Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie

Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie

The latest Bond is the perfect Bond Movie. Yes. It is. In fact, Quantum of Solace is not only the perfect Bond movie, it's the best Bond movie ever, period. Even surpassing Casino Royale-and I mean both the Craig's one and the original Peter Sellers, David Niven, and Woody Allen's delirium-which to me surpassed Connery's best (I know, sacrilege). It has everything a Bond film must have and more: Cars, cocktails, airplanes, boats, cocktails, smart hot girls, evil baddies, slimy baddie sidekicks, cocktails, and gadgets. Contrary to previous versions, the new Bond actually has some cool gadgets in it. I don't mean cheesy stupid mini-rockets firing from the exhaust pipe of an Aston Martin or laser watches that can cut through steel and french lingerie. I mean cool, believable technology that integrates in the movie transparently.

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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
Illustration for article titled Quantum of Solace Is the Perfect Bond Movie
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To start with, real multitouch makes a stellar appearance with a giant Microsoft-Surface-style table which Judi Dench-the head of MI6-and other agents use with ease, simultaneously. In fact, the user interface on the table-albeit adorned for the required Hollywood eye candy-actually makes sense and is extremely attractive, gestures included. Everything on it is doable with current technology, even the part in which they place a dollar bill and it gets automatically scanned and identified. There's also the huge video wall at M's office. Unlike the multitouch surface, this is a CGI effect. However, with enough money and the use of transparent OLED technology and gesture recognition, the video wall is also perfectly doable. In fact, I saw something similar in my visit to Philips Labs last August, although that transparent video wall-a simulation of a glass storefront-used projection rather than OLEDs. Only a couple of technologies were exaggerated. One was Bond's cellphone camera capabilities-with 007 taking pictures of faces with 3D depth of field information from a very long distance. The other was the speed of data transmission between the cellphone and MI6's headquarters. However, you can perfectly imagine that all that may be real in the military world and just not available to consumers, specially looking at some of the latest camera and communications research. But what really makes this movie is not the technology. Yes, it plays an important role: Bond gets geolocation information on the baddies, and he uses his camera to get some of their pics, which then are analyzed and cross-referenced by MI6 databases. But none of it is a gimmick. There is no magic zippo lighter capable of launching kinetic rocket fire balls and save the day at the end of the movie. The technology in Quantum of Solace is realistic and it integrates naturally into the film, it flows with the plot. What makes it the best Bond movie ever is what makes an action movie good. The script to start with. Serious, but also witty, and with the right amount of reality stretching. It even has an underlying social theme, which is interesting and relates to the current world's political climate. Marc Forster's direction makes you wish he directed Indiana Jones IV. His movie runs like clockwork, with the action scenes being masterfully choreographed and filmed, and painting a deeper, much more complex portrait of not only Bond, but also M, who gets a lot more presence in this one (and is Judy bloody Dench. I rest my case). And then there is Bond himself. Daniel Craig really makes the movie work with his presence alone. He's a badass, but feels absolutely human. He has flair and a taste for luxury-wait until he arrives to Bolivia to see what I mean-but he gets gritty and dirty all the time. He could be a psychopath, but you can see that he has heart. He can seduce a women into bed like the best Connery would do, but you can actually see that he cares about her. You can feel that he is a hopeless romantic below the cold surface. A guy consumed by the need of vengeance and the contradiction of being betrayed by the love of his life. Yet, at the same time, he still loves her to the point of risking everything, even while she is dead. And he likes cocktails. Yes. Go. See it. Now.

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DISCUSSION

yoagraulus-old
YoAgraulus

Without a doubt, Connery & Brosnan were the gold standard of Bond & my darkest days where during Moore’s farcical portrayal of our favorite 00. So I am pre-disposed not to accept Craig as a bone fide replacement. But even in both movies, Craig is nolt the problem, the producers & directors are. OK. Perhaps my last comments were really a review of Casino not having seen QoS. Now I have seen it and there are so many problems with it I do not know where to begin. All the chases are herky, jerky, shaky staccato film clips. You can never really see what is going on. This is contrary to the traditional Bond flick replete with detail. And if Craig is gritty, moody, mean & vindictive one can still see a path by which he becomes a cooler if not a cold, uber-professional agent with a dry, sardonic sense of humor. This Bond clearly appeals to a feminine perspective that escapes me. I understood him not becoming 'involved' with the other women in the 2 flicks as having high standards and was at least relieved to see his response to Fields as, what we would term a normal orientation! (The women seem to love that Bond does NOT 'hook up' with the main girl in either film and broods ceaselessly like a forlorn Hamlet for his unrequited lover from Casino). Even the opening chase, usually one of the best, is almost visually incomprehensible. Car chase, rooftop chase, sewer chase, apartment knife fight chase, boat chase, plane chase, Chase-Morgan, certainly they all were purloined from the Bourne genre but somehow Bourne's were more believable.

The opening graphics were not as bad as I feared, but were definitely not 007 quality. Far too much of Craig shooting his Walther PPK .380; (don't make me go into why that is a problem). We have grown accustomed to the sultry, sexual/sensual and awesome graphical intro to the Bond films. This one was not of the same caliber. Ditto on the theme song. It was not a good as past songs but I was fearing worse and it was actually passable relating somewhat to the general theme of the film. The barrel scene was placed at the end of the film. I prefer the beginning but in either case it should be presented with high quality graphics and punctuated with 007 theme song riffs. It was not.

Lots of chases. Most are barely watchable. I actually liked the reference to the traditional 13th century Italian Palio horse race in which the riders can use their longer wooden canes to encourage their steeds or discourage their opponents; and the actual event was supposed to be occurring outside of the chase area.

