Quantum of Solace
In the opening moments of the 22nd Bond film, we immediately join James Bond as he’s racing through the Italian countryside, being chased by several black cars. The race is intense and exciting, but from the beginning, we know that there’s something different about this James Bond film than the previous 22. The difference is that this film not another standalone film that alludes to its predecessors, but rather a direct sequel to the film that came immediately before it (the great CASINO ROYALE). So if you haven’t seen CASINO ROYALE or if you don’t remember what happened at the end, do yourself a favor and watch it before you sit down to enjoy QUANTUM OF SOLACE. If you don’t, you might be lost because director Marc Forster never takes the time to remind you of the events of Royale. This is similar to TWO TOWERS or EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in the sense that it’s a continuing story, not a separate film.
Hell bent on satisfying his need for revenge, Bond’s investigation into Vesper’s death leads him to a shady international conglomerate that manipulates governments to serve their own greed. Along the way, he meets Camille (Olga Kurlyenko) who has a mission of her own that involves the evil leader of the group, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). The form sort of a team that leads them across the globe and Bond must find out who this group is and then bring it down, all the while keeping his eye on fulfilling his end goal of avenging Vesper’s murder.
With all of that said, it is a Bond film, so you know you’ll get your gadgets, chase scenes, hot girls and plenty of the cool, confident James Bond. In his second outing as the suave spy, Daniel Craig continues to make believers of us all and gives Bond an attitude and a demeanor that none of his predecessors were able to pull off. He lacks the charm of Connery or the smugness of Brosnan, but Craig’s Bond is a welcomed change to what we’re used to. Everyone has their opinion of Bond girls, but Olga Kurlyenko was probably the biggest negative of this film. She’s an okay actress, but her character and the way she was portrayed was distracting. She and Craig have zero chemistry and even though their characters are never romantically involved, there needed to be a chemistry or connection between the two that we never actually got.
But at the end of the day, this James Bond is one of the better Bond films we’ve seen over the years. Marc Forster and Daniel Craig seem committed to bringing a class and a sophistication to Bond that previous directors and stars weren’t concerned with. They lost a step or two with Solace, but when pasted behind Royale, it gives the action that many fans clamored for in Royale. The urge is to take things up by making the explosions bigger and the action more fierce, but Forster and Craig would be better served focusing on story and characters if they want to keep their revitalized Bond alive.