Quantum of Solace

quantum-of-solaceCritical Review of Quantum of Solace

In the 22nd James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, featuring Daniel Craig in his second performance as James Bond, director Marc Forster chose to pick up the plot line only hours after the death of James Bond’s love, Vesper Lynd, in order to exploit his vengeful emotions.

Marc Forster made a wise decision when he chose Dan Bradley as the film’s second unit director, best known for his work on the Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, and his gritty action style blends seamlessly with the previous action that began in 2005’s Casino Royale. The action sequences involve sleek, fast cars, speedboats, and airplanes. Is there any vehicle that 007 can’t operate?

The action begins with a car chase in Sienna, Italy, where James Bond, driving and Aston Martin DBS V12 with Mr. White tied up in the trunk, evades the henchmen that peruse him in three Alfa Romeo 159s. Bond fans and autophiles alike will be horrified to learn that six Aston Martins were destroyed during filming.

Bond must then chase M’s (played by the fantastic Judi Dench) M16 traitor bodyguard, Mitchell, across the rooftops of Sienna after he almost kills M and leads to the escape of Mr. White. You can really see Bradley’s style carried over from the Bourne movies as the two leap across buildings and balconies, that is until they both fall through the glass roof of a bell tower. The two then battle it out amid scaffolding, and falling panes of glass. Thanks to some quick thinking and fancy rope work Bond is able to dispatch Mitchell while narrowly avoiding death in true Bond fashion.

A bank account trail left by Mitchell leads Bond to Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces him to Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), who leads him straight to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric); a ruthless businessman who owns Green Planet and is conspiring to take control of one of the world’s most important natural resources: water. A theme reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974). Michael G. Wilson put it well when he commented on the plot, “if you control the water you control the whole development of the country. I think it’s true”.

Daniel Craig represents a very different kind of James Bond than viewers have seen before, due in part to Forster’s running theme of emotionally repressed protagonists in several of his films. In perfect contrast, Camille is a breathe of fresh air when it comes to the women portrayed in Bond films. She is not the typical casual love interest. She is strong, independent, and can take care of herself. Forster created her this way because she was the perfect counterpart to Bond, “she openly shows emotions similar to those which Bond experiences but is unable to express,” says Forster.

Perhaps one of Bond’s most impressive battles occurs when he and Camille are flying a Douglas DC-3 when the henchmen arrive flying a Bell UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter and a Aermacchi SF.260, and an aerial battle ensues.

From fighting terrorism in Casino Royal to becoming an environmentalist in Quantum of Solace, James Bond has all of the right moves to impress a diverse audience.


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