Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Ever since Daniel Craig has become the new Bond I've had a bit of excitement when another 007 picture is released. Now don't get me wrong I've been a Bond fan since seeing Dr. No way back when. So it's a little hard for me not to like a Bond film though there are some that I don't like, but Craig's introduction as Bond in "Casino Royal" was a breath of fresh air into a franchise that seemed to have run out of steam. Ian Fleming's Bond is a man who does what he has to do and it may not be morally right, but he does it. For Queen and country is Bond's operatis mondi, and he does it so well. The Bond films have or should I say had gone away from that and focused on the technology, and the fantastic villains that Bond was up against. Never did we get a look into Bond's heart and what makes him tick as we did in the last two Bond films, and that can be attributed to it's writing and Craig's acting.

In "Quantum of Solace" Bond is on a rampage of revenge. Only Bond does a slow burn, and we see every expression on Craig's face as his character goes through some hard choices. What makes the series viable and real for me is Craig's acting. He plays a Bond you don't want to mess with. Behind those beautiful blue eyes is a killer who will not hesitate to kill you if he must. He also portrays a venerability unlike other Bonds before him. His relationship with Vespar in "Casino Royale" is one that Craig makes us believe in.

I've always thought that James Bond the character was much more interesting then any of the villains or people around him. That's what invigorates me about the Bond franchise now. When I heard Daniel Craig was the new Bond I wondered, as well as did the rest of the world how the franchise would fare. But in Craig's hands Bond comes off as if Ian Fleming were channeling Bond's spirit. This is in no small measure due to Craig's superb acting abilities. Take a look at Craig's films such as "Layer Cake", "Munich" and "Flashbacks of a Fool", and you will see an actor who can play it all. It is no wonder that Craig plays Bond so well he is just that good of an actor.

Okay but how was the film "Quantum of Solace"? I've answered why I like Craig, and the new Bond franchise, but what of the film itself which was directed by Marc Foster. Foster directed such films as: The Kite Runner, Finding Neverland, Monster's Ball, and he does an apt job in Quantum of Solace. The problem with the film and this is a nit pick is that the cuts are fast and furious, and there is little time for the audience to absorb it all. I blame non-linear editing for this at times. Cutting on a 17 to 21 inch screen or screens and not projecting it can make an audience member dizzy. Yes I know it is an action/adventure type film, but there have been Bond films in the past that didn't rely on the fast cutting, and yet they still elicited gasps from their audience.

I know I'm getting older and the eyes aren't what they were in my youth, but sometimes the information on the screen is a bit overwhelming, and it forces audiences to go wow because they actually don't know what they've seen, and then it's onto the next shot. But this is my general peeve in the cinema today. Maybe I would do the same if I had all the toys that a big budget film like "Quantum of Solace" has at it's disposal. When I mean "toys" I mean Steadicam, blue screen, dollies, cranes, and other neat filmmaking equipment.

But I still loved the film. I loved Craig's performance. I loved seeing Judi Dench, and Giancarlo Giannini who are also superb actors in their own right. Three other actors need also to be mentioned and they are Olga Kurylenko who plays Camille, Gemma Arterton who plays Strawberry Fields, and Jeffrey Wright who plays the CIA operative Felix Leiter. All play against Craig magnificently.

For me Bond is back, and he's back with a vengeance. I'm setting my watch for the next one as we speak. Viva La Bond!


frandy said...

Bond is back in action as the director says the title may be odd, but the plot is familiar. Yet again I am surprised with the action and technology used by the movie Quantum of Solace .One was Bond's cell phone camera capabilities, it is very much related to the current political frame I think Is where I saw and remarkable movie it will be.

Josh M said...

i just watch quantum of solace today, this movie is f***ing awesome i dont know why people are talking shit about it, and the last action sequence is my favorite.

Pete Bauer said...

I can't wait to see this. My daughter and I are hoping to see it over the Thanksgiving holiday.