Quantum of Solace (2008) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

A marvelous pre-title car chase saves this by-the-numbers Bond film from being a total misfire. Picking up directly where Casino Royale left off Quantum is a direct sequel (a first in the longstanding history of the series). Daniel Craig is back for his second go around as her majesty’s secret agent 007. This time the action (or lack thereof) takes place in exotic locations such as Spain and Peru yet the movie has a dullness that it’s never able to shake.

Suffering unfavorably to comparisons with the Bourne films the producers have opted to transform this rouge British agent into a hulking brute who continually displays deliberate acts of insubordination in his quest to bring down the men most directly responsible for the death of his beloved. The fact that Bond is still heartbroken and obsessed goes against everything that audiences have come to expect from 007. In turning our hero into a driven machine of vengeance the film lacks the sly humor and sense of mischief that has always been a hallmark of the series.

Instead of cracking wise and bedding beautiful women Bond is far more interested in the plans of Dominic Green, a wealthy socialite businessman working in reforestation and charity funding for environmental science and also member of a worldwide criminal enterprise known as Quantum. It’s up to James Bond to stop this mad environmentalist from taking control of a politically volatile country’s valuable resource.

If that plot description doesn’t sound like typical Bond fodder, you’re right. This 22nd film in the venerable series has a serious identity crisis. It tries for the hard edge that was established in Casino Royale but it lacks a compelling storyline and interesting characters. Even the action set-pieces are low key to the point of being monotonous. Quantum of Solace is a curiously measured and distant film that ranks amongst the worst in the franchise.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko and Mathieu Amalric

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