Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.0 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: "Casino Royale"
Clocking in at some 106 minutes, the unnecessarily titled "Quantum Of Solace" is apparently the shortest Bond instalment ever in the rejuvenated franchise. It makes sense, considering that "Casino Royale" was missing some half and hour of footage that would have made that a complete movie. The two Daniel Craig editions are very episodic - you might consider watching them back-to-back just to get a satisfying momentum.
Not that "Quantum" is lacking in momentum, especially with an impressive tunnel chase opening to drive your expectations. It's just that it's not a very good stand-alone movie. Agent 007's Aston Martin is comparable to the driver - they're both beat up and tired and yet, wouldn't stop. The sheer class of both car and man won't let that happen. That comes at a cost.
Emotional downtime is cut to a minimum and there are no cool gadgets for Jimmy to show off this time. Making that worse for the old school Bond follower is that his new prize girl is Olga Kurylenko, the Ukrainian vixen of a woman who plays the trashy, leggy vamp in movies like "Hitman" and "Max Payne" only to go off on a strange tangent in "Quantum". Her Bolivian beauty Camille character is indecisive, uneven and not memorable. It's also not very nice for the old school 007 fan to see little character development in the other Bond girl played by Gemma Arterton, who is starring in the upcoming "Prince Of Persia".
Viewers can find solace in Judi Dench and Daniel Craig for requisite star appeal then, after finding out that new villain Mathieu Almaric is only a quantum of cinematic evil as his evil CEO character Dominic Greene. It's possible that with these new efforts to globalise Bond, more realistic, as opposed to more cinematic characters are being developed. It's not very fun. Give me Mads Mikkelsen-type Russian thugs any day.
Perhaps the sorest point is Bond's lack of suave humour. He's now Jason Bourne with a better Armani suit; and doesn't seem to have an eye for girls especially after losing a girl he finally cares for in the last mission. This direction must be stopped before Bond turns into a Rambo-type action hero. Meanwhile, we can either wait for Daniel Craig to be fired or to be put under the scribe's pen again as a larger-than-life womaniser we once knew was always fun to watch.
Cinema Online, 31 October 2008