Earlier today, my wife and I took our seats in Derby's splendid Cinema De Lux to catch the latest Bond film. Having thoroughly enjoyed CASINO ROYALE, our expectations were high and it's pleasing to report we were not disappointed. Right from the opening car chase along an Italian coastal road, QUANTUM OF SOLACE establishes itself as a worthy follow-up to its illustrious predecessor, as 007 goes after those responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd. Here, Craig establishes himself as the best Bond to date , carrying a broken heart and a burning ambition to mix revenge with duty. It's a real powerhouse performance which carries the film through a couple of stumbles, and ultimately should leave you in awe of this new age Bond and his bare-knuckle approach.
In truth, it's not all plain sailing and QUANTUM may well alienate trad Bond-ites who doubtless winced pre-film at director Marc Forster's assertion that he set out to make an art house Bond film. The action scenes are most definitely in your face and sometimes outside your pov, and it's clear that some scenes have been trimmed down, leaving questions unanswered, and high expectations for a director's cut on DVD which would possibly make for a more rounded viewing experience. Minor quibbles from me, but possibly major issues for those who also may have felt shortchanged by a different way of doing things and long for the old gadget-toting, quip-firing Bond of old. Now, we have a leaner, meaner animal and also encounter a more personal view of the life of a very special secret agent. Those of you who enjoyed CASINO ROYALE are not guaranteed to rate this latest film as highly but you'd be well advised to give your CR DVD another spin before venturing out to see QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Watch out for Olga Kurylenko's street fightin' Bond girl; a beautifully edited opera scene; some white knuckle combat on collapsing scaffolding, and a topical tip of the hat to GOLDFINGER.