Way back in the Fall of 2006, Casino Royale reinvigorated decades-old James Bond by going real. At the time, it was compared to the Bourne movies, and with good reason. While the James Bond films never were able to draw a talented director like Paul Greengrass or Doug Liman, Martin Campbell was at least able to ape their most action friendly, you-are-there shooting styles. It gave the entire proceeding a much more gritty and verite feel; something sorely needed after the Pierce Bronson era.
But being the contrarians that we are, we really felt Casino Royale owed more to another old war-horse that was (then) recently recharged for modern audiences. Like Casino Royale, it was an origin story too long by at least thirty minutes and complete with a pretty lousy dénouement that would have derailed a lesser enterprise. Yes, Casino Royale was Batman Begins without the cape.
And going on that logic, consider The Quantum of Solace James Bond’s The Dark Knight.
A new trailer for the film, directed by Marc Forster, was released yesterday and all we can say is… HOLY CRAP!!!! The Quantum of Solace looks about as intensely amazing as its title is aggressively terrible. If there has been a better action movie trailer in the last few years, we can’t remember it. Everything is bigger and better, from the explosions to the role for Dame Judi Dench, simultaneously slumming it and making every line she utters have an instant gravitas. Even the villain looks better!
One of our biggest problems with the Bond mythology has always been the lack of a convincing heavy. Have you seen Goldfinger lately? Auric Goldfinger looks like a parody, and he’s the bad guy in the best Bond movie! You can only imagine what it’s like in the lesser films. Mr. Forster has hopefully rectified that problem. As the mysterious business mogul who is out to get Mr. Bond, Mathieu Amalric uses his big eyes, which conveyed such empathy in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (we love you Jean-Do!), to intimidate the stuffing out of us.
Have the Bond movies finally given us a baddie worthy of legitimate fear? Or at least worthy of Heath Ledger? Perhaps. Either way, from the looks of it, enough things will blow up real good that we won’t even really mind.