12 November 2008

Trailer Response: "Quantum Of Solace"

Originally published 30 June 2008

After waiting all year for anything official from the forthcoming James Bond film Quantum of Solace, Sony has finally complied and put up the first trailer on Moviefone.com today.  I've watched it thrice already, and it appears to me that it's less Casino Royale II and more Casino Royale Again.  We all knew that QoS was going to be a direct continuation of CR; there is a sense from the trailer, though, that we're going to get much the same film this time, however.  M chastises Bond about setting out for revenge; laments, "I thought I could trust you" and orders him grounded....  It's fine for M and Bond to not be on great terms all the time, but it seems that ever since Robert Brown took over the role in The Living Daylights there's been an increasing amount of almost hostility between the characters and a lot less mutual respect.  Fleming's M and Bond got on fairly well; Bond found his boss a bit of a social bore, yes, but would have gladly gone to hell and back for the guy.  For his part, Fleming's M had nothing but respect for Bond's talents and abilities and made sure not to waste them, or to risk Bond unnecessarily.  This cinematic trend of a lack of any kind of relationship between them has gotten tiresome, and it's sad to think that Tomorrow Never Dies is the only entry in the Bond series since 1987 in which the relationship is pretty consistent with Fleming's world.

Having said all that...the rest of the trailer appears to be about what we had in mind for this picture.  It opens with Mr. White (the guy Bond tracked down just before the credits rolled at the end of CR) being interrogated, baiting Bond.  The rest of the clip is a quick montage of Bond-on-the-run-again set to the aforementioned M-doesn't-trust-Bond-and-wants-him-restricted voiceover and ends with a shot of Bond hoisting an assault rifle as he walks across what appears to be the desert.  Looks fun, looks intense, looks...like the last movie.

I know I sound disappointed with this trailer, and the only reason I actually am disappointed with it is because of the emphasis on the Bond/M tension about which you've already grown tired of reading me complain.  I am greatly relieved that, from the trailer at least, they've kept the tone of this film consistent with its predecessor and haven't gone Roger Moore on us.  No outrageous gimmicks, no slapstick humor, just good ol' fashioned gritty spy stuff.  It remains to be seen, of course, how Fleming-esque the film actually is, but it appears to be a candidate for Bond "best" lists.