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Monday, December 1, 2008

Rick's Movie Review

Quantum of Solace: James Bond Is Bourne Again

I'm sure Daniel Craig and the owners of the James Bond franchise wanted to avoid doing something perceived as silly such as Moonraker or Die Another Day. However, they may have gone overboard in trying to force a newer, grittier James Bond on us. The latest effort, Quantum of Solace, is not the Citizen Kane of Bond films. It's really a sorry disappointment.

I fell asleep for a few moments, and who falls asleep at a Bond movie? Well, when your Bond movie doesn't have Q, Miss Moneypenny, elaborate gadgets, the traditional opening with the Bond theme, a bevvy of beautiful women, and a supervillain with an elaborate plan for world domination, is it really a Bond movie?

The plot, as I understood it, has 007 stopping a shadowy group from trying to take over...Bolivia's water supply. Does he work for MI6 or Greenpeace? He is aided by a beautiful woman...whom he doesn't try to seduce. When he has a love scene with field office agent Miss Fields, it seems almost perfunctory, and he doesn't look like he's enjoying it.
There are a couple of good action sequences, but I hate all that shaky camera work that's become popular. I couldn't follow much of what was going on. My friend & I argued over whether Bond knew someone was still alive when he pulled him from the trunk and used him as a human shield. That is rather reprehensible, but the lowest point is when Miss Fields is found dead. If you've seen the Connery films, you'll know why I refer to it as the "Oil-finger" moment.

The initials are J.B., but they don't stand for James Bond. They stand for Jason Bourne, or a Jason Bourne knock-off. Even the more serious Bond films like From Russia With Love had a sense of fun, a wink to the audience that ultimately, this was fantasy and not to be taken seriously. That is the problem with this and Casino Royale: they take themselves deadly serious.

What is the Quantum of Solace? That sounds like something this Bond suffers from, since he seems more comfortable on a psychiatrist's couch than on the couch with the psychiatrist. He's such a dour, morose Bond, that one ultimately doesn't care for or about him. I sure hope he lightens up next go round. I haven't seen every Bond film, but my friend has, and was shocked to hear him say this was the WORST Bond. After seeing Q.O.S., I'm inclined to agree.

DECISION: VOTED DOWN

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