I had a chance to catch a premiere of the latest installment of the James Bond series: Quantum of Solace and decided to write a short review.
- The theme song: Jack White (of the White Stripes) and Alicia Keys team up to create ‘Another Way to Die’, the intro song to the movie. It’s a typical Jack White tune — rough, yet catchy chords with his haunting vocals complemented with Alicia Keys’s soulful R&B backing.
- The action sequences: What is a James Bond flick without the action? This movie is packed with fast and furious chases — over land, air and sea. In fact, the movie opens with a great sequence.
- Daniel Craig: Pierce Brosnan was the “perfect” James Bond, so it came as quite a shock that Daniel Craig took over the role. Brosnan was the epitome of James Bond. Dashing. Debonair. Suave. And Daniel Craig did not seem to exude that same aura. He is rough, unpolished and lacks the overall Bond qualities. But, as these two movies (Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale) are supposed to be the history of how Bond came to 00 status, DC plays the role quite well, actually.
- The Conflict: This movie is a continuation of Casino Royale… only it took a few years to make, thus leaving a bit of a disconnect. However, my main beef lies with the basic fact that there is no major conflict in the story. As you will read in “The Ugly” part of my qualms, the main dilemma in the story comes from Bond’s desire for revenge. Instead of the usual save the world and get the girl, Bond is on a personal vendetta. Yes, it gives a human dimension to Bond (and probably explains his detached persona), it does take away from the 007 aura.
- The villain: For some reason, this installment in the never ending Bond series had a wimp for a bad guy. No evil plan to take over the world. No ruthlessness behind every action. No typical villain characteristics. In fact, his very presence was kind of comedic. He looked like a nerd and acted like a coward. It is kind of difficult to picture Bond actually breaking a sweat, trying to bring down the baddie. Even M would have probably offered a bigger threat in a fistfight. There was, however, the backing of a mysterious international group of other bad guys.
All in all, the new James Bond flick is still a pretty good film for the franchise, if we don’t hold this 007 to the standards of all the previous roles. Daniel Craig offers a more personal and human Bond (no pun intended) which is one of the interesting notes to this installment. My guess is his future roles will see him in the more typical Bond swagger. But for just under 2 hours of celluloid, this is one movie you may want to check out.