Bond loses gadgets, takes on dark tone

Andy Lesser

James Bond has the villain Mr. White in the trunk of his Aston Martin; bullets shatter his windows, fast-moving vehicles wrench out his door, but he escapes unscathed, ready to tackle the new challenges facing a British spy in the modern world.

Quantum of Solace is packed with such well-choreographed action scenes, just like every other Bond film, but director Marc Forster’s latest addition to the most successful franchise in Hollywood history strips Bond of all his glory and pretentiousness, making this film stand out from all the others, for better or worse.

The movie follows James Bond (Daniel Craig) as he tracks down Dominic Greene (Matheiu Amalric), who heads an organization that starts a coup in Bolivia in order to control the country’s water supply. Under the alias of a philanthropic environmentalist who says he’s trying to preserve the Earth, Greene and his organization actually buy up land to control the world’s most precious national resources, essentially running the planet.

Mathieu Amalric, who you might also know as the nearly comatose protagonist in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, portrays Quantum’s villain with an equally comatose demeanor. In fact, every character, including Daniel Craig’s, lacks excitement, a major problem for such an action-dependant film.

Daniel Craig plays the British spy as cold and vengeful, adding a darker twist to Bond’s character, but a boring twist at that.

Craig makes an admirable attempt to demonstrate the complexities of James Bond, who, although overlooked, is a murderer as well as a secret agent. However, in doing so, Bond loses some of his appeal.

After all, what is James Bond without his futuristic gadgets and sweet guns and catchy one-liners?

The film does undertake serious issues like greed, rape, and death, and it does so in such a way that the good guys often become mixed up with the bad and vice versa. While commendable and often enjoyable, Quantum of Solace loses the charm of the James Bond franchise.

Forster kept the action, but dropped the gadgets, sex scenes, and one-liners, to the great dismay of those who expected and thirsted for more of the same, but to the delight of those who wanted something deeper.