Quantum of Solace ** (out of ****)

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright, David Harbour
Rating: PG-13 (intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content)
Running Time: 105 min
Release Date: 11/14/08

Quantum of Solace, the latest in the long running British franchise, has more the feel of a typical action movie like the Transporter films that classic Bond. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is more of a rough and tumble street fighter than the suave figure of Bond’s past.

After a typical car chase in which there is considerable automatic weapons fire which no effect other than many holes in that cars, Bond drags a captured foe to an MI-6 safe house in Italy. However, the defiant foe boast of the vastness of his organization and how its minions are ever where. Where upon one of the M’s (Judi Dench) most trusted men opens fire, setting off the second of many chases in the film. Throughout Solace, M is continually chiding Bond for killing all of their many leads that might help them solve the mystery. It seems that British Intelligence is unaware of the existence and purpose of their new foe.

However, Bond is soon off to Port au Prince, Haiti following a lead where he encounters the Bond Girl of this movie, Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who you might remember from last year’s Hitman. In due course Camille leads Bond to the year’s master villain Dominici Greene (Mathieu Amalric). Greene, who masquerades as a very environmentally conscious businessman, has a truly sinister plot, i.e. to get complete control of Bolivia’s water supply. This plot is hardly worthy of a Bond movie and seems more like the plot of comedy satire of one.

The story of Camille brings a subplot to the story about her horrifying childhood encounter with the current dictator of Bolivia and her plans for revenge. Without given it all way there is back story to the scares on her back. Yet, she never develops the stereotypical Bond romance that we would normally expect. That role fell to Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) whose escapade with Bond occurs off screen and ends up dead and cover with oil. No doubt this is a warning from Greene to all who don’t subscribe to his “green” agenda.

The combination of the reduction of the Bond franchise to pure action with little style and an incredibly lame plot leaves Quantum of Solace with a lot to desire. This rather sad given that Daniel Craig is a very good actor and brings a credibility to the part that was only surpassed by Sean Connery.

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