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:: Quantum Of Solace

When the title for the latest Bond movie, Quantum Of Solace, was announced many months ago, it sounded quite tame and lacking aggression. But you need to watch the movie to realise how much action and violence there is. Quantum of Solace picks up just minutes after we last saw Bond in Casino Royale. The movie opens with Bond involved in a reckless car chase on the tollway that leads through mountain tunnels from Nice through Monte Carlo and down to Portofino in Italy. A beautiful scenery. 007 (Daniel Craig) is still on the hunt to find whoever is responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd. While the interrogation mounts, a mole within MI6 attempts to kill M (Dame Judi Dench). Bond takes off around the world to find the mole and hopefully one step closer to Vesper's killer. He follows the journey that brings him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a member of Quantum who seems to be buying up useless desert land.

To fully capture the references to old characters and plot lines, it is certainly wise to see Casino Royale first. Vesper's hold on Bond is not fully explained, nor is the return of Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini). Bond's long list of enemies also gets complicated. He is so reckless in his blood lust that the CIA agree to kill him when he threatens their dealings with a South American government. All said and done, Daniel Craig has quickly made the part his own, every inch the coolly ruthless agent-cum-killer, nursing a broken heart and coldly suppressed rage.

There are two sexy Bond girls in the curvy shapes of Camille (Olga Kurylenko) and MI6 agent Fields (Gemma Arterton). But the only flash of flesh in the 105-minute movie is a very quick nookie scene with Fields. And, surprisingly, for the first time the immortal line, “The name's Bond, James Bond” is not used. In saying this, I do miss the suaveness and cool charm of the earlier Bonds, to complement the action-packed and brusing version we have now. The smart elegance of Craig's Bond debut has been toned down in favour of conventional action. There is no Q and Moneypenny, and the villain (Amalric) seemed lack-lustre and not with a major presence in the film. Those are disappointing observations. Will we see a revision of sorts for future Bond films? But the movie has some fantastic action sequences with a love scene squeezed in the middle. Either Bond is killing someone, or narrowly avoiding getting killed himself. Crag has certainly added some new flavour to this role. I'd like to see the wit and sparkle, and the raw, vulnerable guy we witnessed a couple of years ago. Overall, the film delivers in the action stakes, and, with a return to the suave old ways in the future, will always remain in vogue.