Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quantum of Solace review. Comparison with other Bond movies. Daniel Craig's & Olga Kurylenko's characters

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Quantum of Solace - First things first, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond 007 ever! Pierce Brosnan was probably the worst choice as he simply lacked the charm that someone like James Bond must have! Others - George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Sean Connery - were alright but none of them have that kind of cold ruthlessness that Daniel Craig possesses. This applies even more to the recent bond movies that darker and serious and portray him as a more of a brooding self-introspective character in comparison to the earlier movies in which Bond used to be a combination of an accomplished male gigolo and Inspector Gadget!

Now back to the post - the first time I viewed Quantum of Solace, it totally kept me on the edge of the seat from start to end but for whatever reason I felt like it ended a bit too abruptly after working me up (like you spend an hour in foreplay and then don't last ten minutes in the "main course"). But the next viewing totally opened my eyes to the excellent movie Quantum of Solace really turns out to be! I mean, I totally loved
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Casino Royale but Quantum of Solace takes the "James Bond Begins" thing to a totally different level! I guess Quantum of Solace is to Casino Royale what Darknight is to Batman Begins, the only main thing differing that Darknight has a slow brooding climax that lets the viewer to sit back and think about it all while he waits for the credits to come but Quantum of Solace has a very abrupt ending and kinda leaves the viewer wanting more....


That said, there is one big things that I found a bit annoying was the whole "shaking camera" action going on throughout the movie. Honestly, I feel that action scenes go much better with a steady camera where the user can understand exactly what is going on; but if the camera moves so much then it just becomes chaotic and difficult to view. That might just be me though as other viewers might find more chaotic fight and car chases scenes but I really want to understand and then appreciate the details of how he avoided hitting the truck and how he beat those five guys while handcuffed and so on.
Casino Royale shows the very first chase sequence with a steady camera and so does Bourne Identity (the fight scene where Bourne fights some secret agent in his apartment). Quantum of Solace has a better idea for the initial chase sequence and Bourne Identity sequels have more fighting scenes but the both introduced this camera shaking thing increasing the perceived chaoticness at the expense of viewing experience and understandability.


The movie totally rocks in other areas though, Bond is starting to look like a great guy who is sensible, fun and caring rather than a chauvinistic gigolo that the earlier movies made him out to be. Bond lacks gadgets but honestly most of the gadgets were too idiotic to appear in fiction or real life anyways, case in point - Fake Nipple and Electro-Magnetic RPM Controller gadgets (although I can totally use the RPM controller thingee every once in a while to pay some bills) - I'd rather prefer Bond to solve problems with his ingenuity and skills rather than some convenient gizmo. So basically both Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace portray Bond as a normal human being, albeit a highly intelligent and skilled one, living in a real world and not some gadget infested alien world where villains flee in flying cars and all cars come fitted with ejection seats!

Another good thing about Quantum of Solace was that it
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doesn't end with Bond in bed with Olga
Kurylenko (Camille Rivera Montes, if you may). Honestly though, I was kinda hoping it to happen and I guess that was also the reason why I found the ending a bit abrupt, but at the same time it was refreshing to see a new ending with an unnecessary bit of Bond's gigolo bit taken out. Olga's (Camille's) romp in the bed would also have utterly destroyed her character too and obviously a "final" romp in the bed scene never really fitted was always disruptive to the overall story in all bond movies.

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What I mean to say is that other then the fact that such end doesn't contribute to the overall experience, it also destroys whatever character development done in the movie. For example, Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) in Tomorrow Never Dies came across as a serious and independent girl not giving into Bond's attempts at getting her to bed and that was one of the major things that stood out in the movie; but you know what happens in the end - as soon as the villains have been dispatched and its the time for the movie to end, she turns into this horny chick ready to get down and dirty with Bond. Does it make sense? To me, not at all and thats why I think that the Quantum of Solace does very well to exclude Camille's (Olga's) character's degradation by giving into her carnal desires with Bond as soon as she is done avenging her family's murder! Further, the movie all the better by not letting Bond trying to seduce Camille in any way whatsoever. Some sexual exploration with Ms. Fields (Gemma Arterton) is warranted (afterall Bond is not gonna jerk off to satisfy himself, will he!) and the whole sequence is much more fun ("...can't find the stationary..." and "...you must be furious..." bits for example) than the earlier Bond movies.

So, I have to say that the ending, though abrupt and lacking the usual Bond girl giving into Bond's seduction element, did come as fresh and meaningful - more so with Bond dropping Vesper Lynd's (Eva Green) necklace and the final dialogue with M - "I never left"!

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