Monday, March 18, 2019

Yet Again On Bond, James Bond-Will The Real 007 Please Stand Up- Daniel Craig’s “Quantum Of Solace”(2008)-A Film Review

Yet Again On Bond, James Bond-Will The Real 007 Please Stand Up- Daniel Craig’s “Quantum Of Solace”(2008)-A Film Review

DVD Review

By Seth Garth

Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, based on a character created by mad monk Ian Fleming, 2008

It probably does no good to moan and groan but here goes anyway since it is on my dime and moreover there is no need for a long summary of this 2008 007 film Quantum of Solace because the overall pattern was established long ago in the very first cinematic run through with ruggedly handsome Sean Connery’s initially offering in Doctor No with non-stop individual heroic action, a fistful of eye candy and every imaginable high tech and low way to off the bad guys-for a while. In a recent review of another Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond vehicle Spectre from 2015 I casually mentioned that this film criticism profession was worse that the academy in terms of back-biting and one-ups-man-ship. That elicited a firestorm of criticism not from the academy who as least had the sense to duck their heads when the truth is thrown at them. Either that or they are collectively too busy looking for the main chance to one up in their own fellow competitors to not bother about a marginally intellectual pursuit.

No, I have now taken a second ration of grief from my fellow film critics Phil Larkin and young Will Bradley who have taken umbrage that I have sullied the reputation of the profession by publically lambasting their petty little squabble over who is the better personification of James Bond Sean Connery Phil’s contender and Pierce Brosnan Will’s entry. Compared to this the little academic disputes over, for example, who Shakespeare who writing those flowery sonnets for back in the day which has caused so much ink and blood to be spilled in academic circles seems world-historic by comparison.  

For those who did not get a chance to see my little review I was taking Will and Phil to task for making a mountain out of a molehill when I casually had mentioned in a previous review of earlier 007 Timmy Dalton’s The Living Daylights that while I would like Pontius Pilot wash my hands in the dispute, would abstain from any partisanship that Sean and Pierce did seem the only real contenders. That was all either party needed to believe against all reason that I was a partisan of one or the other when I characterized Sean as ruggedly handsome and Pierce as a pretty boy. They went on and on for pages running the rack on my “real position” worthy of any even half-baked academic. All they needed to do was to set up a conference complete with panels and learned papers and they would truly emulate the academics.

That was not the worst of it though. In that Spectre review I made the fatal mistake, although I didn’t know it at the time, of mentioning that I would not say anything about Daniel Craig’s take on the 007 character for fear of setting off another firestorm. Silly me. That only inflamed each party more in their respective championships. Phil took the “no notice” to mean that Craig had the rugged no non-sense “take no prisoners” dash that Sean brought to the character. Will, in his turn, touted my non-characterization as proof positive that the guile and charm that Pierce brought to the role was bestowed on Craig. At this point I will just say what I have to say and be done with since any way I look at it both men are looking at me merely as a foil for whatever each holy goof is after. To tarnish my reputation by indirection and inference. Just like the guys and gals in the academy do with their brethren.         

As I mentioned we can run through the storyline without much ado. As usual in the post-Soviet demise world where it is hard to give a name to a symbol of hard-boiled badness once the international red menace stopped being a bogeyman what Craig’s 007 is up against is an unnamed international cartel that has it fingers in everything, in every important spy organization including MI6. To find out what is what M, the MI6 chief, dispatches Jimmy to see what he can do to uncover the myriad destructive deals these bad boys are up to. Since control of the world’s basic resources oil, water, rare metals and minerals is always up for grabs that is where the threads lead him. This time it is about a criminal enterprise front organization posing as an environment saving entity run by bad guy Dominic Green which is buying up land rights and by extension whatever is found there from lots of places. This one revolves around a deal to overthrow the Bolivian government and replace it with a handpicked bastard General as dictator. In return they get a vast swath of desert and control of water rights. Nice.    

Needless to say this is easy picking for James to roll up. Despite the combined efforts of the corrupt Bolivian national police and Green’s own security apparatus James wastes the whole operation-puts it down easily. (It continues to amaze that one man, one pretty faced, ruggedly handsome man is able to survive full fire fields of the opponent’s fury. These mercenaries aren’t like they used to be-seem to be something out of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight apparently.) James does have a little help downing that general since Camille, played by fetching Olga Kurylenko, a Bolivian intelligence agent not on the take, has a personal vendetta against him for the rape and murder of her mother and sister when she was a little girl. Overall easy pickings like I say although this one seems to have outdone itself with poor fragile Craig busting up everything in sight for more periods that usual in a Bond flick. Make of this what you will Phil and Will.           

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