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Quantum of Solace

2008-12-12 12:41
 
Dark, violent and thrilling beyond belief, this is the Bond we all feared Daniel Craig would become, but damn! What a fantastic spectacle it is.
Quantum of Solace
What it's about:

Still smarting from the loss of his great love Vesper Lynd at the end of Casino Royale, MI6 secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) forges a mission of vengeance against the mysterious organisation that caused her death, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. A case of mistaken identity leads to his meeting with Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with her own vendetta. They stumble on a plot by environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) to take total control of one of the world's most important natural resources. But when Bond's bloodlust goes into overdrive, his own people attempt to neutralise him, and he and Olga find themselves targeted.

What we thought of it:

When Daniel Craig was revealed to be the new incarnation of the world's most famous secret agent in 2006, all sorts of wild and paranoid accusations were leveled at the actor before he even shot his first scene – too blonde, to short, too butch, too unattractive, and so it went on. Of course, the minute Craig's sixth Bond went chasing after a particularly limber enemy in Casino Royale's incredible opening sequence - perfectly playing the tough as nails trained killer he's meant to be - all fears that he wouldn’t do the proud tradition justice were put to rest.

With the release of Quantum of Solace the question is: does Craig sustain the excitement and level of expectation for this new brand of British agent? Rest assured, Craig's Bond delivers – again and again – and this time his mission is so physically and emotionally bruising, you'll come to understand how Craig has had to undergo a number of surgeries post-production and sported an impressive arm brace at his premiere appearances for Quantum.

Picking up literally hours after the point where Casino Royale left off, Quantum's opening finds Bond involved in a high-speed chase through tunnels and quarries of Italy. Minutes later Bond is involved in another a breathtaking chase, this time on foot, over the crumbling balconies and rooftops of the antiquated homes in idyllic Siena. A word of advice: DO NOT blink during this scene - you'll no doubt miss an amazing physical feat by either of the actors/stunt men involved.

In what is essentially a sequel to Casino Royale, there's just no stopping Bond on his quest for revenge. He literally destroys everything in his path. Yes, James Bond is now a full-blown action hero, every bit the "blunt instrument" M (Judi Dench) accused him of being in Casino, and now represents all that is great and yet lacking from the re-booted franchise.

You'll be hard-pressed to find another movie released within the last year that matches the high-octane, balls-to-the-wall intensity of the action scenes and bruising combat manoeuvres seen here, but at the same time, it's not the Bond we've come to know and revere.

As was evident from the creative team's vision for the re-booted Bond, some old faithfuls (the finicky gadgets and Miss Moneypenny) are now a thing of the past, and it appears that Bond's actual spy work has taken a backseat to the action too. His sole high-tech "spying device" in Quantum is the limited edition Sony Ericsson Titanium Silver C902 Cyber-Shot phone, more a marketing opportunity for Sony than a plot device. The only clue that this movie is part of a long lineage is a hotel room scene that directly references a scene from Sean Connery's Goldfinger (1964).

As for the villains? No tears of blood, purring white cats or jaws of steel for our baddie Dominic Greene. No, he's a suave environmentalist with bad teeth and a penchant for disposable women. Although his mostly useless henchman does sport the most ludicrous toupee, just like something last seen on a 15th century French monk.

Director Marc Forster has imbued this 22nd Bond installment with all the visual splendor and instantly gratifying moments that will make this a must-see. But it will suffer from constant comparisons to the superior Casino Royale.

There isn’t enough of a plot for true fans to get their teeth into, the bad guys, for all their manic posturing, are just greedy bastards who aren’t exactly going to make you quake in your boots, and the charming Bond quips are sadly absent.

On the plus side, the depiction of Bond as a ruthless but fallible man, breaking stuff to mend his broken heart, is a wonderfully rich and gratifying role perfectly suited to Daniel Craig's talents. He may not be the Bond we thought we wanted, but he is precisely the Bond we need.

