“The first thing you should know about us is that we have people everywhere.”
Quantum of Solace is mostly considered the weakest Bond film from Daniel Craig’s three films but that’s not to say it’s a bad film. It’s different, in many ways to the previous film, Casino Royale but in many other ways it’s much closer to a classic Bond film. The opening pick ups right after Casino Royale with Bond driving with Mr White in his boot. The fact that the film starts right after Casino Royale is a definite downside as it makes the film seem more like ‘Casino Royale Part 2‘ rather than a full film in it’s own right. The short run time doesn’t help this matter either. The opening car chase is pretty awesome but it is also where the new directing style is first noticed. Quantum of Solace goes down the route that many a modern action film does and uses lot’s of fast cuts in the action. This annoys at first, but it is well done. While I would rather the action was edited in a way similar to the other Bond films, at least the fast cut’s are done well here. The film as a whole is different to the other films with director Marc Forster using various art-house flairs throughout. Such as a scene where Bond is fighting at the opera but the sound is cut out, and the only sound is from the opera itself. These little touches aren’t for everyone but I personally liked them.
The film’s plot is another weak point as, instead of revolving around something sinister like nuclear weapons or space lasers, the villain, Dominic Greene, is instead trying to control Bolivia’s water supply. It’s a bit weak, especially seeing how the organisation that Greene works for, Quantum, is suggested to be up to many, more interesting things. The idea of having a SPECTRE type group with Quantum is a good one but I still miss the more outlandish plots that defined the earlier Bond films. In QoS there is a subplot about Quantum helping to overthrow the Bolivian Government, so at least we’re back on the right track. The performances in QoS are a extremely mixed bag. On one hand, Craig’s performance as Bond is much more Bond like than in Casino Royale, he even cracks a few one liners here and there but he also plays Bond as awesomely brutal as ever. Another strong link in the film is Olga Kurylenko as Camille, who is much more Bond’s equal than a Bond girl. A stranger character is villain Dominic Greene played by Mathieu Amalric. A weak villain by all accounts with a rubbish plan but Amalric plays him well, raising a sub standard villain into a much more enjoyable character. M, Judi Dench is as good as ever, and her performance is the best it’s ever been second to only Skyfall. By this point in the Craig Bond films though, I was hoping for more Bond staples like Q and Moneypenny but like Casino Royale these characters are absent.
The action in Quantum of Solace is, like I said earlier, shot in a way which might put people off. I certainly prefer slower, clearer edited action but for the most part the editing in QoS doesn’t distract too much. The best scene in QoS in my opinion would have to be the climatic battle in the Hotel Perla de Las Dunas, which looks like a classic Bond villain lair, even though it isn’t. The fight between Greene and Bond while the whole place burns is surprisingly great, and the quick edits work well here, making it better than Casino Royale’s finale. The whole scene feels like a cross between the new, revamped, hard edged Bond and a classic Bond finale. Another strong scene is the dual between Bond in a cargo plane and the Bolivian air force, ending in a cool free falling scene. In fact, with the films brisk pace and it clocking in at only one hour forty-ish most of the film is adrenaline fueled action, but it is better for it. The plot is quite weak so the longer spent on action is good thing. The action is awesome, but your personal enjoyment will come down to whether you like the direction. The music is good in QoS with the Bond motif actually making an appearance in this one, unlike Casino Royale. But the less said about the awful theme song the better.
The Bottom Line: Quantum of Solace is not everyone’s favourite Bond film and is often seen as weak follow up to Casino Royale but I believe it does many things better than Casino Royale, like actually having Bond crack a few jokes or having the Bond theme in it. Casino Royale is both one of the best things to happen to Bond while also being one of the worst. It got people interested in Bond again, but it also lost many of the things that made Bond films what they were. These problems weren’t entirely fixed by QoS but it’s a step in the right direction. But don’t worry we get there in the next installment, Skyfall, which is when Bond get’s as good as he’s ever been.
Up next – Skyfall