Quantum of Solace

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Quantum of Solace

Directed by Marc Forster

Bond 22 begins literally minutes after the end of Casino Royale with a fierce car chase that is so overblown and choppily edited as to make one disconnect from the whole thing right there. This movie seems to have been made for an audience of insects who can process information faster than we can move a finger. After the chase, you’re left thinking “so what;” very disappointing indeed, given the crystalline approach taken to the action scenes in Royale.

The story is quickly established that Bond will stop at nothing to get to a man who nearly kills “M” which in this film clearly establishes her as a “Mother” figure to Bond (makes one wonder about all the previous male versions doesn’t it?). The little”boy must find out who the bad guy is, and he leave a long trail of dead bodies in his wake as he goes on his mission. He meets up with the requisite Bond beauties and here again (to little interest) in a search for clues as to the true culprits.

There are a few good moments in this (thankfully) shorter film, one in particular which is a direct homage to Goldfinger. Ultimately however, Quantum is for Bond fanatics only. I consider myself to be a good fan of the franchise, but I think it’s time to let go; the Bourne trilogy is far more interesting cinematically than Bond at the moment, and I know many people will disagree, although I would urge you to watch the Bourne films rather than seeing Casino Royale again before seeing this new Bond; many reviewers (no, I don’t walk on water) claim the case that a refresher screening of Royale just before will make Solace more enjoyable; that’s nonsense.

The color seems very de-saturated, and I am unsure if this is a conscious effect, or just the work of a lackluster cinematographer. The editing crew definitely must need medical attention after such an ordeal, because if you think the film is hard to watch, it must have been a bastard to cut. David Arnold, who has taken on the baton ever since John Barry left, gives the film a forgettable score and the less said about the Jack White/Alicia Keys song, the better. (Maybe Noel Gallagher is right; they should give the chore to a Brit band next time as they used to do in the ’60’s). A disappointment on all counts.

Mark Penny

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