Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't think the dead care about vengeance - James Bond

According to the 1959 short story from which the latest cinematic James Bond thriller takes its name, the Quantum of Solace is defined as "a precise figure defining the comfort/humanity/fellow feeling required between any pair of people for love to survive. If the Quantum of Solace is 0, then love is dead."

The first direct sequel to a previous Bond film, Quantum of Solace finds Daniel Craig’s Agent 007 bent on a mission of revenge for the loss of his lover in the earlier film. Bond even finds himself on the outs with his own British Secret Service, who believe that their man has gone rogue based on his actions during the film.

Not having seen Daniel Craig’s first appearance in the role of the suave super-spy in Casino Royale, I was unprepared for the level of intensity that he brings to the character. I was also surprised at how much this version of 007 owed to the three Jason Bourne spy movies featuring actor Matt Damon. The producers of the Bond franchise wisely opted to learn a valuable lesson from the success of those films and have taken a similar cue in how they’ve re-crafted the venerable Bond character.

Daniel Craig was definitely the right choice for the role and sacrilege notwithstanding, he may ultimately emerge as my favorite cinematic version of James Bond. I have to dash out and pick up a copy of Casino Royale, but if that film hits me the same way that Quantum has, then he will have won me over. Don’t get me wrong, Sean Connery was this good in Dr. No and From Russia With Love, but pretty much everything after Goldfinger (which truly began the trend) and onward, descended into stylistic set pieces, quirky & stereotypical villains, gadgets and other fantasy pablum. Fun stuff mind you, but for high adventure spy thrills, the Bourne stuff far exceeded forty-six years worth of stale gimmickry.

It’s not really fair to compare a current genre film against earlier decades film efforts, because they were really fine for their time, but while Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan each contributed a bit towards arriving at this destination, 007 has been firmly reestablished as a worthy film icon due the outstanding performance of actor Daniel Craig. Here’s hoping that he sticks around for several more Bond epics of this nature, and Mr. Craig also suggested director Marc Forster be brought on board, and this film is the better for it. Oh, and lest I forget, there is a Bourne connection present onscreen in Quantum of Solace. 2nd unit director Dan Bradley worked on the Bourne films.

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