Quantum of Solace/Casino Royale

Quantum of Solace directed by 

The transition that Daniel Craig has made into the iconic character of James Bond has been as smooth as a baby’s bottom. He has inhabited the character and made it his own. I think very soon, if he’s not already, he will be thought of as the ultimate Bond.

The film picks up just where the last one ended. James Bond (Daniel Craig – The Golden Compass, Munich) has just lost the woman he loves and is now seeking revenge for her death. The pursuit of Le Chifre leads on the trail of corrupt environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Marie Antoinette). 

Due to his reckless behaviour 007 is forced to go rogue after killing a few people he should not have, including a Secret Service agent. M (Judi Dench – Casino Royale, Shakespeare in Love) is forced to have him taken into custody and it becomes Strawberry Fields’ (Gemma Arterton – RocknRolla) job to make sure he is returned to London. Of course he and his old pal Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini – Man on Fire, Hannibal) manage to escape from her. 

They are back on the trail of Greene in Bolivia, where he is trying to secure the rights to sixty percent of the water in exchange for putting exiled dictator General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) back in power. Bond hooks up with Camille (Olga Kurylenko – Max Payne, Hitman), who is working with Greene in order to exact her revenge on General Medrano for killing her family.

This film is all business. Right from the very first scenes, which are of a car chase, this film establishes itself as being about nothing but action. There are plenty of boat chases, car chases, plane chases, on foot chases, shootouts, and fights to make even the most strident of action film fans happy.

Director Marc Forster (The Kite Runner, Stranger Than Fiction) at first glance seems like a strange choice for a Bond film. He has done only quirky, serious films to this point and has never done an action film. Well, he acquits himself quite well thank you very much. As mentioned before the action never stops and he doesn’t get to intellectual or ‘wordy’ with the film. He does allow Bond to go on a voyage towards…if you can believe it…forgiveness. But it never gets to be overwhelming.

My one big disappointment was the song. I had heard so much about the Jack White and Alicia Keys pairing that maybe I was bound to feel this way, but nevertheless the song is weak in my opinion.

While this is probably not as good a film as “Casino Royale” it is still an entertaining watch.

Casino Royale directed by 

This is the first novel that Ian Fleming wrote about the dashing British spy, James Bond. We are introduced to the exciting, suave, ladies man Bond in this novel that centers on bring the bad guys down through a high-stakes game of poker (baccarat in the novel). The Bond series of films had run itself into the ground lately as it lost its flair and energy. With the recasting of Daniel Craig into the lead role there was initially outrage, but when the film came out critics had to eat crow and admit he was the perfect choice. The Bond character is not just about having dark hair and a suaveness, Bond has to be believable as a world-class spy and does have an edge to him. Craig brought the perfect amount of acting chops and edginess to the role. He was smoldering and sexy. The energy he brought to the role jumped off the screen. It did not hurt that director Martin Campbell (The Legend of Zorro, Beyond Borders) decided to focus on chase scenes and hand-to-hand combat rather than gadgets and technology for this film. This really played into Craig’s strengths in regards to the characters. We believe him to be physically able to do the things required in the film. I don’t know if we felt the same way about Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton. On the downside the story behind the film is not up to par with its lead actor. It certainly does not equal what Craig brings to the character. All in all though it is a triumphant return of the popular spy series. Bond is back! I can’t wait for the next film!

James Bond (Daniel Craig – Infamous, ) is a secret agent for the British government who likes to live on the edge. This disregard for policy aggravates his boss, M (Judy Dench – Notes on a Scandal, Mrs. Brown), but generally gets the job done. His way. It is early in his career but with two assassinations in quick succession Bond’s status is upgraded to ’00’, meaning he now has the license to kill. Agent 007 is now sent on a mission to Madagascar, which leads to him going to The Bahamas and finally Montenegro in his quest to capture international criminal Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelson – After the Wedding). Le Chiffre is desperate for the money he lost of his international financiers and will do anything to get his hands on it. He is an expert poker player so he uses a high-stakes game going on in order to restore the needed funds. His life hangs in the balance so no risk is too large for him to take. Thankfully, Bond is also an expert poker player and so he inserts himself into the game. Still not trusting Bond, M puts him under the watchful eyes of the very careful financially Vesper Lynd (Eva Green – Kingdom of Heaven, The Dreamers). The two go up against the increasingly desperate Le Chiffre and their hands are full.

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