Quantum of Solace Reviewby David N. Butterworth (butterworthdavidn AT gmail DOT com)
August 17th, 2010
QUANTUM OF SOLACE
A film review by David N. Butterworth
Copyright 2008 David N. Butterworth
*** (out of ****)
Hectic. That, in a word, is the new Bond film-number 22 if you're counting--from its opening sequence onwards with barely a break for a vodka martini (or a Vesper) thereafter. And even if you've never read the books you get the sense watching "Quantum of Solace" (that title, by the way, is a mouthful and mostly meaningless) that this is probably how Ian Fleming imagined his James Bond: ruthless, efficient, hard as nails--a veritable bullet on the hit parade. In his second go- round as the suave, globetrotting MI6 operative Daniel Craig leaps from balconies, speeding cars, and prostrate women with the alacrity of a Namibian springbok. He's easy on the eyes (his are a brilliant ice-y blue) and loose-y goose-y with the trigger finger. There's less cheekiness to his Bond. And speaking of growing into a role Dame Judi continues to arrive as M, acerbic and no-nonsense-y. She's so good, in fact, that you can't imagine her wanting to play another role (although she's done more than 75 to date). Director Marc Forster ("The Kite Runner") choreographs the whole thing as if his tenure with the franchise depended on it (although not since 1989's "License to Kill" has the same director helmed back-to-back Bonds). Ukranian supermodel Olga Kurylenko plays "Bond Girl" Camille, Roman Polanski lookalike Mathieu Amalric is the baddie, and Giancarlo Giannini returns as Mathis. Gone are Q and Moneypenny but David Arnold's serviceable music evokes the classic Bond scores of old. A novel twist in "Quantum'" is how it picks up where the last one left off-- Bond is bent on avenging the love of his life, Vesper Lind, even though M clearly tells him not to make it into a personal vendetta 007. "'Solace" isn't as assured as "Casino Royale" but it's an exciting--and noisy--diversion nonetheless.
David N. Butterworth, Film Editor
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