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Quantum of Solace 
Stars: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright, David Harbour, Jesper Christensen and Gemma Arterton 
Director:Marc Forster 
Scriptwriters: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade 
Cinematography: Roberto Schaefer 
Composer: David Arnold 
Sony Pictures Entertainment 
Rating: PG 13 for violence, partial nudity 
Running Length: 106 minutes 

I will be the first to admit that I was done with the Bond franchise. After seeing what Jason Bourne did for the genre I figured Bond was no longer needed. Blame it on Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan, the fact remains that the character was getting to be old, greasy and washed up. And worse off, unbelievable. Even in a film of unbelievable stunts and scenarios you at least want to see actors who can pull these things off as if they were possible. Bond had become this Austin Powers ladies man who couldnít run across the street much less pull off what they had him doing. Add to that cliché story lines that were lame and focused more on Bondís lady man skills, and it was time for a license to kill off the films all together. So it goes without saying, though I will, how welcome and saving Daniel Craig is for the entire legacy. 

In Quantum of Solace we find Bond (Daniel Craig) still reeling from the death of his woman and vowing for revenge; without really admitting it. All the while still trying to get to the bottom of an over zealous tree hugger who seems to be behind some dastardly deals. And this eager environmentalist may or may not be linked to an organization that has spies everywhere, including Mís own back yard. When several countries water supplies become the object of greed Bond joins with a revenge motivated hottie named Camille (Olga Kurylenko) to infiltrate the system and shut it down. 

This is the Bond film that just might reinvigorate the fans. Sure the plot is thin and the action over the top. But finally we have a Bond that makes all of it work. Craig is rugged and steely in his portrayal. He still has the charm that Bond needs but that is not what gets him through the day. It is his ability to kick serious butt when need be. He has a swagger about him that we have not seen in a Bond for some while. Many gave Craig a hard time being that he was blonde and not like the Bonds of the past. Well Amen. 

Quantum of Solace is full of action from the opening bell to the final credits. Car chases and hand to hand duels keep this film moving at a fairy decent pace. There was a brief moment near the middle when I thought it was going to stall out, but it pulled through and stayed strong until the end. Plus it has that tinge of old school Bond films where the bad guy is world dominating in his mindset and plots. The perfect bad guy you love to hate. Unlike the past Bond films, Camille is a girl that isnít totally reliant on Bond to save her every time. She has a steady spine and when push comes to shove can deal with the best of them. 

Quantum of Solace is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content. Not nearly the sexual antics and innuendos of the past failures but enough for Bond to still prove he has a way with the ladies. The action is intense but not with a lot of gore and bloodshed. There are bullets flying everywhere and if you are not into gun play then you might be left out of most of the action. I give this Bond flick 3.75 out 5 scaffolds. Craig is the perfect Bond and even though I still have no idea what a Quantum of Solace is, I enjoyed this action ride from beginning to end.

Matt Mungle (11/11/08)

For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website"

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

James Bond cometh again. Daniel Craig, in lean, mean and fighting shape, battles the bad guys in the continuation of a story that began in Casino Royale. Though Bond says he didn't love or even like Vesper, he clearly is carrying a torch and out for revenge. He finds out that she had a reason for betrayal and other people are involved, as in a global network of lies, deceit, greed and danger. Just the sort of thing a James Bond would jump into. Dame Judi Dench is along as "M" who thinks she can control Bond, but guess again. 

Director Marc Forster has a sparse way of showing his stars in danger and doing dangerous stunts. At 100 minutes, this Bond film doesn't need a story, just go from stunt to stunt. What is surprising is that Bond has a co-star, Olga Kurylenko, who plays a Chilean intelligence agent. She is in a great part of the film, and even on some posters, standing alongside Bond. Could it be, gasp, that way down the line in the future, there could be a feminine version of James Bond? Methinks bricks will start flying any moment at that thought. 

The film opens with a car chase and Craig tells us this is serious by the way his jaw is set and how his car never has car problems. He is hunting down members of this "company" who had Vesper in their control. We go from a spectacular roof chase in Tuscany (horse race going on at the same time). Bond and M are getting ready to question Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) who was captured at the end of Casino Royale. The Bond girls come on board soon, and we have Camille (Olga Kurylenko) who has a boyfriend that your grandmother would hit with her purse, the evil-eyed Dominic (Mathieu Amalric). Camille and Bond battle back and forth, also, until they realize they are fighting the same enemy. Bond's government girl is Agent Fields (Gemma Artherton) who looks as thought she just came from Doctor No. There are at least two nods to former Bond films, a boat chase and something Bond discovers in a room.  You can figure out what movie that scene came from soon enough. M thinks Bond is rogue, Bond runs after his quarry with blinders on, and we end up in the desert for the final scenes, instead of an abandoned warehouse like every other spy thriller. 

In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig at least showed some emotion, here he is a blank slate. His features are almost skull-like and not particularly attractive. This is a let-us-get-down-to-business film, so forget the plot, what the bad guys are after, who can M trust and whether Bond can drive a car without demolishing it. I'm guessing uninsurable. 

Photography by Roberto Schaefer is fine, but David Arnold's soundtrack lacks a vibrancy from previous films. I was actually checking my watch after 45 minutes and trying to remember who was supposed to be on whose side in this plot. Just watch for Judi Dench and you will know where the good guys stand and everyone else is questionable. This James Bond film gives us an introduction to Felix Leiter, also, and Jeffrey Wright steals his scenes. 

Copyright 2008 Marie Asner 




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