The knife fight was lame. How did the baddie die anyhow? Please tell me not with the little pair of cuticle scissors Bond had. And if the death blow was to the only wounded area shown, the left jugular, where did all the blood go as Bond let him 'bleed out'. Not to worry the details because we are soon introduced to THE BOND GIRL. Well, a little anti-climatic because she is not quite as attractive as we are used to although she has very pretty lips. The rest of her seems strangely disproportionate for some reason. It's also strange that she would return to the baddie who just tried to have her whacked. That has little probability for success for someone who we later learn is "Bolivian Secret Service". Oh well, not to worry, we are off on another chase, this time with boats. It is perhaps the best done but for the last scene in which the grappling hook is somehow thrown onto the rubber speed boat and flips it from the front of Bond's boat over the top to the rear...... can't quite figure the physics out on that one. Not to worry, we've docked and Bond mysteriously hands the unconscious maiden who he has just rescued over to a dock attendant...what?

Well were off to track this baddie and somehow reconnected with the GIRL in Bolivia where we eventually learn that the baddie, Mr. Greene of the evil Greene corporation in conjunction with the even eviler Quantum Criminal Consortium LLC has concocted a plot wreaking with the venom of true corporate greed, evil capitalism and nefarious financier-ship; to wit, steal all the fresh water in where? Why Bolivia of course and sell it back to them Bolivians at double the price! MUAHHAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh). We learn at a big party that times are tough in Bolivia because it is costing a weeks wages for an average Bolivian to buy a gallon of clean water! As I remember, the average Bolivian earns about $0.25 per day making the water cost about $1.75 a gallon; pretty much on par with market values in Cleveland. Perhaps this is not the best country for our get richer quicker scheme.

No matter, we are off to the evil opera where the evil baddies are meeting to plan, well, evil. This is where we juxtapose a modernistic version of the Tosca operatic bloodshed whilst Bond dabbles in the real thing dispatching the body guards of the evil biggies who, now discovered & uncovered, are making a hasty retreat for the exits faster than attendees at an Al Gore speech.

No matter, while in Bolivia we are matroned by the closest thing to a real Bond girl, agent Fields. Unfortunately we never really figure out what is beneath that trenchcoat although it appears that Bond does. Also unfortunately for Fields and us, she is quickly eliminated by the baddies in what can only be termed as a 'crude' theft of the Goldfinger modus operandi. I would have expected more of a mess but why waste camera time on the slickened Fields when you can spend it on bathroom scenes with....who else....M of course. Perhaps the most difficult what seemed to be15 minutes of the film (as if minutes were hours Mr. Spock) was watching M in her bathrobe apply & remove cold creme. The threat itself would have sent Mr. Greene permanently into pro bono philanthropy. Not finished with us yet, M draws her bath and the tension in the theater built noticeably as we all began to fear that we would be greeted with an au natural scene of her slipping out of the robe into the tub. Fortunately we were spared that experience (wait for the unedited version coming to DVD soon!). However, it just calls into question what fob with a mommy complex of some sort is calling the shots in these films.

M continues to demonstrate why she should not be "M" vacillating from suspecting Bond to needing him back in 00 some 4-5 times during the movie. We did get a glimpse into the possible personality of M's hubby when he meekly announced, "the calls for you dear on your private line". Whatever.

M may welcome Bond back with open arms or have him captured or killed, no matter, the BOND GIRL is rescuing Bond in her getaway car, a 1964 VW Beetle. I guess the Bolivian Secret Service does not get to roll like the 00's in MI6. At least it was a 40HP!

No matter. We are now off to a hotel in the middle of a high plains Bolivian desert. Time to charter a plane...no, not the little Beachcraft Bonanza that would actually be faster and more maneuverable. Choose the DC-3 with a load of cargo on board. Watch out though, you'll get shot down by the Bolvian Air Force in a single engine Marchetti SIA1 (which I have been corrected on and is a fast little number) I guess the BAF doesn't get to roll like the 00's at MI6 either.

No matter because they are both jumping out of that crate with the only parachute. Somehow everything turns out ok after wrestling for 10,000 feet with the BOND GIRL & parachute falling at 120 MPH because the chute opens 20 feet off of our LZ, a nice big soft slab of granite. BTW, the BOND GIRL walks for miles on granite stones in her bare feat…she’s a hearty lass.

It’s off the hotel to find the baddies. The hotel, located in the high plains desert of Bolivia, is called the Plaza del Sol. It is completely self-sufficient and powered by...solar....no you idiot, hydrogen fuel cells. In fact, each room appears to have its own hydrogen fuel cell and its accompanying hydrogen supply tank. The maids must make your bed and refill your hydrogen tank when they replace the shampoo in the bath, I guess. Naturally the hotel, located in the high plains Bolivian desert is made substantially of steel & stone. Unfortunately, the steel & stone in Bolivia is not quite as durable as the steel & stone you and I have grown to love as we discover when Bond causes a baddie car to crash through a wall igniting a hydrogen tank. The rest of the hydrogen tanks ignite sequentially. Darn it, I hate when that happens, you just can't get good hydrogen tanks anymore. Again, unfortunately, the Bolivian steel & stone burns more like paper mache. Bond battles the Greene baddie but aborts to rescue the BOND GIRL who is caught up in her own subplot vendetta too trite to be explained here. Mr. Greene escapes into the desert only to meet a cryptic fate induced by other unknown baddies and Bond’s 10W-40 payback for the treatment of luscious Agent Fields.

You would be better off waiting for this to hit DVD. At least then you can slo-mo or replay the chase scenes making sense of them, spend more time with the slick Agent Fields and most importantly, FFW or skip over M's bathroom escapades. You have been warned.