Complex Story Drives a Spectacular Quantum of Solace
- Friday, November 14, 2008
This quest boasts the requisite thrills, spills and chills, all as impressively staged as anything currently seen on the action landscape (and undoubtedly inspired by the high standards of The Bourne Trilogy). From an opening car chase/gunfight to rooftops to speedboats to motorcycles, these sequences feel both familiar and inventive—all in the right ways. Don’t be surprised to find yourself expressing an audible “wow” or “whoa” from time to time as Bond globe-trots from Europe to Latin America and back again.
There are also the Bond Girls and Bond Villains, and as in Royale they are more realistic takes on classic archetypes—fulfilling their purposes (the girls are gorgeous, the villains maniacal) while respecting our intelligence. Solace still avoids some of the classic Bond staples: no gadgets, no Q, no “Bond. James Bond.” introduction or “martini shaken, not stirred” request, but only die-hard fans will mind. For this new Bond (which is still being established), the exclusion feels apropos.
Royale was the longest Bond film ever, and now Solace is the shortest. The most obvious casualty of this severe cutback is character development. While not shallow, Quantum doesn’t dig much deeper either (though the Bond/M relationship continues to be substantive). Instead it relies heavily on what was established in Casino and, in that context, characters and situations still resonate. But here the complex story is the driving force, especially in the final act when the plot machine takes over so completely that characters (including Bond) become little more than cogs in the wheel—but oh, what a spectacular wheel it is.
- Drugs/Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks occasionally consumed, but just socially (and seen as part of a glamorous lifestyle).
- Language/Profanity: Very rare, and when they occur are mild (“D”, “H” and “A” words) except for one instance of Christ’s name being used in vain.
- Sex/Nudity: A brief moment of intimacy in bed; Bond kisses a woman’s bare back as she sits in the bed. The rest of her body is covered by a bed sheet. Other moments of typical Bond flirtations. A naked body, face down, covered in black oil. But overall, as chaste a Bond film as you’re likely to see.
- Violence/Other: Lots of action violence throughout—car chases, gun play, fighting, explosions, etc. The action is intense and realistic, but never overly graphic.
Jeffrey Huston is a film director, writer and producer at Steelehouse Productions in Tulsa, Okla. He is also cohost of the "Steelehouse Podcast,” along with Steelehouse Executive Creative Mark Steele, where each week they discuss God in pop culture.
To listen to the weekly podcast, please visit www.steelehouse.com or click here. You can also subscribe to the "Steelehouse Podcast” through iTunes.
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