MONKEY REVIEW: Quantum Of Solace
November 14, 2008
The second James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, Marc Forster’s Quantum Of Solace, may divide fans the way For Your Eyes Only did in 1981: It’s essentially a machine built for thrills, a stripped down, fast paced action film that begins in mid-chase and almost never lets up from there. It’s not quite the movie Craig’s memorable debut Casino Royale was, but then it’s a different type of film, and at a comparatively lean 106 minutes, it doesn’t suffer from overlength as Casino Royale did. Like its predecessor, Quantum Of Solace resists the gadgetry of years past and focuses on more realistic action, though it does up the ante considerably, in particular during a aerial action sequence that’s genuinely exciting, but is also admittedly a bit over the top. What keeps things interesting is the ambiguity of Bond’s motives throughout the film: Is he a vengeful, murderous thug as M (Judi Dench) fears he is, or is he acting out of “duty,” as he claims at one point? It can go either way, as he kills without hesitation, but also is capable of acts of unexpected compassion, as in a effective scene with a fellow spy named Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini). The Bond girls, while both stunningly beautiful as usual, aren’t given much to do this time around, in particular Gemma Atherton as Strawberry Fields, whose role is sorely underwritten. Olga Kurylenko as Camille fares better, but ends up being underutilized as well. All in all, I thought this was a worthy followup, though I hope for the next film, they are able to find a happy medium between the action oriented approach taken by Quantum Of Solace and the more character driven Casino Royale. One thing is certain, however: Craig owns this role now.
MONKEY RATING: TWO MONKEYS
(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)