‘Quantum Of Solace’ doesn’t break new ground, but entertains (IANS Film Review - Rating ***)

November 7th, 2008 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Daniel CraigFilm: “Quantum of Solace”; Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Gemma Arterton, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric; Director: Marc Forster; Rating: ***If “Casino Royale” was set up as a template for the new Bond actor Daniel Craig, “Quantum Of Solace” merely re-establishes this new order. All the major ingredients that go into making the Bond movies special are featured here. “Quantum Of Solace’ doesn’t thrill or break new ground, but it is still a very good Bond movie.

Director Marc Forster is an odd choice to helm a Bond movie since his previous hits - “Finding Neverland” and “Monster’s Ball” - were not action movies. While Craig returns to give a solid performance and the gritty style with raw action maintained from the previous movie, this movie does lack a coherent plot that at times undermines the whole viewing experience.

The movie continues with Bond seeking to find his lover’s killers.

This Bond is very angry and leaves too many people dead in his trail. Bond soon finds himself in the midst of a nefarious plan of villain Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) who is posing as a crusader for the environment but secretly has a more sinister plan.

Hunting the bad guys requires Bond to travel quite a bit and this gives the filmmakers a good excuse to stage some action sequences. There is a chase on foot through the streets, a chase on speed boats and even a battle in the sky with planes. Through it all, Bond maintains his cool but never cracks a smile.

At times the movie takes itself too seriously. This Bond movie may be the least fun of them all. His desire to seek revenge casts a dark shadow of a mood through out the movie and some well timed humour might have been refreshing. Gone also are the gadgets, along with Q. The one liner innuendos are also missing and for the first time, Bond’s signature “The name’s Bond, James Bond” has been dropped.

The action sequences are disappointing. This was the most expensive Bond movie made and the action does take place in some exciting locales. But the director makes a minor mistake. He choreographed the action from up close. We are placed right in the middle of the action, but we are not clear on what’s happening exactly. Sadly, at times we don’t want to seem to care.

The actors do a commendable job. Craig clearly suffers from a script that could have exploited his range in talent more. His character comes of very one dimensional.

The Bond girls Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arerton are stunning but end up as props. They are not allowed to be fleshed out. There is a bit of a back story for Camille (Kurylenko) but even she is disposed off much like former Bond girls.

Craig is set to return for more Bond movies. He had a good start with “Casino Royale”. With “Quantum Of Solace” he cements the new more gritty Bond, but at the expense of fun.

Here’s hoping the Bond of the future will lighten up, have some fun, and not take himself too seriously. Not everything from the old Bond movies needs to be changed.

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