Review: ‘Quantum’: Not your normal Bond

COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES

By Jessica Luthi
Editor

If you’re looking for the charming and charismatic ladies’ man that is James Bond, the latest installment of the Bond franchise will disappoint you. “Quantum of Solace” isn’t your typical Bond film. In this film, Bond is depressed and seeking revenge for his deceased lover Vesper Lynd. He travels the globe, seeking a means to an end.

“Solace” still has the normal thrills and spills, car chases, boat crashes, parachuting from a burning plane and exploding buildings. But what this film lacks is Bond’s usual charm and charisma, and I think that’s the point.

This James Bond is definitely not the special agent many have grown to love, but that’s OK. Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond, which seems almost natural, is supposed to be a pre-Bond James Bond. Since becoming a “Double-Oh” in “Casino Royale”, he hasn’t quite learned what it means to be a Mi6 agent.

“Solace” is a fast-paced film filled with enough action and explosions to keep the movie going. However, the story gets lost among the exploding hotels and fire fights, making the film a little hard to follow. Before long, it becomes difficult to see the connection between new villain Dominic Greene, played by Mathieu Amalric, and Vesper, who betrayed Bond to save her husband in “Casino Royale.”

Greene is not evil enough to be a villain. Compared to other Bond villains such as Alec Trevelyn and Franz Sanchez, he is more like a corrupt corporate tycoon than the typical evil guy trying to kill James Bond. This villain was about as impressive as Timothy Dalton’s version of James Bond in “License to Kill” – and Dalton is probably the worst James Bond to hit the big screen. Additionally, Dalton’s “Hot Fuzz” character, Simon Skinner, was better than the new antagonist Dominic Greene.

A Bond movie isn’t a Bond movie without a Bond girl and “Solace” is no exception. The new girl Camille, played by Olga Kurylenko, is cast as a Bolivian secret service agent out for revenge. Kurylenko is beautiful, which makes her a great addition to the long list of Bond girls, but her character is unlike most Bond girls.

There is no real sexual chemistry between her and Bond, like there has been with other girls. Camille seems more like an old friend than a love interest. Although that may be true, it doesn’t detract from the film.

“Quantum of Solace” is a decent film worth seeing. Daniel Craig is absolutely brilliant and probably the second best Bond in the franchise, with Sean Connery as the first. Craig turns Bond into a normal man and not a super agent-like icon. It’s no wonder critics like The Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle are calling him, “the coolest guy in the universe.”

And I could not agree more.

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