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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

To discuss a Movie Review: Quantum of Solace is at least a better title than most Star Wars movies

(There are limited spoilers. But if you cared about spoilers, you'd read this after seeing the movie, anyway.)

When your girlfriend compares the new James Bond flick, “Quantum of Solace,” to the shoot-em-up assassin movie, “Hitman,” you know this isn’t your father’s James Bond.

Capricorn had never seen a James Bond movie before. Coincidentally, this summer I saw the new Indiana Jones installment with a friend who had never seen any of the Indiana Jones movies before.
On a related note, I evidently hang out with hermits and see movies under a rock someplace.

I walked into the theater on Sunday night expecting a Bond movie with the same class, action, thrill, laughs and violence as the initial Dan
iel Craig-led Bond, 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
QOS did not disappoint, except of course for that silly title that sounds like an angst-ridden teenager trying to title their poem about death and despair. I think “Revenge Best Served Shaken, Not Stirred” would have worked better.
At least it’s not “Revenge of the Sith.”


From the opening moments, Craig encapsulates all that people want in their Bond, as it is, after all, our Bond. He’s intelligent, witty, debonair— yes, debonair, like Cary Grant with an automatic assault weapon— and as physical as any Bond before him.
The action scenes could have found a home in any of the “Bourne” movies. I’m always impressed with the different ways Bond producers allow the title character to get his way out of trouble, too. In QOS, Craig gets to use a car, a dirt bike, an SUV, a plane and a boat. He was one train away from starring in a sequel wit
h Steve Martin and John Candy’s corpse.

For a full synopsis of the movie, go
here. T
he basic premise is Bond seeking revenge against a secret terrorist agency, Quantum. His girlfriend, Vesper, had killed herself because she was forced by Quantum to betray Bond at the end of “Casino Royale.” At the center of Quantum, there’s a new villain, Dominic Greene, who is trying to connive world leaders into investing in his environmental group, Greene Planet, which is a front for his secret plan to control a huge, untapped water supply in Bolivia. Talk about An Inconvenient Truth.

The action picks up an hour after “Casino Royale” left off, and there are plenty of chase scenes to go around in the opening minutes to rival the excellent scene in “Royale” when Bond chased his target up, around, and on top of a construction site.


More than the action, what sets these most recent two Bond movies apart from previous installments is their ability to delve more deeply into the characters. Craig gives Bond depth beyond the “agent with a license to
kill” mindset, showing compassion, sorrow and pain, but not to the point that it interrupts his work.

The new Bond girl, Camille, is played adeptly by the gorgeous Olga Kurylenko, who holds her own in scenes with Craig and isn’t just a sex object. That might be because it’s also the first time Bond doesn’t get in bed with the main Bond girl, as he’s too busy most of the time recklessly killing suspects, much to the chagrin of his boss, M, and the rest of the British gov
ernment.

Not to fear, though, traditional Bond f
ans. Bonds finds time to sleep with another woman, Strawberry Fields, a red-haired beauty sent by the British Consulate to take Bond in for debriefing. Let’s just say things don’t go well for Ms. Fields, and I’m not talking about contracting a disease from Bond, who is approaching Wilt Chamberlain territory after all of these movies’ worth of lovemaking. You know he's not using protection.

Revenge and killing, not romance, serve as the primary fodder for QOS, however. Bond is unusually brutal this time, in part because he’s full of anger after the death of Vesper, a woman he loved. Craig does well in showing some restraint so as to not make Bond cartoonishly vengeful like some Sylvester Stallone movie.
It’s also refreshing that Greene, played by Mathieu Amalric, does not have any gimmicky physical traits that have long been a staple of Bond movies.

That forces Amalric to become despicable and emotionally disturbed on his own volition, which he does well in his limited scenes.
In all, QOS is a perfect blend of Bond qualities. I’m sure all of those fans who protested Craig’s selection as the new Bond feel silly now. Craig’s Bond is on par with the best of Bonds before him, and with the ability to beat up those past Bonds, as well.

And yes, Capricorn greatly enjoyed QOS.
Now all I have to do is get her to see Casino Royale.

19 comments:

Ben said...

I didn't read this post because I haven't seen the movie yet but what I DO need to know is this:

DOES Daniel Craig get PG-13 naked again?

This is very important.

honkeie2 said...

The last Bond movie I saw was Golden Eye....I dont get out much...but I did see Hitman and liked it. But then again I loved Shootem Up and Doomsday, so go figure.

Teej said...

I've never seen a James Bond movie either. Much love to Capricorn :-)

Teej said...

oh yeah, I've never seeen an Indiana Jones movie either...

BeckEye said...

"Boy I really want to see the new James Bond movie."

This is a line that I've never said in my life, and can't imagine I ever will.

I've never seen a James Bond movie other than "A View to a Kill." And the only reason I watched that was because of the Duran Duran song, which couldn't even compensate for the sheer suckitude of the movie. Although I will say that Roger Moore sure was easy on the eyes. I can't stand this Daniel Craig dude. I don't find him attractive (nice eyes, I'll give him that) and I saw him in "The Jacket" and thought he was a dreadful actor.

