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Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Bond Identity: Quantum of Solace Review

Eyewear has seen the new Bond film (#22) at the Tricycle Theatre cinema, where a plaque notes, cinematography was nearby invented, around 118 years ago. My immediate reaction is, Quantum of Solace is one of the half-dozen best of the whole series, if not quite as good as Casino Royale.

It's easily the most stylish and nuanced, with more film references than many (including to Vertigo in the bell tower). Clearly, the Bourne trilogy has made a deep impact on the choreography of the action (rooftops, and brutal fights) - and the use of mobile telephony. However, the rooftops from Bourne are, of course, really the rooftops from Vertigo.

There are several elements never-before-seen in a Bond film, which artsy director Forster adds, including reaction shots from wounded, or shocked, or dehydrated extras in crowds and peasants (in Bolivia), humanising, almost de-Orientalising, Bond's previously imperialist trappings.

Further, the dialogue about espionage, power, oil, the environment - between spies - seems both intelligent and suspiciously liberal. Most notably, in a proto-feminist aspect, the main Bond Girl (pictured), played by Olga Kurylenko, does not become Bond's lover, but more action equal, and, at most, Platonic buddy.

The villain seems to be a sort of Roman Polanski Euro-squirt - a grinning louche Frenchman half the height of anyone else in the room. Too bad he gets dispatched so easily in the confusing ending, in some bizarrely unstable eco-hotel.
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