"Quantum of Solace" is a New Age Bond for women

Daniel Craig's icy blue Caribbean eyes shine in "Quantum of Solace"

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A Cape Cod TODAY movie review by Anne Kirby

Daniel Craig once again proves his worth to audiences of all ages as the new James Bond in his latest film, "Quantum of Solace."

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Endowed with a sleek physique and the musculature of Steve McQueen, Craig's performance is sheer grace under pressure.

His acting is organic: a perfect blend of mind and body. Endowed with a sleek physique and the musculature of Steve McQueen, Craig's performance is sheer grace under pressure.

His striking, icy blue Caribbean eyes are reminiscent of Paul Newman's as is the intelligence behind them, which defines Craig at once as captivating, unpredictable, complex and brilliant.

As James Bond, Daniel Craig dashes across international borders rescuing the beautiful young femme fatale, played by actress Olga Kurylenko, while tracking political prey with the skill of a cougar.

From the first frames of the movie, you vicariously feel the thrill of action brought on by speed, momentum, and the immediacy of danger that defines James Bond movies.
The opening chase scene in "Quantum of Solace" is so convoluted that this film is truer to character than any other Bond film I have seen.

The sequence is filled with dense, tightly packed dimensions of action - filmed from the inside of one of the chase cars - proving director Marc Foster's pioneering film skill. The chase is a maze of speed and sleek bodies, with the vintage James Bond Aston Martin DBS weaving to and fro, causing a head-on collision with a tractor trailer truck while an Aston Martin follows close behind.

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Filled with dense, tightly packed dimensions of action - filmed from the inside of one of the chase cars

Next comes an incredible race track performance inside a narrow two-lane tunnel that moves up and down the inside tunnel walls that serve as surface tension between cars swerving in and out, left and right, between scant seconds of time and space. This is pure Bond.

Soon after the opening scene, as spectacular colorful views of a quaint Italian city light up the screen, the debonair James Bond character we have all come to expect for more than half a century is introduced, but this Bond is decidedly different.

While the same espionage-connected action prevails, Craig shimmers on the screen with sexy male appeal, and the women are beautiful but the mind (as well as the senses) begins to crave and wonder who is this Bond.

One begins to sense the shift in Bond's character when a young and strikingly beautiful Haitian female -- played strikingly well by Olga Kurylenko -- pulls up beside Bond, demanding that he jump into her car before he has a chance to set his foot onto the impoverished Haitian road that lies outside his dingy, undercover hotel.

She immediately informs Bond that she is doing the rescuing, not him. Could this be a female James Bond role reversal?

The encounter sets up a series of events that reveal a very different James Bond - one who is less seductive and almost astonishingly unconcerned with the opposite sex, were it not for a very short love indulgence that passes so quickly, and innocently, that one is not sure it occurred.

Yes, this is a new James Bond: one who is unexpectedly emotional, transfixed and obsessed with seeking revenge for his lover, Vesper Lynd, who was killed at the hands of a foreign agent at end of "Casino Royale".

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"Quantum of Solace" may well be the first James Bond movie where a woman plays an integral part

This Bond is so brutishly fixated and indifferent to life outside of himself that when M, played by Judi Dench, becomes overtly concerned with his sanity - on the grounds he has committed more than enough unjustified killings - she relieves him of his duty and his hidden, personal mission.

M's order triggers a highly emotional and disobedient - if not quite yet out-of-control Bond. His body movements spasm with animal-like elegance as feelings of rage intensify to a fever pitch.  As he escapes M's authoratative attempt to sequester Bond, his furor is depicted as he walks along the outside of a very high, second-floor staircase railing in a sinuous, graceful yet furiously, daring, snakelike manner. And so it is that we see a James Bond driven by love and the emotions that ensue.

After riveting gambits and thousands of feet of intensely beautiful travelogue-like scenery and splendid architecture beginning on the streets of Siena, Italy, moving through Austria and Haiti, and ending in Bolivia, the film begins drawing to a close - but not until Bond finds he is placated with solace.

"Quantum of Solace" may well be the first James Bond movie where a woman plays an integral part of the Bond psyche, suggesting a Bond who is sympathetic and an empathetic lover capable of loyalty.

Who knows what will happen next: after all, this was an election year and woman functioned heavily in terms of carrying the vote! Perhaps we really are turning over a new leaf.

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