November 8, 2008

Movie review: Quantum of solace

Yup, Bond sells like nothing else. Money making machine it is. A full week before being released in USA, Indians are thronging to movie theatres to catch the latest offering of the Bond franchise. Weekend shows are sold out and some multiplexes are screening 10 shows a day - most of them sold out again!!
So, the movie. Well it sure is a humdinger - though I still don't think Daniel Craig makes as good a Bond as Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan. He seems too cold and rigid. That said, the movie is good. The action scenes are really good and not monotonous. The plot though is something I have a problem with. How can a Bond movie be a revenge story carried forward from the earlier installment? The revenge angle is what I found a bit difficult to swallow.

The stunts: great, the fights: awesome (yup, again like Casino Royale the hand-to-hand combats are awesomely done and the bullet showers as well) and the locales: are beautiful and numerous (the most number of locales pictured in any Bond movie). The opening sequence of the car chase in Italy (Bond making mincemeat of the Alfa Romeo that is chasing his, what else, Aston Martin, and in the process trashing his own) is extremely well executed. There is even a fight/chase sequence with Tosca as a backdrop/alternate representation. These two fights were my favorite.

About the Bond gals, you see very very less of them. I don't see why Gemma Arterton was included in the movie. She has about 7 minutes of screen time with hardly any script to talk about. Oh and Bond doesn't get much action in this movie. Or if he does, it has been chopped off by our ever-so-solicitous censor board.

Like any other James Bond movie, this movie is not going to be watched for the plot or the storyline, so I am not going to go into it at all. Suffice to say that it picks up about an hour after the end of Casino Royale. This movie is all about the fights, the guns, the girls, the cars and the gizmos (which other than a Sony phone and touch computers akin to the ones we saw in Minority Report are nothing earthshakingly new - which I understand is what the director and producers wanted to do). I guess raw action is what they wanted to sell and they have delivered. Somehow, the suave and charming killing machine that we know as Bond is becoming increasingly similar to a Bourne (Bourne series) and Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible series).

All said and done, its a visual treat and there is never a dull moment to the movie. Thankfully, Bond finally seems to get closure at the end of the movie so we can expect him to return to work exclusively for Her Majesty rather than for his avenging sensibilities.



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