He Said/She Said #02: Quantum of Solace
He Said/She Said is a bi-weekly column where a male and female reviewer from the site team up to debate the merits of a particular film.
It was an interesting choice from Marc Campbell to make a Bond movie like QUANTUM OF SOLACE. We’ve seen movies that don’t have beginnings or endings before, like TWO TOWERS and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, but the thing with those films is that they were part of a trilogy and it was pretty clear what was going on from the beginning. With Solace, a lot of people didn’t even know it was a sequel and many audience members went in thinking they were going to get another Bond film, the likes of which they’ve seen 21 times before.
So it’s important that you keep in mind this is a sequel to CASINO ROYALE and should be taken as such. Solace takes up within minutes of the end of Royale and immediately takes us on a wild and exhausting ride. The chase in the beginning sets the tone that this film is going to be a collage of action sequences and any story that should be there can only be found with re-watching Royale. As it turns out, that’s okay because this is a fun ride and, of course, it’s James Bond.
Craig is once again cool as ever playing Bond and his aloofness and ease with intense situations is a revelation. We enjoy watching him destroy everything in his path and Judi Dench does a fine job reminding him that he’s only human and his actions have an adverse affect on those around him. But we don’t really care, we just want to see him kick some bad guy ass. And that’s really what this is all about. This isn’t as good as CASINO ROYALE, but it’s a helluva good time and it makes for a wild ride.
Let me begin by saying that I enjoy a good James Bond film, even the bad ones keep my interest for the most part. I loved Casino Royale and even though I hated to think that they would make a sequel to a Bond movie (they should stand alone) I was willing to go with it. Sadly I found that Quantum of Solace didn’t live up as a sequel and I personally don’t even think it lived up to being a Bond film. I want my Bond cool and calculated, not angry, depressed and exacting revenge.
The beginning action sequence was ok but didn’t live up to the opening of Casino Royale or even to the opening of other Bond films. To me it was just another car chase sequence which I enjoy but feel has been done better in the past. The first action scene in Casino Royale was just so amazing that it felt like a classic Bond moment, watching Craig chase down a guy on foot jumping on scaffolding is a good time in my book.
I want to give Daniel Craig another chance at Bond because I think he nailed the character in his first go around. However, I’d like to put in for a better Bond girl in the next movie. I feel like the Bond series has finally made the women smart and cool but they just didn’t hit it in Solace. Eva Green was a great Bond girl, she was mysterious, smart and elegant, but I didn’t find Olga Kurylenko to have the screen presence to pull off an action movie of this caliber. I found Solace to be a bore and disappointment and I hope the next Bond film will make up for this one.