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Quantum of Solace (Two-Disc Special Edition) - action adventure DVD / thriller DVD / James Bond DVD / series DVD review
Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 stars
Actors: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini
Director: Marc Forster   Distributor: MGM (Video & DVD)
DVD release: 24 March 2008   Runtime: 106 minutes (2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 2.40:1, Audio tracks (5.1 DTS Lossless - English; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround - English, Spanish, French), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Bond on Location, Start of Shooting, On Location, Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase, Director Marc Forster, The Music, Crew Files, "Another Way to Die" music video, Theatrical trailers

James Bond should be JAMES BOND, not Jason Bourne.

That is my primary criticism with Quantum of Solace. Yes, it does deliver the action, some amazing car chases, beautiful women, and some huge structures that "blow up real good." However, it just doesn't feel enough like a Bond film.

For one thing, to be blunt, the best Bond films are about sex and romance as much as violence. Sipping his famous martini, looking damn good in his tux in a luxurious casino and bedding stunningly beautiful women is as essential to the Bond universe, if not more so than is the action chase or machine-gun battle.

Instead, this movie opens up with an admittedly thrilling car chase through Monte Carlo and never fully lets its foot off the accelerator. It slows down at times to gives us snippets of a somewhat confusing plot, but what threads of plot are shared are merely there to advance the story to the next spectacular chase scene or explosion.

The basic plot (as well as I could follow): Bond (Daniel Craig) jets across the globe in pursuit of the leaders of the shadowy Quantum organization. Along the way, he meets the requisite Bond girl in Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who qualifies by being stunningly beautiful yet tough, like the best Bond women. She leads him to the slimy billionaire Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric) who has ties to Quantum. She also hopes to use Greene to get to the Bolivian dictator who murdered her mother. Will Bond be able overcome formidable obstacles in order to take down the slimy Greene? Will Camille get revenge for her mother? What do you think?

One creepy and memorable murder in the film pays homage to perhaps the best Bond film of all: 1965's Goldfinger. A comparison with that classic should be used as a lesson plan for the next Bond film, as it shows where Quantum of Solace goes off the tracks. Whereas the Bond woman had the infamously sleazy yet wonderful name of Pussy Galore, the Bond girl here is just "Camille". Whereas the villainous Goldfinger drove an insane plot to set off a nuclear bomb within the vaults at Fort Knox, Greene's dastardly scheme is to become the legal overseer of the water supply of Bolivia. There is also no Q here, loaded with gadgets, nor a Moneypenny for Bond to flirt with. Maybe the goal is to make the new Bond films slightly more grounded in realism, but at what cost? Quantum of Solace might be more realistic (as well as more politically correct), but is it as fun?

I like action films, but I like a great Bond film as well. While a great Bond film should have a good balance of romance and action, this one is 95% action, 5% romance. That balance works for Jason Bourne or Mission Impossible 4 - not for Bond.

A second DVD is loaded with "making of" extras, including:
  • Two "Bond on Location" features
  • Feature on the well done boat chase in the middle of the film.
  • Features on the director and music conductor.
  • "Crew Files" behind the scenes clips.
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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