- Shaheema Barodien

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reed 11/18/2008 8:51 AM
007 rocks! I cannot wait to see this movie!! have already booked my tickets. Daniel Craig is the best!
Loon 11/18/2008 9:07 AM
Action Bond Saw it at a premier last night. Very good indeed. Serious action, but have to agree with the review - a bit light in the storyline. Otherwise, a great action movie to watch. Skop, skiet & donner de luxe!
Zelda 11/18/2008 10:04 AM
Bond movie I enjoyed the movie. Daniel Craig is a good actor. Well worth seeing.
Phenom 11/18/2008 10:09 AM
007 goes down! This is probably one of the worst 007 movies ever made. Yes the action was good, but this is James Bond, not Rambo! There were no gadgets, no witty lines he doesnt even end up with the girl... very disappointed!
Bjorn 11/18/2008 10:24 AM
BOND RULES Wait, did you just say there were no gadgets, this Bond is hardcore and I love it that he not into the woman but only into Ass kicking. Its the best Bond ever for our Generation, older people will love Sean Connery, I love Daniel Craig
J. Mort 11/18/2008 10:35 AM
Awesome action movie I agree that while this Bond is more like an action hero and not a secret agent, I thought the stunts and action scenes in this movie were some of the best I’d ever seen, so that defs makes this worth your while. Daniel Craig is just awesome.
Mike 11/18/2008 10:52 AM
There isn’t enough of a plot for true fans to get their teeth into... Boring... just like the first one. I watched it three times and still have no idea what the plot of the movie is. Bring back the "old" Bond.
Shaheema 11/18/2008 10:56 AM
And another thing... I forgot to mention in my review that there is a lovely dynamic being developed between Bond and M in their 2nd movie together. She's wary of him because he's so unpredictable, but at the same time you can sense her almost motherly protectiveness of him. Its actually quite sweet.
Morgan Morris 11/18/2008 11:16 AM
Bond is Bourne-again Ah yes, just as we suspected in "Casino Royale", Daniel Craig is a Bond for grown-ups. And, yes, wary of the soaring box office of one other state-sanctioned killer, one Mr Jason Bourne (JB, you get it? JB!), 007 has finally come of age. The filmmakers have at last cottoned on that Bond shouldn't be made for 12-year olds - Bourne has paved the way for smart, adult action movies. No more silly gags or gadgets - cars than can fly, cars that can swim, cars that can bottom-of-the-barrel go invisible. No more out-of-shape stars. Bond has finally become what he always was - a killer for hire. The tux was just a veneer, ma'am. And now that Bond has the whole Vesper thing behind him, expect his profligate ways to return in the next flick. I'm looking forward to it. And hats off to the producer who decided that the high-brow movie title - which ranks right up there with "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" - should stay.
phenom 11/18/2008 1:58 PM
James Blonde You want action, watch Hitman (or twisted romance - Jerry Springer)! Next you're gonna say that we need some realism in Star Wars!
C Heyns 11/18/2008 2:06 PM
Can't wait I'm a true fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond and personally can't wait to see "Quantum of solace". He definately brings a new dimension to the character, as you say, much needed, and is not as bland as the previous Bonds
Richard 11/18/2008 2:26 PM
Mike: Hey Mike. I suppose you want to go back to DOS, and Hansie &... Lets embrace the future
James Bond 11/18/2008 4:30 PM
Dis James Bond Die Bond fliek gaan skop! Lyk goed.
Paul 11/18/2008 10:11 PM
How bad is it? Hi Shaheema My 8 year old son is a huge bond fan and is desperate to see this one. He's seen some of the old ones like Moonraker, For your Eyes only etc. Is Quantum of Solace really violent and sinister and would you let a savvy 8 and half year old see it accompanied by an adult>
M 11/19/2008 12:04 AM
Hardcore Bond It's awesome! Talk about a hardcore Bond! Enjoy!
Morgan Morris 11/19/2008 9:32 AM
Response to "James Blonde" Phenom, I've always felt that the best action flicks are those with a dramatic core to them. While stuff is being blown up and cars are chasing each other and blood is splattered, a movie should have what the critics call "heart". Think John Woo's "Face/Off", which, despite the preposterous premise, is still considered Woo's best American work. (And it is.) Or think the latest Batman movie. Even many who gag at the risible Star Wars dialogue, still think the second one (episode five as it's now known), "The Empire Strikes Back", as the best. Why? Great love story between Han Solo and Princess Leia. That's the "realism".
John 11/19/2008 4:27 PM
Response to James Blonde The latest James Bond breaks my heart- besides the theme songs there is nothing that identifies this movie as a James Bond movie, no more gadgets, no more women's man. In fact one could be forgiven for mistaking it as reap off, knock off, of the Bourne movies. I think they have taken the shake up too far. I don't think it was worth my money because for me it is nothing we haven't seen before.
Thomas 11/20/2008 9:56 AM
Bond 2.0 I've never been a bond fan. Since Daniel Craig became mr 007, I am a huge fan. It's almost nothing of the old - only new and improved (really, the ladies man gadget freak smoot tooth really was...meh...) BUT, I can see how old school hardcore bond fans might then become non-fans applying the same logic...
007 Fan 11/20/2008 11:38 AM
Quantum of Nonsense This has to be the worst James Bond movie ever. It has none of the traditional elements that we associate with Bond. Every womans dream guy and the man every guy wants to be. All we got was poor writing, ugly locations, no gadgets, no hot sex scenes and shocking theme song! The only full glimpse of the DBS was when it was completely trashed. Crap - don't waste your money.
Jake 11/20/2008 1:40 PM
Loved it Not the classic Bond many have come to know, but still a kick-ass movie – and that’s all due to Daniel Craig. He really inhabits the character effortlessly.
 

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