I’m not a huge fan of the James Bond series, but I was extremely impressed with Casino Royale, which was the first film in which Daniel Craig took over the lead role. That was an excellent film in my estimation, and featured all of the elements I look for in a Bond film, including action, humor, intelligence, and a good Bond girl.
So I was looking forward to Quantum of Solace with great anticipation, despite its puzzling name and the rather lukewarm reviews it has received after its UK release. I figured that since it would be a continuation of the Casino Royale story, it would have a similar feel and be equally as good — or at least very close in quality. Unfortunately, the name isn’t the only thing that stinks about this film.
Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Quantum of Solace begins shortly after the final events of Casino Royale. James Bond (Craig), seeking revenge for the death of Vesper Lynd, has rounded up Mr. White (played by Jesper Christensen) and is transporting him for eventual questioning. After a wild car chase, Bond eventually gets Mr. White to an MI6 facility for interrogation about the Quantum organization, but before he and M (Judi Dench) can get any answers, one of M’s bodyguards opens fire on the agents, allowing Mr. White to escape.
MI6 was able to track some banknotes connected to the bodyguard, and the new clues lead Bond to Haiti, where he tries to figure out what Quantum’s ulterior motives are. There, he meets up with Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who has dealings with a man named Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), head of a major corporation called Greene Planet. Greene was set to have Camille assassinated, but when that failed, he tried to pawn her off on General Medrano (Joaquín Cosio), who is trying to stage a coup in Bolivia. But Bond follows Camille and rescues her before following Greene to Austria.
From there, Bond learns follows more leads until he figures out that Greene Planet is after Bolivia’s water supply. Greene apparently owns land with most of the country’s fresh water trapped underground, and hopes to become Bolivia’s only utility supplier once General Medrano is in power. Bond, of course, stops Greene before his scheme can be executed.
My Reaction: This was not at all what I expected from Quantum of Solace, and I totally agree with those who are saying that this didn’t even feel like a Bond film. It didn’t feature any of the Bond hallmarks (did Daniel Craig even say his name in this movie?), and looked like just another generic action flick. In fact, there was just way too much action in this one, and reminded me of the Bourne films — shaky cams, rooftop chases, and all.
While there was far too much action, there wasn’t nearly enough humor or witty banter. Bond films are all about double entendres with the leading lady, but none of that happened with Bond and Camille. People have been saying that she’s the most dull Bond girl of them all, and I’m inclined to agree. Heck, even her name is boring. Camille? Come on!
And finally, the plot was incomprehensible for the first half of the film. I had no idea what was going on until Bond actually found the water supply, so for that initial hour or so, I was basically just watching these people jet around the world in chase of who knows what. This was quite a contrast to Casino Royale, where the stakes were known right from the beginning.
Overall, I was quite disappointed in Quantum of Solace, and should have just waited until this thing came out on DVD. I have a feeling this film will stand out in the Bond canon for all the wrong reasons, and I give it just 3 stars out of 5.