Monday, November 17, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I quite like James Bond films. Cheerful, escapist, random gadgets, most people acting heavily in stereotype, etc. In some ways, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day were the archetypal Bond films - taking all the normal devices to such extremes it became self-parodying. I certainly laughed...

Like its predecessor, Casino Royale, only more so, this is not a classic Bond film. It is a well-made action film - more Bourne than Bond, but almost all the stereotypes are gone. Many would say it is darker for that. But is it?

I think that is actually a theme running through the film - who is the darker Bond - the violent, injured, over-tired Daniel Craig, or the calm, sophisticated Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan? At the very end of Quantum of Solace, Craig steps into the role of the calm, professional Bond, but when he does it, he has become a calm, professional killer, who does not feel for the women he seduces and unintentionally leads to their deaths, and who no longer seems motivated by revenge, because he feels nothing for his victims. Which is colder, a man who kills out of anger and revenge, or a man who feels nothing as he does it? Who is more heartless, the man who is torn apart by wanting to kill those responsible for the death of the woman he loves, or the man who doesn't care what happens to the women he sleeps with?

Maybe Craig is actually the warmest and most likeable Bond yet, even if on the surface it seems the opposite...

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