Archived: Review: Quantum of Solace (2008) - archived

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His name’s Craig, Daniel Craig and he’s back for his second outing as James Bond in Quantum of Solace, one of the strangest names for a Bond film that sparked many scratched heads when it was first revealed. This is a direct sequel to 2006’s Casino Royale yet loses something that its predecessor had.

Bond, still haunted by the death and betrayal of Vesper is a dangerous man and impossible to control. After questioning a prime suspect he reveals they’ve got people everywhere, including inside MI6. This takes Bond to South America to find out more about the organisation known as Quantum that British Intelligence know nothing about. He begins investigations into Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) of Greene Planet who is buying up land to control the countries resources and charge them extortionately to have them back.

When Bond’s behavioural pattern becomes erratic MI6 try to call him in, but Bond is onto Greene who he knows to be a member of Quantum. Together with Camille (Olga Kurylenko) who is on her own revenge mission against General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) for the murder of her family, Bond goes vigilante in an attempt at learning more about Quantum.

After the reboot Casino Royale gave the Bond franchise it should have been easy for Solace to follow, the footsteps were already there it was merely a matter of tracing them. How then did Bond go so wrong, in a direct sequel none the less? There is no doubt that the action sequences are incredible, but thanks to Bourne-style camera work and editing we barely get a glimpse of it. The opening car chase is a perfect example of this, each shot lasting a split second before being rammed with another, making it nearly impossible to see what is actually going on.

There is also the use of big set pieces to off-lay the action with Bond, such as the rooftop chase being mirrored with the high intensity horse race and the gathering of Quantum at the Opera where it just so happened a shoot out and murder was taking place during the on stage play. These were shove in your face, this is what we’re doing and were just unnecessary. Perhaps director Marc Forster is to blame, the film suffers from lots of high intensity action and muddled bits in-between which make it seem like they’re just waiting until the next stunt is ready.

During production there were a number of injuries on the set and from seeing the action set pieces you can see why. This is a physical flick full of action as opposed to Casino Royale which saw people around tables mostly. The story doesn’t exactly explode at you but this should help to build a great series in searching for and bringing down Quantum. Craig was on fire as the tortured Bond, outside cold and deadly, inside broken and scarred. Rumour has it we’ll be seeing more of Bond’s emotions tearing him apart inside in the coming sequels, hopefully the franchise can step up again.

Archived: Review: Quantum of Solace (2008) - archived
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