007 shaken, but not stirred

What is about James Bond that manages to keep die-hard fans bombarding movie theaters to see his latest exploits? Could it be the fact that Bond is a man of debonair status? Or maybe it’s that he always manages to get his girl. Perchance it’s the fact that he has been around for over fifty years.

Whatever the case, fans certainly didn’t waste any time in seeing the latest 007 flick, “Quantum of Solace” which garnered a whopping $70.4 million over the weekend according to reports. Impressive is the word when it comes to the amount of revenue earned. However, that same word definitely doesn’t describe the motion picture.

It is fact that every 007 film is not fantastic. Since 1962, 22 Bond films have been produced, but that certainly doesn’t mean that all of them are impressive. While “Quantum of Solace” is not as bad as 1979’s “Moonraker,” it definitely doesn’t compare to 1964’s “Goldfinger.” Instead, the newest film manages to fall somewhere in between and that is what makes it rather mundane.

Revamped in 2006 with “Casino Royale,” the Bond franchise has proven to be very durable. So far, there have been six leading men that have portrayed the dashing MI6 agent – Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and newcomer Daniel Craig.

Succeeding Brosnan, Craig is far more tough and relentless in his portrayal of 007 and that in itself is what makes his portrayal all the more fascinating. Craig dominates the screen like few others and he manages to make all of scenes simply spectacular. That certainly counts in a movie that seems to be rushed.

“Quantum of Solace” picks up where “Casino Royale” left off by addressing the death of Vesper Lynd, Bond’s former love interest. The film starts with an exhilarating car chase. From there it’s quick fight scenes, a couple of explosions, exotic locations, a pretty woman or two, and then an action-packed finale.

The problem with the 007 films is that all of them – every single one – tend to follow the same bland formula while throwing in a thin plot. Sometimes that’s okay- i.e. “Thunderball” or “For Your Eyes Only. And sometimes it’s bad- i.e. “You Only Live Twice” or “Octopussy.”

“Quantum of Solace” certainly isn’t the best James Bond movie, but it does have its moments. One good thing the film has going for it is that the villain, Dominic Greene, played wonderfully by French actor Mathieu Amalric, isn’t a megalomaniac. Instead, he’s a tycoon who is up to no good.

Also along for the ride is the stunning Olga Kurylenko who stars as the newest Bond girl, Camille, a feisty chick with a score to settle.

Needless to say, the film will probably go on to earn a lot more revenue. Although the latest adventure isn’t the greatest, the Bond franchise will surely go on to create more installments.

At it’s best “Quantum of Solace” is shaken, not stirred.