Monday, January 12, 2009

Quantum of Solace

Tuxedos, martinis, and golden guns belong to the world of the dashing James Bond we know and love.

This is not classic Bond.

Connery, Moore, and Brosnan were suave and gentlemanly, and infamously womanizing; Daniel Craig’s Bond is a rough and ragged representation of the MI6 agent before he became charming or conceived of his infamous “Bond, James Bond” line. A gritty backdrop and a bitter, brooding Bond allow the audience to glimpse the darker side of the British secret agent we once thought we knew. Although I once had misgivings about Craig’s being cast, his performance in “Casino Royale” last year and now “Quantum” have proven him worthy of this newly renovated Bond

.“Quantum of Solace” opens mere moments after “Casino” leaves off. Bond had been enamored with lover Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), who then betrayed her agent boyfriend and committed suicide in front of him by drowning herself. Filled with searing rage at Vesper’s betrayal, but also deeply troubled by his true love’s death, Bond is now smitten with sweet Revenge. Driven by his anger, Bond sets out to get even with the crooks responsible for Vesper’s betrayal and death, and he’ll kill anyone stupid enough to get in his way. Judi Dench plays “M”, Bond’s sensible boss, who finds it increasingly difficult to control an agent who has suddenly and violently turned rogue.

Naturally, Bond’s vengeance is served quite nobly in the end, and naturally his wrath is appeased after shooting, throttling, and killing as many thugs as he can. Just as naturally Bond meets mysterious and angst-filled Russian beauty, Camille (Olga Kurylenko), whom he can’t fall in love with because of Vesper- baggage, but must aid anyway because she’s a damsel in distress out for the same revenge Bond is looking for.

Although “Quantum” has been critically acclaimed for being actionpacked and “gritty” and “raw”, I find myself missing the old Bond a bit, with his “Bond, James Bond” and his famous martini, shaken not stirred, which have been noticeably absent from the new films. “Quantum” does provide a second look at the womanizing James Bond of previous films, allowing a more real, more human James Bond to emerge. Craig’s performances have truly been top-notch, as he exhibits his expansive range of talent. Whether he’s being angry and smoldering, or seductively chivalrous, or killing someone in cold blood, Craig can pull it off.

In fact, Craig’s emotional Bond proves the most interesting aspect of “Quantum” as the story, which centers around a political message, never gets better than boring. But seriously, it has a boat chase, a car chase, evil villains, sultry women, fancy cars, big explosions, and a good-lookin’ hero- what more could you want from James Bond?

Conclusion: If you're an action fan, or you love James Bond, or you can't get enough of Craig's cobblestone abs, rush to Blockbuster asap.

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sexual content


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