106 Min. | Action – Adventure – Thriller | october 2008
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Marc Forster
Staring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric
Quantum of Solace Review: Whether or not you liked “Casino Royale”, and most people certainly did, Roger Moore fanatics probably excluded, it was something Bond had never been before, and it surprised a lot of people and reinvigorated genuine interest in Bond after “Die Another Day” by which point it was frankly becoming an obligation to attend the new Bond film rather than a pleasure. After the emotionally charged story, and particularly the climax, of “Casino Royale”, the bar was set very high for the follow-up. Does “Quantum of Solace” deliver? Well, honestly, the answer to that depends almost entirely on what you were expecting. If you were expecting a lengthy, down-to-earth, ‘realistic’ character-based revenge flick, “Quantum of Solace” is not it. What “Quantum of Solace” does is weave the characterization into the plot and action to the point where we don’t have room to breathe. The criticisms against the movie for lacking in character development are downright absurd-it’s all there, the movie just doesn’t stop and explicitly tell you what it’s doing.
What “Quantum of Solace” doesn’t do is deliver a repeat of “Casino Royale”. This is, ultimately, not unlike several Bond films we’ve seen before. There’s snarling foreign villains with accents, a shadowy evil organization with political motivations, there’s plenty, plenty of action. The “Bourne” comparisons are especially confounding. So, because Robert Ludlum once took from the Bond character and stories to write his “Bourne” novels, the Bond film series can’t go back to Bond’s roots in Fleming’s great novels for inspiration? If they’re talking about the action scenes here, then while they lack the coherence of some of the greatest action scenes in Bond history, they are still much easier to follow than anything in Greengrass’ “Bourne” films. Outside the first 15 minutes there’s barely anything here that resembles a Bourne film at all, actually. The first two action scenes – the car chase and foot chase- are over-edited for sure, but the rest of the action scenes are grand, particularly the plane scene and climactic action scene at the hotel.
The technical aspects of the film are all good, director Marc Forster doesn’t mess up refusal to use an orchestral version of the score much during the actual film is quite frustrating, but it’s quite good and certainly not among the worst scores the series has had. Craig is an absolutely superb Bond, Olga Kurylenko is a find Bond girl and fairly well-developed but not at the expense of Bond or the story, while Gemma Arterton’s limited screen time is an unnecessary diversion. Actually, “Quantum of Solace” sees a welcome return of a deadpan delivery to the one-liners which evokes Connery’s best moments. No winking at the camera, no raised eyebrows, just the jokes. Felix grabbing a beer and looking nonchalant as the swat team tried and failed to capture Bond, Bond stealing the bike from under the informant, Bond and M at the hotel. So many great moments. “Quantum of Solace” is perhaps not one of the great Bond films, and while I would not like to see “Quantum of Solace” become the template which the Bond series will follow in the future, it is still not just a good action thriller, but an often gloriously enjoyable Bond film, and a fine entry in the series.