“Quantum of Solace” – Joanna Langfield reviews
Call me sentimental, but I guess I just like my Bond shaken, not stirred.
In this action packed follow up to the far more fun Casino Royale, hunky Daniel Craig is back as the fabled 007 and, to borrow a phrase, this time it’s personal. Even the somewhat maternal M (Dame Judi Dench) knows James is out for revenge for his lost lady love; the guy just can’t help himself if he offs a few bad guys along the way.
It’s not that I mind a story tucked into my slam bang string of action sequences; I prefer that, actually. But a pissed off Bond simply isn’t as engaging as the old fashioned charming one, the guy with a twinkle in his eye, who would temporarily disarm captors, rather than leaving them in soggy bloody heaps. And whatever happened to all those nifty gadgets? Have we, as a society, out technoed Her Majesty’s Secret Service? The stuff that’s in here is nothing we didn’t see on CNN election night.
All that being said, director Marc Forster shows a fine eye for the glorious scenery here (including, of course, a few lovely lasses) and there’s top flight editing to keep the incessant action snappy. Craig’s cool; Mathieu Amalric is an appropriately creepy sleeze ball. I do wish we could have seen more of talents like Jeffrey Wright and Giancarlo Giannini, but it’s nice to at least see them working.
Perhaps my favorite part of this, the 22nd in the series, was, as I was walking home after the screening, listening to my fellow travelers, who had also just left the theater, wonder, “I still don’t get it: what does the title, Quantum of Silence, actually mean? I mean, do you get it?” No, sorry, I don’t.