Harry thinks QUANTUM OF SOLACE translates to Ass Kicking BadAssery Part II!!!
Oh I love this James Bond.
I sat down today to watch CASINO ROYALE in Blu-Ray, then drove across town for the sold out midnight show of QUANTUM OF SOLACE. It seems that nobody at Sony particularly wanted me to see this film early, but that’s alright – this audience was holy shit great to see the movie with.
But you don’t want to hear about the audience, or the new trailers for STAR TREK, WATCHMEN or THE SPIRIT that we saw. No – you turned to this page to see where I come down on QUANTUM OF SOLACE.
First off, this whole – “It isn’t as good as CASINO ROYALE” bullshit needs to be put aside. For the very first time, in a realistic story telling manner – we have a linked Bond universe. What happens pre-Credits is important to the film that follows – and now, the epilogue is every bit as important to this film as it is to the next film. We’re in the midst of a completely redefined James Bond, that in many ways doesn’t resemble any of our previous Bonds.
Daniel Craig isn’t Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan. But he is Ian Fleming’s 007. Not necessarily a gorgeous man, but a piercing one. He has danger and death written all over him. They don’t mind roughing his face up, giving him scratches and lines. This Bond scars. This Bond bleeds. His lightest fights resemble the one between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, but they are in fact tougher, more brutal.
Craig’s Bond isn’t a surgeon spy, he’s a Bull in a china shop, that knows what it all is and crashes it not because he doesn’t care, not because he doesn’t respect it, but to make a point, to get what he wants, to not be ignored.
The biggest difference between this Bond and all the previous ones is that he’s not ahead of the game, he’s just barely in the game. He doesn’t waltz in as though he is entitled to a seat of the table, but just try to keep him from taking one. This is a Bond that is a part of MI6 that isn’t necessarily the players they were 30-40 years ago. They don’t have the money being thrown at their department as say the CIA or the other players, but there is a doggedness, a sheer aggressive display to catch up, to find out what these new rules are, to find out who the bad guys are and who are the good guys playing with them – and what does it all mean?
Some people would like to say that Bond is motivated sheerly out of revenge for the death of Vesper, but ya know what? I disagree. He’s honoring her life, but not dropping it. He’s pursuing the last leads she gave him. The last remnants of her life point to something larger, something horrible that the world has just caught a whisper of. An organization that’s destabilizing governments, playing the biggest powers in the world opposite one another, yet serving them at all times.
Bond is rogue, because his government doesn’t quite know what he’s found, what he senses. This isn’t so much about Nailing everyone responsible for Lynd’s death, as much as finding out why she died and making that death responsible for something good for the world.
Ok, I’m an optimist and a hopeless romantic, but I see Bond as a Government agent version of Batman, Batman isn’t fighting just the person that killed his parents, he’s fighting the evils of the world so that perhaps no other kid will have to know the pain he has inside of him. Bond knows something big is going on.
In CASINO ROYALE, it seemed to be a guy trying to manipulate the Stock Market through terrorism – the money at stake was over $100 million.
In this film, it isn’t so much a matter of $100 million dollar, but the fate of Bolivia… the entire country. But the film points to something far more sinister… An organization that manipulates the United States, Russia, China, The UK… the POWERS of the world into doing the terrible things we see happening in the world.
This film elevates the stakes. This film tells us that this isn’t about the death of one helluva beautiful lady. This wasn’t about a gambler and $100 million dollars and old school terrorism. This film tells us that the problems with the environment, global economics, social collapse, the wars, the pain and the suffering… that there might be a plot for it all. There’s something evil and dark and corrupt rotting at the world and Bond can smell, he’s caught its scent and he’s after it, even if the world doesn’t give two shits if he figures it out.
This is Pulp JAMES BOND. This is Ian Fleming's James Bond unleashed into the horrorshow that Ian Fleming could never have imagined... the intelligence world of 2008! This is two scoops of Global Political Pandemic Madness. And Bond’s trying to put it together the only way he knows. Following one lead to the next, and the leads are beginning to add up. The leads are advancing his station at MI6. This is getting absolutely fucking fascinating.
This is EXACTLY the JAMES BOND we need for the 21st Century. One that isn’t pretending to be in the geo-political world of the 1950s and 60s. One that isn’t in the science fiction fantasy and tongue-in-cheek bullshit of the 80s and 90s. This is a Bond for the here and now. This is about shooting a man in the leg. This is brutal blunt force savagery unleashed in a Tuxedo and other fine linen. He’s a James Bond that can pass for a Gentleman when he has to, but he’s really a cold blooded killer and it is absolutely exhilarating to behold.
Everyone is fucking great in the film. Seriously. Just fucking great.
I would kill to see a FELIX LEITER series developed from Jeffrey Wright’s CIA man. Fuck Jack Ryan, Felix is the man!
And yes, I am all over the next Bond. Can not wait. But more so, I can’t wait to watch this one again. The film is the next chapter and I don’t want this to be a trilogy, let’s see how far they can take us, cuz I’m willing to hitch my cart to this version of James Bond for the foreseeable future. They’ve nailed it!