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Quantum of Solace (DQ)


Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright

Director: Marc Forster

Not the best Bond, but certainly better than its detractors would allow, Solace finds our man from MI6 (Craig) still obsessed with avenging the death of late love Vesper, and hot on the trail of a ferret-like bad guy (played by Roman Polanski lookalike Amalric) who's up to no good in Bolivia (and, come to that, other far-flung parts of the world).

Bond movies make lushly-photographed travelogues if nothing else, and here the exotic locations provide backdrops for lots of chases, explosions and hand-to-hand battles (in fact a few too many for the comfort of the plot), as Bond tests the patience of M (Dench, with rather more to do than usual) and encounters both the plot's femme fatale (Kurylenko, nothing special) and a straight-backed embassy girl (Arterton) who soon unbends in the bedroom, but later meets a fate rather too reminiscent of that of Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger.

Mathis (Giannini) and Leiter (Wright) also appear to give Bond a hand, though Craig needs little assistance, whether daringly flying a plane, jumping across rooftops, swinging from ropes, leaping from burning buildings and doubtless giving the film's insurers a daily headache with his gritty stuntwork.

Bondian humour, not Craig's strongest suit, is wisely reduced here in this tough man's thriller. The famous Bond music, though, only heard over the end credits, is much missed.

David Quinlan

UK 2008. UK Distributor: Sony (MGM/Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Oct 2008