Bland, James Bland

January 30, 2010

I often wonder what the point is in reviewing movies like Quantum of Solace. If you’re the type of person who goes for maniacal muscled men doing dastardly deeds to one another- and to the women that cross their paths – then there is nothing I can say, nothing I can do, that will stop you from seeing this movie.

But prepare to be disappointed. For Quantum is the dumbest, dullest and driest Bond yet, doing little to endear itself to the paying public and nothing to live up to the excellent Casino Royale.

From the off you are flung into the action with no explanation as to why you are there and where you are going. If you haven’t seen the predecessor then you are up shit creek and even if you have, the screenplay by Hollywood’s current belle de jour, Paul Haggis (of awful race turd Crash fame), is so convoluted that you simply switch off your brain and go with the flow.

Unfortunately it flows nowhere, and hops from one eye-catching location to the next, piling on sub plots and excess action sequences that add little to the story or the genre. Bond is out for revenge, hunting down and killing members of the evil organisation Quantum who blackmailed and murdered his first true love, Vesper Lynd.

Unfortunately he’s killing them before MI6 can extract any information from them, forcing the scene-stealing M (Judi Dench) to cut Bond loose and leave him to his own devices. So far, so Licence to Kill. But what isn’t so familiar is his behaviour.

All sense of charm is erased from Craig’s anarchistic Bond, with withering put-downs and suave asides dropped in favour of excessive and senseless violence. There’s no “Bond, James Bond” until the final line. No “Shaken, not stirred” at all. And no Q, no gadgets and no getting the girl.

Gemma Arterton as Fields (just Fields), the sluttier of the two Bond girls, is simply required to titillate, which as a titty-mag favourite shouldn’t have been too much of a challenge. Her climatic nod to Goldfinger is appreciated but an original send off would have made her character seem less gimmicky and rammed home the meaning behind her death, as voiced by M to Bond.

Seeing as the whole movie is motivated by revenge I’m not crying salty tears over the lack of nookie. But I would at least have appreciated a bit of chemistry between Craig and leading lady Olga Kurylenko (the vengeful Camile) as they trot around the globe baring their souls, wreaking havoc and fuelling each others fantasies of revenge.

Elsewhere, Haggis is so determined to drag Bond into the current century that he has written his most realistic and dull villain in the series history. Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) is a paper pushing environmentalist who helps the CIA and their cherry-picked dictators overthrow democratically elected governments in return for the countries natural resources.

With action movies, you are asked to suspend disbelief. With Quantum, you suspend interest. It takes itself so seriously and tries to be so realistic it forgets completely to entertain. Despite being the shortest Bond of all, feels like the longest.


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