Quantum of Solace

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quantum of solace

Daniel Craig is back as Bond, James Bond.

I’m a huge James Bond fan. So much so, that I even love Moonraker.

I remember being thrilled when Pierce Brosnon became Bond, because he had the perfect look for the role. They had asked him years earlier but he couldn’t get out of his TV show. The problem with Brosnon was that the films they gave him weren’t very good.

Timothy Dalton wasn’t a great Bond, but I liked the two Bond films he did.

As far as Bonds go, Daniel Craig is good, although he looks more like Steve McQueen than 007.

Casino Royale was okay, and now comes Quantum of Solace…easily the stupidest title of the 22 Bond films. The movie matches the title.

We don’t get any of the fun gadgets that Q usually shows Bond, and sarcastically explains them. There doesn’t seem to be that confidence that Bond used to exude. Instead, it’s all about revenge.

I understand they’re rebooting the series with Craig, and Casino Royale did a good job of making him a little tougher. I just didn’t realize in this one they’d want to turn him into another person with the JB initials – Jason Bourne. Stop with the shaky camera shots and fight scenes that look like they were jacked from the last Bourne pictures.

I was lost in the muddled plot, but perhaps that’s because I don’t remember Royale so well. This is an extension of it, and it surprisingly takes the humor out of what was Bond. Those snappy one-liners we loved so much. Instead, it’s his revenge for the death of Vesper Lynd. Of course, that has him travelin’ the globe – Austria, London, Italy, and even Haiti.

The bad guys (among the least interesting of any Bond villains) are part of Quantum, an organization that…well, I’m not sure I really know anything about the organization. Boy do I miss SPECTRE.

The Bond woman are attractive. Camille (Olga Kurylenko) is involved with the head honcho of Quantum. Her and James have no chemistry (or romance) together.

Miss Fields (we like her, we really really like her) is played by Gemma Arterton, who has an exotic and attractive look. Bond does hook up with her, but that’s mostly off-screen. Oh wait, I just remembered – her name is Strawberry Fields. Great, another in a long line of idiotic Bond women names (those include Pussy Galore, Christmas, Holly Goodhead, Bibi Dahl, Kissy Suzuki, Plenty O’Toole, and the first from Dr. No – Honey Rider).

If this movie didn’t have the James Bond name attached, it would just be a goofy action picture we’d dismiss.

It’s directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, Monster’s Ball), and unfortunately co-written by Paul Haggis. I’m not a big fan of his work (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, The Last Kiss). Although Haggis also penned Casino Royale, which was decent.

You have to give props to the stuntmen, because some of the stunts are fun to watch. The problem is, if you’re not a 14-year-old, you want more from the story than a cool parachute scene. All the fight scenes just bored me after awhile.

Judi Dench is back as M, and Jeffrey Wright is also good in his role.

I hope if Haggis pens the next Bond, he makes him funnier, less gritty, and sipping a martini. It doesn’t even have to be shaken. Let’s see him bet $100,000 in a casino, and bring back the gadgets. And please, let us follow the logic behind what Bond does. In this movie, I wondered why he was doing many of the things he was doing.

At an hour and 45 minutes, it was one of the shorter Bond films. It was also one of the worst.

This gets a D+.

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