**It's a shame that they did this to the Bond films** It's upsetting for Bond fans that Eon productions ran away from the lively, fun formula that sustained the franchise for 40 years. What does it leave us with? Well - this type of Bond film unfortunately. Staggeringly bland and uninteresting. If we removed the name Bond from the film we would have no idea that we were watching a Bond movie. It is depressing that they flushed 40 years of fun Bond films down the toilet to satiate people who dislike classic Bond adventures. They reached for a wider audience by going all generic action film to the detriment of the Bond legacy. Who is this unsophisticated, short, blond man in the suit? Unfortunately, _he could be anyone_ - even you or I. Bond is now a lager chugging everyman. Ian Fleming would be furious. No chance of Craig's Bond wearing _a strap on plastic seagull hat_ as Connery did in the classic Goldfinger (1964) - they would not dare make the films that fun and entertaining anymore. It's a shame what they did to the Bond films.
If we refused to do business with villains, we'd have almost no one to trade with! Quantum of Solace is directed by Marc Forster and written by Paul Haggis, Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, suggested from the stories written by Ian Fleming. It stars Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arteton & Jeffrey Wright. It is the 22nd film of the James Bond series. Following on straight from Casino Royale, we find James Bond thirsting for revenge on those he believes responsible for Vesper Lynd's death. Is Quantum Of Solace a great action film? Yes it surely is, is it however a great James Bond picture? Not quite, apparently, given the often venomous reaction to it from some Bond fan quarters. You wonder if Quantum Of Solace is a victim of Casino Royale's soaring success? A film that even surprised the many Daniel Craig haters. Were these internet warriors preying for a bad Bond film purely to further their argument that Craig should not be Bond? Did QOS give them smug satisfaction? Actually no it didn't, the box office and longevity of professional critiques proves this fact. Further viewings of QOS show it to be very astute in the Bond universe, where much of the charges of it not being fun enough etc just do not stick. As for not being Bondian enough? Opening car chase, a pursuit on foot that ends in a quite exhilarating rope dangle punch up, speedboat chaos, aeroplane peril with free-falling! Not Bond enough? Seriously? While it's also great to see Bond active on a motorcycle again. The Casino Royale rebooted and re-suited offering was popular because it had an earthy make over, Daniel Craig's Bond is a fallible human being brimming with egotistical ruggedness. It's much of the same here in Quantum, where he is forced to go rouge, something that again has proved to be an itchy narrative thrust with sections of the Bond faithful. Yet as serious as he is, driven by pangs of annoyance, revenge and unanswered questions, Bond does have time to lay out a quip, there is some fun stuff their, honestly, Mother. Personally I enjoy the dark half of this Bond, "I don't have any friends", he wouldn't care", and "how many is that now?", these are moments nearly as good as the interwoven opera blood bath and Bond drinking away his demons with 6 high velocity cocktails. Then there is Craig. Ah, Craig, Daniel Craig, again perfect in the tux and kicking arse with streetwise credibility, each scar on his nicely formed body a testament to this new rugged Bond of the people. That he rises above a relatively muddling script is testament to not only his acting ability, but also his new found acceptance in this most iconic of cinematic roles amongst the British institution that is James Bond. The rest of the cast are a mixed bunch, Jeffrey Wright & Giancarlo Giannini are again merely making up the numbers, though the last gets to give Bond one of the film's darkest and cold inducing moments. Judi Dench of course does her usual solid M performance, swearing and growing the balls she hinted at previously, while Olga Kurylenko is very much a sparky Bond girl to savour; even if the sub-plot involving her almost feels like it was shoe-horned into the script as an added extra. Elsewhere there are problems. Casino Royale, had on the surface a weak villain, a man merely playing cards to pay off a more evil source, but he was effective. Sadly here in the Quantam universe the main villain is a hindrance to the picture. Mathieu Amalric's Dominic Greene does a good line in smarmy, but he's so weak the film nearly crumbles under the weight of his banality. The people at the house of Bond need to realise that little fish villains are only OK if we get the big daddy shark showing his/her face later in proceedings, for if this trend continues I fear the franchise could well lose the edge so well built up in Royale, and Gemma Arteton is pretty, but pretty ineffective. The locations are sumptuous, mind, and the sets are Bondian delights, with the title sequence certainly hitting the spot in spite of the quite dreadful Jack Black and Alcia Keys' theme song that accompanies the sequence. A homage to a former great Bond film sequence is respectful but a touch lazy, but QOS still overcomes its failings to be up above many action pictures of the last decade; this in spite of it being very slim line at an hour and 45 in length. Crucially, though, it pulses with Bond aggression and egotistical nous, just as Fleming wanted it. But this only comes out with further viewings... Skyfall will be the next venture for Bond, regardless of quality we know that it will fail to appease every Bond fan on the planet. That's just the way it is with the series, so many want so many different things from their Bond. But I feel this is a good period for Bond, they do have the right man wearing the tux and as a character he is well tuned into the times, both politically and cinematically, it's now up to the makers to fuse the two and deliver a film to fully realise the rebooted franchise's potential and maybe, just maybe, win the dissenters' trust. 7/10
Quantum of Solace had to follow Casino Royale which rebooted the Bond franchise with critics as well as with some of the public with a youthful, angry Bond. Quantum of Solace starts 20 minutes after the events of Casino Royale with a fast edited but choppy car chase sequence. This is the first hint that Bond is following the Bourne films as co-editor Richard Pearson previously edited one of the Bourne films. This also highlights director's Marc Forster inexperience in making action films as many of the action sequences are hard to follow because of the way it has been edited. The film was also hampered by the 2008 writer's strike. This meant that film went into production without a full working script which also meant that the director and even Daniel Craig allegedly wrote scenes for the film. It might explain the short running time. The film unveils Quantum as a shady organisation with tentacles everywhere even in the heart of the British security services. The setting in Bolivia with disputes about water gives the film a political edge with a cynical look at corporations making dicey alliances with dictatorships to mutually exploit the people and plunder resources. Forster gives the film some intriguing set pieces such the opera scene which is the meeting point for Quantum operatives which Bond infiltrates. The short running time means the film is not overblown but with Craig at the helm it is kept lean and mean.
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