If you have been waiting like we have for a good movie to return to your local theaters, then this week is a good week.
The Quantum of Solace hit the silver screen with a splash on Friday, November 14th. Nancy and I decided; after a lengthy sabbatical from visiting Empire Theaters Studio 8; that it was time to return and enjoy an adventure with James Bond.
This movie begins right on the heels of 'Casino Royale' and it almost catches you off guard.
I was aware that this movie was a "sequel" to it's predecessor, but for Bond it still caught me off guard.
For those of you who have not yet seen the film, maybe read the rest of this later, as there are no doubt things about the movie that will be let slip.
One of the first things we mentioned after the movie (the drive home after the film is almost the best part. Nancy and I get to talk about what we've just seen while it's fresh in our minds) was that the bad guy's plan was never really something that grabbed the imagination, or even demanded our attention.
In the end, you see where everything was going, and what the Quantum was looking to do, but it seems more of an afterthought than a really big reveal.
What we were especially taken with in The Quantum of Solace was how the characters conducted their business in the commerce of trust. Bond fell out of it (seemingly) with M, (definitely) with the British Government (nothing new), and seemingly the rest of the world. He was alone because nobody trusted him, and the feeling seemed to be more than mutual with James Bond toward the rest of the world!
This sets up what I think to be the most impressive characteristic of the James Bond character:
He does not need the rest of the world or it's trust/approval/permission to do what he knows to be right by the resolve of his conviction. Heck! He doesn't even need permission from his boss!
Who wouldn't want to live their life like this. To move on one's own intuition without regard to their boss, family, or friends? We all would, but many of us don't because we all realize that on our own, we may not possess all of the strength, knowledge, confidence, and intelligence to accomplish all that there is to accomplish in the run of our day. This is why people will like this movie. Bond is brave. Not just the 'I am in a car chase in a rock quarry, flying along open precipices without breaking a sweat' brave, but the kind of brave that tries to set aside the desire for revenge and sets out alone to right what is wrong in the world.
In this movie, James Bond was selfless (or as close as a Bond can get) and determined to peel back the layers to discover what group was behind Vesper's death and betrayal. He was compassionate (nothing new to the Daniel Craig Bond, his holding of Vesper in the shower after the stairwell scene in Casino Royale displayed this characteristic for us already) while holding Mathis who didn't want to be left alone to die, and rescuing Camille from the burning hotel. Not the 'usual suspects' when describing James Bond's character, but things that add depth to an otherwise fairly shallow 'person'.
Speaking of Camille in the burning hotel, who commandeers a hotel!!?!??! I thought that was pretty funny. Where did they send all of the guests, and speaking of that, who pays to stay in a hotel in the middle of the desert in Bolivia!?!?!? Crazy Bolivian exiled Generals, they do the darndest things.
The General was your typical Bond bad guy. He was a murdering rapist, and you felt creepy just looking at him. Greene was an atypical bad guy. He had a charitable foundation, and was more brilliantly devious than outright scary...now I haven't seen all of the Bond movies, so maybe this is nothing new, but Dominic Greene felt like something new. That new kind of evil we feel is there in our world today. The one who abuses our trust in the worst way, and sets out to take advantage for his own ends. The wolf in sheep's clothing...and the American's were doing business with him. Figures ;)
That all being said about the new style villain and the softer more thoughtful side of him, we still saw Bond's other side come out with rolling in Strawberry Fields, and getting fairly hammered on the flight with Mathis. He still quite a few people, and was incredibly bold at the performance of Tosca where he openly offered his suggestions to the Quantum who then fled like kids from a cigarette smoke filled locker room after the principal of the school walks in.
There were martini's, nice cars, beautiful women, brilliant locales, wheel barrow fulls of machismo, and even a plot to take over the majority of the world's water supply. All in all, it had everything you'd expect in a good James Bond film, but it was the extra things that it gave to us which made it a great movie to watch. Including the nod to Canadian Intelligence (as leaky as it is).
Go out, and watch The Quantum Of Solace. I don't think you will be disappointed. I hope not...