Review: Quantum of Solace (2008) PG-13
November 16th, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 5,792 Views
This new James Bond’s adventure is directed by Marc Forster, famous for Monster’s Ball (but also directed such notable movies as Finding Neverland, Stranger Then Fiction and last year’s The Kite Runner). It is written by Paul Haggis, an award-winning filmmaker who also gave us last James Bond in Casino Royale, but also In the Valley of Elah and Crash and screenplays for latest Clint Eastwood’s movies, including Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.
The plot: Revenge. Following the betrayal by Vesper, the woman he loved and her death in the previous movie, Casino Royale, British secret agent 007 James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on the mission to get to the bottom of this betrayal, which leads him through Austria, Italy and South America. There, a case of mistaken identity leads him to the villain, Mr. Greene, who conspires to overthrow the Bolivian government and bring exiled General Medrano to power.
The good: Impressive action sequences. I also really liked the hint at CIA overthrowing legitimate government of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti when he, a former preacher, came to power and tried to increase minimum wage there from 30 cents per hour to a dollar per hour. The movie is also very cynical about all empires, British and American in particular, in the war for domination over planet’s natural resources: oil, water, new markets, new labour markets. Olga Kurylenko, which we first saw in Hitman, was pretty here too. Daniel Craig grinds his teeth a lot, but deserves credit for his athletic abilities in all action scenes. Good musical score by David Arnold.
James Bond: “You don’t want another Marxist in South America giving natural resources to the people, do you?”
The bad: Great action comes at a price: perfectly coordinated action scenes lack spontaneity. Also, although this James Bond doesn’t walk over the women like in the classical old series with Sean Connery, he still is unable to develop any attachment to them. The villain is not villainous enough - gone are the crazy lunatics with delusions of grandeur – a cunning businessman is the new villain. No cool gadgets in this 007. No character development – zero.
There were two new attempts at visualization ala God Father – first during the opera sequence and another during the horse race in Italy. I could kind of see what the director was trying to say, but the result was mediocre.
The summary: It seems this movie wants to be like Bourne movies for action, but there’s no mystery and no character development – just a very angry thug… I mean, secret agent, who is very effective at killing people. Bad people mostly, but good people are collateral damage. He wishes their deaths could be avoided, but in the grand schema of things they don’t matter. I think this new action direction is a dead end without either suspense and human emotions or over-the-top characters and action of the old Bond movies. Much more cynical and dark.
Similar movies: Mission: Impossible, The Bourne Ultimatum.
The cast: James Bond – Daniel Craig | Camille – Olga Kurylenko | Dominic Greene - Mathieu Amalric | M – Judi Dench | Mathis – Giancarlo Giannini | Strawberry Fields - Gemma Arterton | Felix Leiter - Jeffrey Wright | Gregg Beam - David Harbour | Mr. White - Jesper Christensen | General Medrano - Joaquín Cosio | Gemma - Lucrezia Lante della Rovere
The crew: Director – Marc Forster | Writers – Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade | Producers – Barbara Broccoli, Callum McDougall, Brian Miller, Anthony Waye, Michael G. Wilson | Original Music – David Arnold | Photography - Roberto Schaefer
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