Quantum of Solace

So, yeah – I fancy myself more than just a casual 007 fan. I haven’t seen all of ‘em, but I’ve seen all of the ones with Sean Connery, and I know a little about the franchise. Daniel Craig, in spite of his blond hair and blue eyes, has grown on me, and I looked forward to the latest installment in one of the most venerable franchises in American cinematic history.

I’ll keep it brief and say that Quantum of Solace didn’t do much for the franchise. It was beautifully filmed, featuring exotic locales and accents to match, but I found the storyline to be dry and thin at various places. This was disappointing considering the script was partially written by acclaimed scribe Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby). This latest chapter finds our favorite MI-6 agent dealing with the loss of Vesper at the conclusion of Casino Royale. He promises M that he won’t seek revenge, but remains confused about the circumstances surrounding her death. He finds a kindred spirit in Camille, a young woman entangled in high-stakes espionage, seeking revenge for her family’s death. 007 plots are always somewhat nebulous, and Quantum of Solace is no exception. Vaguely it is revealed that a secret organization wishes to gain control of the water supply in the mid-east, and Bond is charged with uncovering the identity of those individuals involved in the transaction. What? Yeah, whatever. I can barely recite the plot to you. I appreciated little things throughout, such as the rugged, much less corny portrayal offered by Daniel Craig. Despite not looking the part of a more traditional Bond, Craig manages to convey an effortless sophistication even when bruised and battered. He has the right swag, and I appreciate his embodiment of the character. Judi Dench is always a pleasure, and the movie had a smart, sleek feel – it was just empty in spots. There was an homage to Goldfinger, when one of Bond’s female allies is drowned in oil, her sprawled and naked body covered in the black liquid just as Goldfinger’s victim was covered in gold over 20 years ago. This was pretty obvious, and it didn’t go unnoticed by all the Bond buffs out there, I’m sure. Nice touch.

While not a “must-see” by any stretch, Quantum of Solace makes for a passable day at the movies. If you’re a fan of the franchise you probably should see it off GP, though be forewarned that you will be underwhelmed with certain aspects of the movie.

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