Quantum of Solace

Quantum of Solace had a lot working against it: one of the worst theme songs ever written (that Garbage song has finally been topped as the worst of the series!), a lackluster, boring Bond girl, a weird name, and a director (Marc Forster) who has immense talent (Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball), but has never directed an action flick before.  The result gets your adrenaline pumping, but leaves much to be desired.

The movie begins right where Casino Royale left off.  Bond is still terribly wounded after the betrayal of his Vesper, and despite a promise to M (Judi Dench, who is near perfect as always), can’t help but make everything intensely personal.  He’s paired up with Ukrainian cry-baby Camille (a lame Olga Kurylenko, who should stick with movies like Max Payne which suit her talents better) who has little, to no character development, or real reason to be in the film.  The two are completely on their own against a huge, international conglomerate posing as an environmentally concerned NGO that the superpowers of the world are helpless against, mostly because of their ignorance.  Revealing any more to the plot would require spoilers.

It seems that since Forster has spent most his time working on tender, character-based pieces, he went balls out, throwing in as many explosions, fight scenes, and rooftop jumps as he could, to compensate for his lack of experience in the genre.  It’s entertaining to watch and will get your attention, but seems a little too familiar, as this Bond has taken pretty much all his cues from the Bourne series.  This is true, even though the same three guys: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis co-wrote the script to both Quantum and Royale (a script which shares nothing except a title in common with Ian Fleming’s short story).  Lowbrow characterizations replaced the intriguing character developments that Royale provided.  And call me prideful, but the ignorant American government official is not a character I’m entertained by, or interested in  watching (Ridley Scott wore me out with Body of Lies).  Every time Vesper’s named is mentioned, I found myself longing for Bond’s last adventure, where I actually cared about the characters.  On the other hand, Daniel Craig once again excels as the ripped, emotionally deep, bad ass guy we met last time.  I think the Broccoli family could have done no better choosing a Bond to reinvigorate the series.  I’d follow Craig to the ends of the earth.  All complaints aside, Quantum of Solace is a thrilling ride that won’t leave you unsatisfied on the action end.  And who could really expect a better Bond movie than Royale?

★★½☆

Rottentomatoes: 67%Cream of the Crop: 35%

Comments
4 Responses to “Quantum of Solace”
  1. Anders says:

    Nice review, just one thing:

    “Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis co-wrote the script to both Quantum and Royale (a script which shares nothing except a title in common with Ian Fleming’s short story)”

    Actually, Casino Royale is probably the most faithful film adaptation of Flemming’s novels of them all.

  2. blake says:

    I jumbled my words, I only meant Quantum of Solace shares nothing really in common with the short story it’s supposedly based off of.

  3. magicman says:

    I’m very interested in your criticism. I definitely see where Camille wasn’t as developed as Vesper. But I think part of that stems from the lack of the love affair between her and Bond. The plot was based around Bond’s vengeance and betrayal in the first movie. He was mourning Vesper. Had they moved on and just forgot about that, Bond could have had a new love that they probably would have developed more. Doing so in this film I think would have detracted from the continuation of Bond’s demons.

    I may be way off though, since I’m not really a critic.

  4. Anders says:

    @ magicman

    Whilst having not seen the film yet, I agree with you that there is reason why Camille isn’t as developed as Vesper…but it can still be a point to criticize as it creates a prominent point of difference between the two films that needs to be noted. The art of a writer is to still make a character like Camille integral to the story, even if circumstances like you stated are in play.

    Again, having not seen the film i can’t really confirm or deny either arguments, but as a critic it’s important to not to simply excuse a lacking element of a film from criticism, such as the development of a character, just because it doesn’t seem logical. The reason it’s not logical in the first place is because the writer and/or director didn’t allow it to be.

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