QUANTUM OF SOLACE


2008

DIRECTOR: Marc Forster

007 has never been my favourite, so there’s only so much excitement I can garner for the subject. But since Jason Bourne, under the directorship of Paul Greengrass that is, redefined the genre, and Daniel Craig’s incarnation followed suit, things have looked up for the franchise. Bond has done remarkably well, there’s no doubting that, with well over 20 outings and on to its 6th official star over five decades. It’s iconic, with its gadgets, visuals, gags, tone and theme songs, let alone the signature tune, whether the late John Barry composed it or not.

I remember, as many will, the backlash against Craig taking over the Bond mantle, as well as the about-face when he proved to be a hit. Daniel Craig makes a great Bond for new decade. This Bond is harder, tougher and more in keeping with the type of man you’d expect to do what he does. The villains are meaner, he get’s hurt, which is about time, and he spends more time out of his tux than in it, and I’m not talking about the ubiquitous nooky, either!

Bond is more believable since Matt Damon fell of a boat and lost his memory. But enough about Casino Royale, this number 2, or 23 whichever… The issue that some critics had with this film was to argue that it was light, that it had returned to the straight forward Bond of days gone by formula after the deeper and more intellectual take of Royale, and whilst that’s true in some respects, its wrong in others. Granted, it’s a straight forwards plot, the villainy seems to be back on the level of SPECTRE and besides killing loads of people, there’s little more going on that what you can see with your naked eye, but the action is spectacular, and the performances do well to keep up, but again, with the gross exception of Gemma Arterton. I’ve asked this before and I will again: Why is she being cast, again and again? She can’t act for toffee! Sorry!

There’s no Oscars on offer here, this isn’t a lost work of Shakespeare and nor does it pretend to be. It’s a modern Bond for the post Bourne era, and we must not forget that Bourne is never about complex plots, just engrossing action. Quantum, though contrived at times, was generally well judged, its heart was in the right place and it had a sense of direction that I personally would only be to happy to follow.

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