Quantum of Solace
Cast : Daniel Craig, Judi Dench
Direction : Marc Forster
Rating : ***
Hello again 007. The super spy of the longest running film franchise has turned 46. Never mind the age factor though. Bond, James Bond is still the man most men want to be and the man most women want to be with.
Having earned his licence-to-kill status with Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig takes centrescreen again for the espionage adventure No.22. He displays all the right moves, this time even taking up all the politically correct causes like the protection of water resources. And what do you know? He’s even eco-friendly.
Deriving its rather baffling title from one of the five Ian Fleming short stories collected in For Your Eyes Only (1960), Quantum of Solace charts Bond’s quest for vengeance following the ‘suicide’ of his sensuous sidekick in the previous film.
Inevitably the double-O agent zips across exotic locations ranging from Italy and Haiti to Austria where an action set-piece is cross-cut with a lakeside production of Puccini’s opera Tosca. The trail leads Bond to a criminal organisation led by a devious tycoon (French actor Mathieu Amalric, sufficiently sinister).
The formulaic plot is directed at breakneck pace by Marc Forster (The Kite Runner). Note particularly the amazing aerial dogfight, and a speedboat chase which recalls a similar one across the Thames in The World is Not Enough.
The script, co-authored by the Oscar-winning Paul Haggis (Crash) organises a more substantial part than usual for the chief of British intelligence, M (Dench, inhabiting her role with aplomb). Dennis Gassner’s production design and the cinematography by Forster’s regular cameraman Roberts Schaefer, are techno-chic.
In his second foray as Bond, the 40-year-old Daniel Craig is astonishingly agile. His future in the role of the world’s most famous spy now seems assured.
Recommended unconditionally for the thrill seekers.