Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Movie quotes:
"When someone says they’ve got people everywhere, you expect it to be hyperbole! Lots of people say that. Florists use that expression. It doesn’t mean they’ve got somebody working for them inside the bloody room."
- M (Judi Dench)

James Bond (Daniel Craig): [at a dirty, small motel] What are we doing?
Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton): We're teachers on sabbatical. This fits our cover.
James Bond: No it doesn't. I'd rather stay at a morgue. Come on.
[they go to a nicer hotel]
James Bond: [to the hotel receptionist] Hello. We're teachers on sabbatical and we've just won the lottery.

Camille (Olga Kurylenko): So, what's your interest in Greene?
James Bond: Among other things, he tried to kill a friend of mine.
Camille: A woman?
James Bond: Yes. But it's not what you think.
Camille: Your mother?
James Bond: She likes to think so.

At a glance:
Daniel Craig’s second Bond film tells its story of revenge with exquisitely choreographed and edited action scenes

Our review (with spoilers):
James Bond is tasked with tracking down the people responsible for the death of his girlfriend Vesper. He swears to M that he is not bent on revenge, yet for some reason every baddie he encounters seems to die, even though she would prefer he occasionally bring someone in for, say, questioning. Bond’s nemesis is one Dominic Greene, a businessman who, under the pretense of buying tracts of land as nature preserves, actually corners a country’s water supply and then sells water to his newly installed leader at an inflated price. Bond is also going to have to deal with Greene’s high-ranking American friends, who also want him out of the way.

I’ve got to admit, I’m starting to prefer (or at least highly appreciate) this more serious, hard-edged Bond over the quipping, smirk-wearing Roger Moore (my previous favorite Bond). Gone are the double-entendres and any sense of playfulness; it seems as if the Bond one-liners are purposefully written NOT to be amusing. They are both good in their own way, but Craig’s steely demeanor meshes well with the frenetic editing and high-tech action scenes that make these newer Bond movies so entertaining.

One area that does not work for me: the tone of these new Bond films is highly grim most of the time, but the villains, despite being slightly more serious, are still mostly moustache-twirling caricatures, and that is not a perfect fit with the new sobering mood.

Rating: 3 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"Meaner, leaner and faster than ever, the new-fashioned, down-to-earth Bond movie might have a typically tangled plot and Daniel Craig scowling a tad too much, but the Bourne-inspired action is sensational."
- Jim Schembri (The Age [Australia])

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