater expecting mindless action and violence, you'll love this film. If you're looking for'll be disappointed.

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