Friday, March 20, 2009

Quantum of Solace DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Daniel Craig’s 2nd 007 Outing Released on DVD

Daniel Craig is back for another action-oriented, globe-trotting adventure apt to disappoint fans anticipating the suave spy’s sophisticated airs and other staples of the storied franchise. For instance, instead of the peripatetic playboy’s trademark parade of a bevy of beauties, this flick finds him fairly obsessed with understanding why he had been betrayed in Casino Royale by Vesper (Eva Green), his late love interest from that picture. In fact, Bond becomes so desperate in this endeavor that he roughs up as many good guys as bad.
This development frustrates the director of the British Secret Service, M (Dame Judi Dench), who strips him of his license to kill and summarily calls him in from the proverbial cold. So, this incarnation of Bond is a rogue agent who operates sans the futuristic firearms, armored sports car and other state-of-the-art accoutrements ordinarily equipped by M16’s genius inventor, Q, a beloved character conspicuous in his absence here.
Nevertheless, Quantum of Solace does offer about double the amount of gun play, fisticuffs, foot chases and pyrotechnics, plus all the automobile, motorcycle, airplane and speedboat derring-do of the typical 007 installment. The problem is that the movie no longer feels like a Bond film when stripped of its eagerly-anticipated earmarks, but looks suspiciously similar to a high-octane Jason Bourne affair in terms of non-stop stunts and its unflappable protagonist’s inscrutable demeanor.
What does remain intact is Bond’s familiar mission to save the world from a diabolical villain bent on world domination. In this case, the creep is Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) whose benignly-named Greene Planet Corporation has for some reason been quietly acquiring ecological preserves around the planet by any means necessary.
007 discovers that Greene is a member of Quantum, the shadowy brotherhood of thieves implicated in the death of Vesper. Thus, the solution to her suicide conveniently dovetails with cracking the case. Along the way to finding answers, Bond encounters a couple of fetching temptresses in Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton) and Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a disenchanted gun moll of Mr. Greene. But he’s far too consumed withy kicking butt from start-to-finish to pause for anything more than a perfunctory appreciation of their pulchritude.
A hyperactive 007 whose attention-deficit antics ought to resonate with the restlessness of the overstimulated Joystick Generation.

Good (2 stars)
PG-13 for sexuality, violence, and intense action sequences.
Running time: 106 minutes
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: Music video, theatrical and teaser trailers, behind-the-scenes clips, plus 5 featurettes.

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