Saturday, 22 November 2008

Quantum of Solace

Daniel Craig, seeking revenge for the death of his lover in Casino Royale, finds himself in a battle to protect the water supply of Bolivia. The murder and mayhem that surrounds him defies any environmental overtones to this scenario as do the early scenes where historic buildings in Italy crumble as he chases a traitor from roof top to roof top.

The pacing of the film is oddly as regular as a metronome. Every few minutes the film breaks out into a pursuit. Craig pursuing others, others pursuing Craig. Despite being bloodied, dusted and lacerated repeatedly, Craig unfailingly maintains his clothes horse dignity and the better class of bystander who obviously inhabits Europe's streets and hotels remains oblivious to this evidence of unpleasantness.

There is a lot more of Judi Dench in this film and that cannot be a bad thing. Dench shows admirable, if curious, restraint as Craig disobeys orders time and again by killing potential witness after potential witness.

There are no gee whiz gadgets for 007 this time, those being replaced by high tech information wizardry instead.

A highly stylised film, especially in its opening credits and location titles, of the type that can age quickly and may well look ridiculous a few years down the track.

A highlight for me is the scene in Austria played out against the background of a fascinating looking production of Puccini's opera, Tosca. I assume there is such a production in reality and I must keep an eye out for it on the Ovation channel.

The very healthy (in numbers, not appearance) older audience at the 10.15am session I attended suggests that this film, although a little off key when compared with Casino Royale, is doing good box office.

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