There isn't much I can write about
the new James Bond film that has not already been covered elsewhere.
The Daniel Craig version of Bond retains minimal continuity from the
earlier Bond films. There's almost no witty dialogue. Q and his
gadgets are gone, ditto Moneypenny. There's no super-villain, just
some hypocritical sleazebags trying to make a dishonest buck in
corrupt third world countries. This version of James Bond is not a
very sympathetic character unless one remembers his great deeds of
yesteryear. In fact, if his name were simply changed to Nigel
Ludwick, he would be totally impossible to like if the viewer had
not seen Casino Royale, and difficult to like even with the CR
I'm not saying it is a poor movie.
Many people prefer this frigid, serious Bond to the jokey Roger
Moore version, for example. It's just not a Bond movie. The entire
series has been re-jigged to make 007 into Jason Bourne with a
British accent. To that end it is a great travelogue and a
spectacular action picture with plenty of shaky-cam work and
rapid-fire editing rather than long tracking shots. Daniel Craig is
a good actor with an impressive physique. Hell, the film even has
some surprising character depth.
It just doesn't have James Bond in
The nude scene is a nice homage to Goldfinger. After Bond seduces
Gemma Arterton, the baddies kill her, strip her naked and paint her
entire body black with oil. Bond next sees her dead, naked, and
lying on her stomach. Since oil is called "black gold," one might
reasonably call this film Black Goldfinger, except that such a title
would make it sound like it should star Jim Brown, or Richard
Roundtree, or maybe Fred "The Hammer" Williamson.
So I guess that would be about the worst possible title you could
come up with, unless you picked some words at random and jumbled
them together nonsensically like, for example, oh, I don't know ...
some gibberish like "Quantum of Solace."
By the way, Quantum of Solace is the real title of a James Bond
short story written by Ian Fleming himself. In addition to the
twelve Bond novels, Fleming wrote nine short stories featuring 007.
Here is the title's explanation in 007's own words:
"Quantum of Solace - the amount of comfort. Yes, I suppose you
could say that all love and friendship is based in the end on that.
Human beings are very insecure. When the other person not only makes
you feel insecure but actually seems to want to destroy you, it's
obviously the end. The Quantum of Solace stands at zero. You've got
to get away to save yourself."
- Bond. James Bond
Our Grade: (explanation)