Quantum of Solace and James Bond: The Autumn-spring Romance Action Hero
The new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace has superior acting and a compelling story. It also has themes are have great appeal to men — the theme of the quest and of a man’s appeal to the opposite sex.
Quantum of Solace is a splendid action movie, with deeper themes that are conveyed superlatively by the top-notch acting of Daniel Craig as the newest James Bond. Any Bond film can be pure entertainment, and movie-watchers should enjoy Quantum of Solace just for that. However, as any thinking man knows – and this is indeed for men – there are deeper earthy themes at play in any Bond movie, and Quantum of Solace has brought them into sharp focus with Mr. Craig.
First of all there is the quest in Quantum of Solace: the quest for the truth about the stunning Vesper Lynd who was killed (or allowed herself to be killed, perhaps to hide her past) in Casino Royale, in which Mr. Craig made his debut performance as Mr. Bond. Mr. Craig knows few limits in this quest, although he does observe some; he is not an out-of-control killing machine getting to the truth at any cost, despite the antagonists who are able to make his activities look that way back at MI6 headquarters. Mr. Bond is still British Secret Service, and cannot be off on a personal quest on company time…and expense, but he is!
Moreover, Mr. Bond is pursuing his quest in a manner that can only make ordinary men jealous – single-mindedly, without constraints imposed by “headquarters”, without paperwork and incident reports, but as an “army of one.” The singular hero is searching for the truth, and for those to punish for stealing Mr. Bond’s Vesper Lynd. How many men have not felt the urge to throw off the constraining fetters of custom, rules, regulations, orders, box-checking, mind-numbing “compliance”, and engage in physical tests of wills with evil men? Well, the closest one may come besides joining the Army Rangers is Quantum of Solace. Quantum of Solace is in this way about a rugged individual making the rules as he goes along. That spirit of freedom pervades the movie, and Mr. Craig plays perfectly the wounded hero, the modern day frontiersman in nicely tailored clothes, looking to get even.
The quest has its romance, and this is an autumn-spring, or maybe more precisely, late-summer-spring romance. Mr. Craig, the older but powerful man, captivates the young beautiful women with his driven single-mindedness; they want to help him or at least they won’t stand in his way for long. Mr. Bond captivates the women with his command presence, his powerful control in any situation, and his man-in-his-prime dominance. He conveys an overpowering animalism that attracts the early twenties beauties and promotes the ideal that a driven man with physical presence and zeal notwithstanding a decade or more difference in age can still be a romantic figure among young, beautiful, women. Bond awes them with not just his adroitness, but his drive, his passion. He is not a spent, pale office worker, but the rugged man who has not given up the fight of his life, and the young women want to be part of this man’s quest. Action hero fantasies for men? Absolutely, but carried off with Mr. Craig wearing his role like a second skin. Good acting, great masculine themes – a top-notch James Bond movie.