Ok…now here’s the deal.
007 is terribly miffed with various unfortunate goings-on in his sorry life. He groans and mourns, complains and asks pressing questions about the unfairness of the fact that, after decades of mindless, no-strings-attached sex with the world’s most gorgeous women – when he finally wanted to settle down with a house in the suburbs with a lawn and two kids – some *@&#*@!# gangsters vetoed his plans by bumping the wife-to-be off. Grrr. Of course, being the tight-lipped Brit that he is…all these myriad emotions never make their presence felt to the outside world. What 007 does instead is, he reads up (along with director Marc Forster) the entire contents of the Bourne trilogy, memorizes Matt Damon’s action sequences, replaces mindless sex with mindless violence and starts rampaging around like an albino llama in heat trying to find water in parched Bolivia. And that my dear readers, is what makes the 25th Bond flick as memorable as the 5th runner-up at Indian Idol.
You see…the perpetrators of the Bond franchise have got it all wrong this time. Casino Royale was as far as they needed to go, to establish the soul behind the shaken martini. I liked the previous movie…it was unlike any other Bond I had seen… and it was a pleasant change. The pleasantness of which was greatly enhanced by the intuitive knowledge that the women, the gadgets and the larger than life villian with plans to decimate the world with proton-beam-lasers, would be back with the next installment. Because that is why we watch (and tolerate) Bond. Because for a duration of less than hours, we can escape to a world that is so deliberately and sickeningly macho, that it becomes the combined visual manifestation of every man’s every wet dream. And the fact, that Bond has been typically a looker (excepting the forgettable Timothy “who?” Dalton) with the charm of Casonova-on-overdrive, didn’t keep the women away either.
Maybe the sound of all those ringing cash-registers kept the Broccolis (the producers of Bond since time immemorial) awake. Maybe the guilt of catering to our perverse desires, was eating away at their caviar. Whatever the reasons may be, they decided to do away with the “soft” Bond – and install a rock instead. Daniel Craig is a tremendous actor, far more accomplished than his predecessors with roots in (horrors!) theater! Right…so the guy is bright. But really, have the men of the world stopped being men? Has Playboy started publishing passages from Nietzche or Kafka? If we wanted some soul and character depth… we would watch Schindler’s List again. Quantum of Solace, in a bid to infuse some soul – has finally rendered the Bond franchise soulless. The action sequences are great (even if suffering from a Bourne hangover) and the camerawork and cinematography are better than any Bond movie ever. But all this money thrown at it and all the technical wizardry, cannot save this movie from being one of the worst Bond flicks ever. Watch it as an independent movie – it might still work. As a 007 story – it fails.
As one reviewer mentioned, in Quantum of Solace, Bond meets his worst villian yet. The script. Bring on the Girls with lurid names, the Aston Martins, the swiss-army watches and the crazy villians. I want my Bond back!