Andy said...

Ben- Not nearly as naked as Casino Royale, although he does have his shirt off some. No twigs and berries.
Honk- I loved the Goldeneye video game for N64. I used to play that for hours with friends. Golden Gun mode. Classic.
Teej- If I'm ever in your neck of the woods again, the three of us are watching those movies. Deal?
Beck- Trust me when I say Craig is good in this movie. I don't know how he is in other movies, like the Golden Compass, which looked like a frozen version of Lord of the Rings, but he's good here.

Lump said...

I don't find Daniel Craig attractive, so I hope he doesn't get PG-13 naked. I definitely would rather see Sean Connery rated R naked - you know, old man balls and everything.
Thanks for the movie review, now I probably will never have to see a James Bond movie.

Yoda can still kick Bond's ass, thank you.

~Sheila~ said...

It looks like a pretty cool movie. I have to admit though, I haven't seen ALL of the James Bond movies. I didn't even see Casino Royale. I don't know why. I think it may have something to do with a crap load of different actors playing the BOND character that it wasn't all that believable and I couldn't connect anymore (Must be the girlie side of me). That happened with the Batman movies. Too many different actors.

Anyway..I left you a little message on my blog.

~Sheila~ said...

P.S. I was at McDonald's with the kids one time and I mentioned Grimace and the Hamburgler...the kids thought I was a FREAK!

I had to explain.

I've seen the Indiana Jones movies. Gonna go get them for the kids before we see the new one. AT LEAST Harrison Ford is the only actor for the Indiana Jones character.
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE!!

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

Danielle and I were actually playing Casino Royale on PS2 last night. I totally kicked her ass...and then I started to get tired and she owned me. Damn.

I probably won't see QofS until it comes out on video *cough cough* TV movie *cough* because I'm cheap like that and I don't have a boyfriend to foot the bill.

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

PS, my verification word was RAPSYCLE. Apparently this is when you rap while bicycling???

The Rambler said...

My first question was going to be about the Craig man showing some PG-13 skin but thanks to Ben for popping that cherry first....:)

Second, why do I keep thinking this title makes me think it's a sci-fi movie? I don't know?

I need to watch Casino Royale prior to this one or I may get all WHAT..I Can't remember...

Your new blogger stalker pal,
The Rambler :)))

bex said...

What kind of blog audience are you attracting here? I've seen all Indiana movies and all Bond movies made during my lifetime. My favorite Indy flick is the Temple of Doom, if only because the little Asian boy drives the car.

And you're right... Five bucks says "Quantum of Solace" is the title for Dashboard Confessional's next cd.

gracie-mel said...

all I know is that I was BEGGING the director to use a steadicam during the movie.
but I still liked it a lot.

Erin said...

I am having such a hard time getting past the lame title.

Anna Lefler said...

OK - I'll be back after I go see this eye candy (oops!) I mean MOVIE. I'm scared of the spoilers but can't wait to read your post...

Back soon!

:^) Anna

Chele said...

I dont think I ever heard of someone who has not seen at least one Bond movie. Then again I never seen any of the Godfather movies.
Indiana Jones sucked, well the the new one they did.
I love Bond for all of the gadget demonstrations he gets from Q.Something I hear he did not get in this one, so I am not bothered to see it.

SpiderPants308 said...

Andy: You took her to see "Quantum of Solace" without first showing her "Casino Royale"!? That is a big sequel no-no! I can hardly believed she enjoyed it without proper background. Watching any other Bond film without previous experience would have been acceptable, but this one was a direct sequel! Tsk tsk.

Daniel Craig is still the least attractive Bond there's ever been, but being a dude, that's not why I go to see Bond films. His intensity is very good, so that's good enough for me.

And Beck: "A View to a Kill" (other than the awesome Duran Duran song) is an incredibly poor representation of a Bond film. I mean....Roger Moore made out with Man-face (excuse me, May Day) in it. *shudder* I recommend watching a good Bond film. For a Sean Connery film, I recommend "From Russia with Love" or "Goldfinger." For Roger Moore, I recommend his first two, "Live and Let Die" or "The Man with the Golden Gun." For Timothy Dalton, "The Living Daylights" is pretty good. For Pierce Brosnan, "GoldenEye" is awesome! And both movies have been decent for Daniel Craig, but for God's sake, watch "Casino Royale" before watching "Quantum of Solace"!

grace13 said...

(New reader via Ben)

There are people who haven't seen ANY Bond or Indiana Jones movies????? That is just wrong. Granted, I haven't seen any Karate Kid or Back to the Future so... maybe that's on par? (idk. Everyone calls them "classics." weirdos.)

Awesome review. Now I'm psyched to go see QOS tonight!

ps- Have you see Craig in Layer Cake? Phenom.

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