Quantum of Solace: Smart Bond

by Anne Thompson
October 20, 2008 4:29 AM
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I confess that I had a great time at Quantum of Solace last night. Sure it's glitzy and glam and jammed with heart-stopping violent action. But it's also arty and elegant and beautiful. One of the main sequences is a lyrical homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, set during a performance of Tosca.

It's both a James Bond movie and a Marc Forster movie. It moves the standard Bond-with-gun opener to the end, the Bond song honors are done by Jack White and Alicia Keyes, and the standard Bond crew is gone. The key crew members on this one were all Team Forster, except the composer John Barry David Arnold. But even there, the score pulls back on too much use of the classic Bond theme.

There are six Vesper martinis instead of the usual one, which isn't specifically "shaken not stirred." There is no "Bond, James Bond." Will audiences miss this? Or is this just the kind of modernization that the series requires to stay vital?

Craig is as strong and dangerous and fearless and rebellious as ever--and in this case, grieving and vengeful as he chases down the man who killed his beloved Vesper Lynd. (It is unusual for a Bond film to function as a sequel.) In this case, the Bond villain played by The Diving Bell and the Butterfly star Mathieu Amalric is bone-chilling-- without relying on any of the usual tics.

The movie already had a major press launch in London, who love their own Gemma Arterton as a modern Brit Bond Girl. Here's a sampling of early reviews.

Here's the trailer:

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

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