Southern Man

Friday, November 21, 2008

Movie Review - Quantum of Solace

This is a tough review to write. Southern Man generally doesn't warm up to movies until after several viewings, and he's only seen Quantum of Solace once (but from the luxurious balcony of the local metro's new Warren Theatre!). But he's been eagerly anticipating this one, given how terrific Casino Royale was, but at the same time dreading that the new outing wouldn't quite live up to its predecessor.

Well, yes and no. Quantum is a terrific action film, but feels more like Bourne Identity IV than a Bond film. Indeed, the protagonist owes more to action superhero Jason Bourne than suave superspy James Bond. But it is a Bond film. There are Bond girls (and, as always, some survive and some don't) but Bond, in another break from tradition, doesn't even bang the female lead. And there are car chases and rooftop chases and airplane chases - all so horribly quick-cut that they are just blurs of motion and color - and a very large, very futuristic, very minimilist hotel - yes, a hotel - in the middle of a desert that appears to be constructed entirely of gasoline. You wil understand why Southern Man says this at the end of the movie. And there's something of a plot. We see hints that "Quantum" may be an enduring, unkillable foe, much like SPECTRE was in the Bond novels (and was supposed to be in the movies), with the enigmatic Mr. White as the new Blofeld - but the main villian is rather a dissapointment, as he runs his organization out of an ordinary warehouse and his plans for world domination involve cornering the water supply (yes, water) of Bolivia. Huh? We find out surprising things about the late Vesper Lynd's former boyfriend. We see some continuation of the developing friendship between Bond and CIA agent Felix Leiter, as well as a deepening of the relationship between Bond and M. But this film is a lot longer on action than on character. Southern Man imagines that eventually he'll eventually rate this one somewhere in the middle of the pack. But only time will tell. When does the DVD come out again?


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