Quantum of Solace (2008)
Reviewed on 2008 November 14
I walked into this movie, hoping I could tell you it was as good as Casino Royale; that it had the same pacing and same detail to plot and character. Nope. Guys, it’s even better. This has more action, an ever better opening sequence, and at least 50% more testosterone than Daniel Craig’s debut as 007. This was great.
This movie hits the ground running even faster than its predecessor. An insane car chase through Italy leads Bond to a very nasty and shadowy agency, one that neither he nor M (Judi Dench) heard of. M is her usual caustic self, wondering how much she can trust a wild card like 007 to find out who these people while leaving a minimal body count. It looks like she’ll at least get half her wish. Bond winds up trailing one Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), self-styled “environmentalist” and head of Greene Planet, an agency that purports to be focused on saving the earth. Bond soon learns that this is merely a front for Greene’s real intentions.
Some people were lamenting the slickness and pacing of this entry, saying it wasn’t the same as other Bond movies. It is different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This felt like one of the better spy movies from the ’60s or ’70s, titles included, and arguably is more like the Ian Fleming novels than the older Bond films, wonderful though they were. Since we’ll never have the feeling of the early Sean Connery 007 movies, I’m more than satisfied with this as a new direction. I felt my heart sink a bit when they started talking about Greene Planet — yes we need to take care of the world and I recycle and all that, I’m just tired of being badgered about it — but when I saw how they were satirizing the whole greenie industry, I loved it. This also gave us Olga Kurylenko as Camille. Not only is she a smart Bond girl that could fight like a hyena on amphetamines, but she even looks like a ’60s model.
Three chocolate morsels, and a Russian vodka martini.