Daniel Craig takes Bond back to good old thug­gery

The Jewish Chronicle - - Arts&entertainment 35 -

QUAN­TUM OF SO­LACE (

S12A) EAN CON­NERY played James Bond as a thug in a din­ner jacket. For­mer model Ge­orge Lazenby took over the role in the best for­got­ten On Her Majesty’s Se­cret Ser­vice, Roger Moore’s suave wise­crack­ing tai­lor’s dummy sur­vived sev­eral films, Ti­mothy Dal­ton was suitably tough but un­for­tu­nately lacked charisma while ur­bane Pierce Bros­nan was the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of cynic and re­source­ful hero.

When Daniel Craig showed off his im­pres­sively buff body as he emerged from the sea in Casino Royale he trium- phantly re­newed the fran­chise by again por­tray­ing 007 as a thug in a din­ner jacket. And now, in Quan­tum of So­lace, no­tice­ably the short­est film in the se­ries, Craig makes Bond even more thug­gish as he seeks vi­o­lent re­venge for the be­trayal and death of Ves­per, the woman he loved in Casino Royale.

The lin­ear sto­ry­line con­cocted by Paul Hag­gis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade be­gins where the pre­vi­ous film left off, tak­ing Bond (he never an­nounces his name, by the way, yet an­other dis­trac­tion from the once-hal­lowed orig­i­nal) on a mis­sion that takes him from South of France, Italy, Lon­don, Haiti, Aus­tria and Italy again be­fore the cli­max in Bo­livia where Bond saves the coun­try — and the world, nat­u­rally — from evil crim­i­nal mas­ter­mind Do­minic Greene (Mathieu Amal­ric) with a lit­tle help from Olga Kurylenko’s beau­ti­ful but danger­ous Camille. Di­rec­tor Marc Forster drives the film along at so en­thu­si­as­tic a pace and with such a plethora of action that you re­ally have no time to try and work out ex­actly what it hap­pen­ing.

Craig is ap­pro­pri­ately tough in com­bat, men­ac­ing in con­fronta­tion and up to the ex­pected amorous peak when he makes love to Bri­tish agent Fields (Gemma Arter­ton). Kurylenko is at­trac­tive and deadly when she needs to be (and keeps out of 007’s ro­man­tic grasp) and Al­maric is good value. Which leaves the ma­jor act­ing chores to Judi Dench as Bond’s boss ‘M’, and she car­ries them out glo­ri­ously, cre­at­ing a three di­men­sional char­ac­ter who stands out among the at­trac­tive ciphers that sur­round her.

If you want fast-mov­ing action with the min­i­mum of sto­ry­telling in­ter­rup­tions you will be shaken and stirred.

HIGH SCHOOL MU­SI­CAL 3

(U)

SOME FILMS are critic-proof. This en­thu­si­as­tic and en­er­getic mu­si­cal is the per­fect ex­em­plar.

Peter Bar­soc­chini’s pa­per-thin plot is sim­ply an­other lazy take on Hol­ly­wood’s beloved “let’s put on a show” fairy­tale. But the se­ries regulars, teen idol Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hud­gens as the star crossed lovers, and the mu­si­cal num­bers, lift the show com­fort­ably above its com­mon­place sto­ry­line.

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