29 January 2009 | MGMboy
Some reviewers and fans of the Bond films have complained that this film is a lesser effort in the series and pales in comparison to "Casino Royale". They have missed something important in their assessment of the film. When Dominic Green says to Bond that he and Camille Montez have something in common, that they are both "Damaged goods" he has clearly put before the audience the crux of the film that is "Quantum of Solace". The film picks up only minutes after the end of "Casino Royale" and we are presented with a very damaged and changed James Bond. As revealed in the first film by Vesper Lynd's assessment of him upon their first meeting on the train, James Bond is a man who came up from humble beginnings and was given a privileged education but never allowed to forget his low origins. This has made him a very guarded loner with a chip on his shoulder, a perfect candidate for recruitment by MI6. In his words to her later on in the film,Vesper has "stripped me of my armor." But by the end of that film he is a man scarred by the death of his love, the armor is back on never to be penetrated again. He is now becoming the Bond of legend and a man bent on revenge. So in "Quantum" there is no reason for the old fashioned quips or much humor in this man. Yet if you pay attention the character of James Bond as played by the incomparable Daniel Craig he lets us see that there are cracks in the armor. Something of a human heart still exists in him. This is played out in the scene after the plane crash where Camille asks him about his past. Craig shows it in his eyes in the most marvelous example of his layered and subtle acting style. Craig builds and molds a deeper, darker more complex Bond than we have ever seen before, a character more true to the books than in previous incarnations of Bond. The action in the film is superlative and stylish. The opening car chase is indeed a nail biter only surpassed by the Sienna chase moments later. This too is then topped by the DC10 aerial battle towards the end of the film. The stunts are breathtaking and propel the film at top notch speed. But perhaps the most stunning and original sequence is the gun fight in the restaurant at the Opera house. This is played without sound effect as the score of "Tosca" commands the ear and heightens the emotion of the scene. This is inspired and brilliant film making taking in account all aspects of editing, cinematography, score, and acting. And since I mentioned music I cannot leave out the incredible delicious score by David Arnold who has infused his Bond scores with the much need taste of John Barry. He captures the glorious Barry sound and builds brilliantly upon it. All the principle players give superlative performances. Judi Dench command attention as she always has as "M". Giancarlo Giannini redeems himself and is truly touching as Mathis. Mathieu Amalic is appropriately slithery and devious as the villain Green. As Agent Fields, Miss Gemma Arterton brings a light and fun light to the film. Finally in the role of Camille Olga Kurylenko holds her own opposite Daniel Craig. This is no mean feat and she is wonderful, athletic and touching in the film. In the end Bond does find a quantum of solace and ends the film in a telling way. A small gesture that lets us know he is now moving on but not without a tinge of sadness. This beautiful sad ending is a refreshing and moving way to end a Bond film. "Quantum of Solace" is a fast paced film that demands attention to the small details and respect for superlative performances by all involved from the director Marc Forster to the entire cast and crew.