Quantum Of Solace Review: Bond Misses Key Ingredient
Why is it so difficult to consistently give Bond fans what they want?
It really isn’t a complicated formula. But not since the days of Sean Connery has anyone managed to make two good consecutive Bond movies and raise their hands in triumph. Casino Royale: perfect.Quantam of Solace: just another name to add to the tally as if positioned above James Bond’s head board.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not longing for the days of Roger Moore’s ‘embarrassing dad at a wedding’ Bond, plucking a pun from the most impossible of angles but a little bit of quirkiness wouldn’t go amiss. Daniel Craig constantly looks like he just sat on a garden spade and he’s so robotic at times that you have to wonder whether after each take someone had to plug him in and recharge him.
Frustratingly, it doesn’t need to be this way. Other Bonds have proved that it’s a combination of cool explosions and well, coolness that makes Bond so irresistible. In Casino Royale, Bond’s scenes of ‘mantalk’ (as Ian Fleming would put it) were cinema at it’s finest. That, after all is what Bond is all about. I want to see a man that is far cooler than me waste time drinking martinis in swanky bars before handling a twenty minute car chase. Any schmuck can drive sober, Bond should be wreckless. Quantam of Solace starts with action and continues throughout like one big comical chase scene. In fact the only person seemingly unable to predict the next pursuit is a rather dazed and confused camera man who spends his time shaking vigorously like a fat man trying to keep up with an ice cream truck.
Still, there are moments of class. Judi Dench finally looks like a half convincing M and the opening scene between Bond and Mathis is particularly funny. But ultimately there is something missing in this outing. This is not a Bond film with personality and sometimes it feels as though if you blinked suddenly you might see Bruce Willis on screen yelling ‘Yippe ki ay’ or Matt Damon generally trying to look tough and competent. So, A good action film? Yes. But a good Bond film? Well, lets say it’s more like a martini without a twist of lemon: missing a key ingredient.
By Craig Woods