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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

James Bond's latest outing mediocre, unsatisfying

Bryant West

Media Credit: Rottentomatoes.com

Quantum of Solace does not feel like a James Bond movie. Normally in the 45 years that movie audiences have witnessed his smooth, sophisticated spy movies, we've grown used to Bond's adventures containing more wit and less punch. That is why it is easy to see Quantum of Solace as less of an actual Bond movie and more of a action flick borrowing Agent 007. Between its many, many high speed chases, the movie seems more concerned about being a Jason Bourne-look alike, but the movie loses its story along the way.

For the first time in the series' history, Quantum is a direct sequel to the previous 2006 Bond flick, Casino Royale. Bond (Daniel Criag) is trying to get information on Quantum, a shady international organization that blackmailed Bond's lady love, Vesper Lynd, causing her to kill herself in the end of Royale. His search eventually leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a member of Quantum who makes his living pretending to be an eco-friendly chair of the aped named "Greene Planet" while in reality making his fortunes as an international scammer. Bond learns of Greene's plot to assassinate his girlfriend, Camille (Olga Kurylenko) and he finds out Greene is making a deal with a Bolivian military official (Joaquin Cosio).

The multiple twists in the plot are nearly overshadowed by the movies' apparent love for chase scenes. There are car chases, motorbike chases, boat chases and even an overly elaborate and excruciatingly long plane chase. Miraculously, every time the chase places Bond right at the point he needs to be at for the plot to progress. The movie has become so focused on high speed chases for the entire plot, that it makes the story very hard to follow.

It is a shame, because despite the overabundance of action and the tangled plot, the movie is well acted. Craig, the first blonde Bonds is the perfect Bond, very smooth and calm, despite the movies' pace. Kurylenko also does a great job as Camille, and perhaps the strongest aspect of the movie's plot is her backstory. Amalric does a fine job as the cool and collected scammer Greene. With all three main actors doing such a fine job, it is really disappointing that their acting talents have to get lost in the action.

Quantum of Solace would probably have been better if it didn't have the James Bond title next to it. It is action-heavy style isn't common to the series, and its plot gets lost. The great acting job by Craig gets lost, and it leaves a simply mediocre film.

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