Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008). Director: Marc Foster.

Following the events of Casino Royale (2006), James Bond (an excellent Daniel Craig) is assigned to find out what's up with an organization named Quantum that has assassins in high places. [While in a sense it's admirable that there are references to past events as there were in Fleming's novels, it's also a bit pointless as few people will remember what happened in the previous film and others in the audience may not have even seen Casino Royale.) The action shifts from Italy to Austria to Bolivia, as Bond battles various people bent on his destruction and encounters a Bolivian agent named Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who's out to get revenge on the deposed dictator who murdered her family. Judi Dench is back as "M" and she adds a touch of class to the proceedings. One scene takes place during a performance of Puccini's Tosca that features a pretty forgettable Scarpia. Although there's a glimmer of some of the old style glamour and excitement in the film -- a dive from a plane in mid-air is especially exciting -- the movie is a big comedown after the excellent Casino Royale. The main villain, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric), is colorless, hardly a dynamic match for 007. The women, while attractive, are not the kind of eye-popping beauties of the past. And sometimes the editing is too frenetic, very busy but not well put together, so that at times you don't even know what's happening to whom. It's great that Bond is no longer a cartoon figure, however, but Quantum of Solace is simply too ordinary. Mediocre theme song, too.

Verdict: Not enough solace in this. **1/2.


Colin said...

A movie that has really divided people into either the love it or hate it camp. Personally, I disliked it with a passion when I saw it at the cinema due mainly to the atrociously bad editing, the non-story and the overall blandness that you referred to.
I'm not a huge fan of Craig but I thought he did a good enough job in Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace, on the other hand, was one of those films that I found so irritating on so many levels that I'm pretty sure I'll never watch again.

William said...

I'm in no big hurry to see it again myself -- maybe in twenty years I'll give it another look! James Bond movies seem in danger of completely losing that certain -- for lack of a better word -- elegance that distinguished them from, say, the Die Hard films and other action movies. Too bad.

Thanks for your comment!