Now Playing: Quantum of Solace: A Review
Topic: Movie Reviews
Until I saw the DVD for “Casino Royale” and the trailer for its sequel “Quantum of Solace,” I never had a desire to see a James Bond movie on film. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up as a fan of Sean Connery’s version of James Bond—suave, smooth with a little rough-n-tumble. All of Roger Moore’s James Bond flicks were made during my childhood, and we faithfully watched them on television out of loyalty to the franchise. Although my brother and I were too young to get most of the tongue-in-cheek camp, we did realize it was more about the gizmos, gimmicks, and explosions than it was about plot and character. Eventually, as teens, we got Timothy Dalton as a rather boring and un-sexy Bond, but it was as much the writers’ faults as Dalton’s.
Finally, in my 20s, we got Pierce Bronson whom I thought would be an excellent Bond replacement after Roger Moore but got cheated out of the opportunity when NBC forced him to return to the show Remington Steele (a favorite of mine). Although a bit older, Pierce was still sexy, charismatic, and smooth: A perfect spy. Due to no fault of his own, his James Bond films got weighed down by convoluted plots, a mess of flashy toys, and hyped-up Bond girls. (Did we really need Denise Richards, Halle Berry, and Teri Hatcher to all make appearances when they were already stars in their own rights?) In other words, they got boring.
I’m an über-fan of many television shows, movie franchises, and comic books, but I’ve always been a bit liberal-minded so I had no qualms about Daniel Craig playing James Bond (although I fancied Clive Owen or Hugh Jackman as a replacement). When I saw a more uncouth, thuggish, and emotional 007 in “Casino Royale,” I got excited not disappointed. I liked the focus on character development, foot & car races, and gun play. We weren’t thrown a hundred cheesecake shots of women in itsy bikinis or the mission briefing with requisite display of the mind-defying gadgets. We were given a spy with a newly minted license to kill, and unafraid to use it. I loved it!
“Quantum of Solace” picks up where the last film ended—an angry spy out for revenge while trying to put down the world’s next terror. This movie was tightly scripted and edited—slim, brisk, and built to please (as was its star Craig, *snicker, sneer*). Although the surprise of a much more hands-on Bond had worn off a bit, it was still a thrill to watch Craig chase, beat, and sometimes kill his prey.
Everyone in this movie was spot on from the slimy eco-industrialist out to control the world’s water supply to the jaded CIA agent to the revenge-seeking hot babe. There were explosions, chases, shootings, and a sexy middle-aged woman in a bikini, but nothing took away from the flick’s true star—Daniel Craig’s brooding spy, with a hint of cruelty in the eyes, walking the thin line between doing right and doing what feels right.
Out of five stars, I give “Quantum of Solace” 3.5 stars. It is a solid piece of entertainment.