Quantum of Solace (12a)By Kim Francis
November 13, 2008
Since Daniel Craig’s triumphant debut as super spy James Bond in Casino Royale, there has been a huge amount of anticipation for his second outing and, from the moment the title of the latest Bond film was announced, it has gradually crescendoed to fever pitch.
It is probably fair to say that Craig’s follow-up 007 sojourn was always set to be a box office smash. But is it any good?
Well, the plot picks up straight after the closing events of Casino Royale, where we learn that Bond has been betrayed by the woman he loved, Vesper Lynd.
When M (Judi Dench) and 007 learn that the organisation that blackmailed Vesper is extremely dangerous, they begin to investigate. Bond also has to fight against making the mission personal.
The discovery of a mole in the ranks of MI6 leads Bond to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), head of shadowy criminal organisation Quantum.
It is up to 007 to uncover Greene’s nefarious plans and stop Quantum from seeing them through.
As with Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace brings us a more emotional Bond with a brooding quality behind his eyes that can only come from a broken heart.
Oh yes, Daniel Craig’s Bond even sheds a tear. He is marginally less hot-headed here, however, as we see his character begin to harden.
Sadly, this takes him a million miles away from the wise-cracking, playboy-style James Bond that traditionalists know and love, making for a potentially problematic and disappointing viewing experience.
Craig’s Bond is quiet, almost mechanical and light on personality and humour. He is serious and relatively unengaging. Daniel Craig may well be the sexiest Bond incarnation ever but he is most definitely the least fun.
While M mentions his considerable charm here, it is totally absent in anything we see on screen.
Quantum of Solace is an unsatisfying and underwhelming Bond film. Despite a decent dose of action, it is all curiously flat and uninventive.
Thrills are seriously dampened by Marc Forster’s direction which mars action sequences by including way too much shaky handheld camera work that zooms in too close on the action, disorientating and bewildering the viewer, further complicating matters with too quick a succession of shots.
Although the tone of the film is curiously compelling, a sub-standard script, uninteresting villain and lack of customary Bond motifs also serve to deaden the impact of the latest film in the 007 franchise.
Stars Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench