Yesterday, I met up with a bunch of friends to catch the new Bond movie – Quantum of Solace. Landed there late, thereby missing the title song as well as the opening car chase scene.
It appears that this movie is a sequel to Casino Royale. I haven’t watched Casino Royale, and it took me some time (and a little help from a friend) to catch up on what is happening at the beginning of the movie. But once, Bond reaches Haiti, the action kicks up, and I settled down with a popcorn and coke to enjoy the roller-coaster ride.
Daniel Craig as James Bond is a completely different experience. He is much more rugged, and less polished than his predecessors (Pierre Brosnan and Roger Moore), and more similar in style to Sean Connery. As a secret agent, his style is more similar to Jason Bourne rather than James Bond. However, of late, I was finding the Bond movies tedious, and boring, and I find the new avatar of Bond to be a pleasant change.
The movie is also not the usual cliched Bond series. Some unusual aspects:
- The Bond villain does not have any unusual deformity.
- Bond does not have any love scene with the Bond heroine (she is just along with him to get her own personal revenge on the villain)
- Bond does not have any super-fancy, non-believable gadgets (no pens that shoot darts !). All the technology shown is cutting-edge but believable (for example, surface computing). Plus, I was super-thrilled about this one – Bond carries a Sony-Ericsson cellphone (I am a proud owner of one)
- The villain’s sidekick is also normal (no metal jaws that can bite through anything !)
The action is super-awesome. One scene that I particularly loved was when Bond is being chased by villains when he is at an opera. The director has cut the scenes within the opera with the chase scenes beautifully, and almost poetically. The finale is another action-packed, and beautifully shot section. I so regret missing the opening car chase scene, which everyone assured me was one of the best.
The heroine (Olga Kurylenko) is beautiful and does her job well. This is probably one of the better heroine castings in the Bond series. She does not come across as a dumb bimbo who is Bond’s sidekick, but she is an equal partner in his effort. In fact, she is so fixated on murdering her enemy, that she hardly focuses on Bond. In one scene, before she is going to kill one of the villains, Bond councils her and advises her on the best option – “You only need one bullet, make it count”. They are more like friends and partners.
The only blah aspect in the movie is the sidekick lady agent. Her entry, love scene with Bond, and subsequent murder is so quick that I wondered “What was the point of her ?” She appears to have been dashed on to somehow appease Bond traditionalists.
But apart from this one anomaly, I loved the movie. If you love action movies, this is a must-watch. Two thumbs up.