James Bond is on a quest for revenge against the evil doers who blackmailed his former flame—Vesper Lynd, from Casino Royale, a pursuit which leads him to the discovery of one Dominic Greene, a guy with a private army capable of being nearly anywhere it seems, but who is bent on controlling the water resources of Bolivia because, hey, that was a trendy news story once upon a time.
Quantum of Solace may be an okay, even good action movie, but it is far from a good James Bond movie. Daniel Craig does his best, and brings all the charisma and presence that he brought to Casino Royale, but it’s just not enough.
The problem here is that Q.O.S only got half of the formula right from Casino Royale.
A great Bond picture needs both pulse pounding action (check) and most importantly, a certain kind of suave sensibility and overall style which this movie lacks.
Roger Ebert perhaps said it best here “Please understand: James Bond is not an action hero! He is too good for that. He is an attitude. Violence for him is an annoyance. He exists for the foreplay and the cigarette.”
Another problem here is the stakes seem too low, and overly political. Bond villains exist to look like fools and to attempt to either try to take over and/or destroy the world. They do not care about cornering the bottled water market in Bolivia. This is the kind of political action that Bond should steer clear of and allow the Sean Penn’s and Matt Damon’s of the world concern themselves with. It’s beneath him.
That said, this movie gets ragged on a lot, and deservedly so, but there still is a few elements to be admired here.
The Bond gal in this movie who gets covered in oil was a nice (if again, overly political) homage to Goldfinger, and the ending of this movie, taken by itself, is a really nice follow up to Casino Royale.
I also loved how this movie basically begins immediately in the aftermath of Casino Royale, so you have perhaps for the first time two Bond movies that acknowledge each other’s existence instead of just serving as two islands unto themselves.
Still though, this movie could have used perhaps a bit of something to enable to stand up on its own. As said, a perfectly fine action movie, a lousy Bond film, in my estimation.
Quantum of Solace gets a two out of five: FORGETTABLE.