The Un-Bonding of 007: Quantum of Solace.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Quantum of Solace 2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Quantum of Solace(2008)

Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton), a perky MI6 office clerk sent to help a brooding James Bond (Daniel Craig), is left dead on top of a bed of a five- star hotel room, her beautiful figure drenched in oil. This is the defining, and defying, shot in “Quantum of Solace.” It is hardly a surprise for Bond girls to get killed, but unlike the iconoclastic image of Shirley Eaton’s perfectly gold-coated corpse in “Goldfinger,” Arterton’s greased, black coated body stands for 007’s new morose reality. Meet James Bond, post 9/11: an emotionally scarred solider whose wounds run deeper than any tuxedo can ever occult. So goes “Quantum of Solace,” the angry, unloved companion piece to the modern classic Bond film “Casino Royale.”.

Following right after “Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace” finds Bond kidnapping Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), the lurking figure behind the events that claimed the life of Bond’s love, the self-sacrificing Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). Motivated by revenge, Bond discovers that Mr. White is a prominent member of a global network in charge of worldwide governmental control known as “Quantum.” With the Quantum group sucker- punching M (the amazing Judi Dench) and MI6, Bond goes searching for any trail that leads to White. Bond tracks French Industrialist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric as one of the lamest Bond bad guys ever), who arranges a coup in Bolivia in order to control the Water depository. Bond finds his allies compromised, from a politically handcuffed C.I.A agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) to Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini), an exiled spy who seeks redemption. Bond is forced to trust Camile (Olga Kurylenko), a former lover of Greene, as the key to uncover the sinister businessman and dethrone Quantum’s concealed reign of power.

In “Quantum of Solace,” the writing team of Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis present Bond as a tormented soul haunted by love lost. His aim to deter Quantum is not motivated by love of Queen and Country, but by the slim possibility that retribution can purge the last of his vulnerability. Here, Bond is unable to enamor his leading lady (perhaps doesn’t want to). Instead, Camile, who also has her own grudge to settle, is a spiritual equal to Bond; her vindictive plight parallels Bond’s dark odyssey. This exploration is a fine point from the writing team, who conceive a conclusion of sorts to their adaptation of “Casino Royale” with a solemn understanding for Bond, a man doomed to stare at the darkness yet empowered to stay above it.

Still, “Quantum of Solace” lacks the elegance that prevents it from fully achieving “00” status. Marc Forster, whose Oscar pedigree films include “Monster’s Ball,” “Finding Neverland,” and “The Kite Runner,” goes into uncharted territory in this 22nd Bond movie. This choice presented a high risk/high reward proposition for bold producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who hit gold in casting an atypical Bond in Daniel Craig. To his credit, Forster brings an independent edge that has seldom appeared in close to five decades worth of Bond movies. Foster tabs “Quantum of Solace” as an opportunity to trample the myth of James Bond and turn the British spy into psychological study case. While ambitious in his attempt, Forster's shortcoming is his defiance of the cinematic structure that defines a Bond film. “Quantum of Solace” is executed too closely to the Jason Bourne films, a quickly edited, rancorously shot movie that doesn't do justice to the panache and style set by its celluloid heritage. Also, some editing choices, like the stage scene that juxtaposes Bond fighting with the dancing performers, are just odd. Marc Forster is a talented filmmaker, but his view of James Bond is too stirred for its own good, making “Quantum of Solace” a peculiar cocktail.


Official website:
Quantum of Solace

Quantum of Solace2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko  Quantum of Solace2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko  Quantum of Solace2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko  Quantum of Solace2008Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert WadeMarc ForsterDaniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko 

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