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Quantum of Solace’ fails to meet expectations

Szymon Ryzner | Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Though a promising opening car chase created a strong start for the “Quantum of Solace,” the film soon deteriorated into reused character archetypes and a general lack of creativity. To be fair, the beginning was brilliant – grand choreography on the roads, an interrogation followed by a betrayal, and a Parkour-esque romp through an Italian city. Yet while the 22nd Bond film seemed early on to be a grand return to glory, the film limited itself to mediocrity.The action sequences began to drag soon after the first sequence and shaky camera work created endless confusion regarding what was actually going on. There was a fight on foot, in a car, in the air, and on the water. Perhaps the next movie will take the jump to the final frontier? Sure, Bond has done it before, but why not again in the next film? That’s what “Quantum of Solace” has devolved to – a Bond film just like any other. Catered to today’s cinemagoers tastes and with a dash of current politics, “Quantum of Solace” is just the next Bond film, nothing more. The many locales that Bond traveled to were exotic and provided for great visuals. The entirety of the travels really gave a sense for the lifestyle that Bond leads, creating an enticing product for the viewer. Still, the large floating text bubbles above every location Bond visited, describing exactly where he was, were distracting and a bit over the top.The villain was rather lame and uninteresting – a short, mean, environmentalist wasn’t as scary or innovative as prior villains. Generally ruthless capitalists/environmentalists with bulging creepy eyes do not make for great villains. Neither do evil sexist generals. The final showdown between the two main characters in “Casino Royale” came down to a poker game, which was subtle yet effective, but the conclusion was filled with explosions, screaming, and other disappointing affects standard to the action genre. The film was supposed to develop Bond as a character, instead it typecast him into a very physical action oriented role. An interesting facet of this film’s development centered around the evil organization Quantum that has people everywhere and has a hand in everything. Though the only real show of Quantum’s power is within the first portion of the movie, the storyline is left for future films to pick up. Many members of Quantum are introduced and as an extremely powerful and evil organization it is bound to inspire many missions for Bond, hopefully with more interesting villains and secret bases.Bond’s supporting cast was a mixed bag. The Bond girl, Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), was made entertaining by the fact that she was a Bolivian played by a Ukrainian, but otherwise her character was boring. The revenge element is not new, and it was not well-executed. Still, the lack of sexual involvement between Bond and Kurylenko’s character Camille Montes was a nice touch and her self-contained action sequences were refreshing. Agent Fields, played by Gemma Arterton, was standard Bond foolish female fodder. M was, as always, strongly played by Judy Dench.The film was entertaining, but considering the jump “Casino Royale” made, this is a step backwards. “Quantum of Solace” was filled with irrelevant villains, a lack of compelling supporting characters, and action sequences that would have worked better if the film was called “The Bond Supremacy.” It’s not a bad film by any means, it is just an over-hyped disappointment that continues the Bond action tradition, but reverts on the promises made by “Casino Royale.”