Short version: Quantum of Solace is the best James Bond film in over a decade.
Screen Rant’s Niall Browne reviews Quantum of Solace
As a life long James Bond fan I always look forward to new adventures from the super-spy. My very first cinematic memory is watching Roger Moore’s final outing as Bond in A View To A Kill, and my teenage years and early twenties were filled with Pierce Brosnan’s daring-do.
When the Broccoli family ditched Brosnan in favor of the younger, more rugged Daniel Craig I was a bit annoyed (to say the least). Although I was a tad skeptical that Daniel Craig had what it took to slip into the tuxedo, I will admit that I was more worried about EON’s idea to reboot Bond for the Bourne generation. Over the years the character of James Bond has been constantly reinvented, without having to start all over again.
In my opinion Casino Royale was an adequate beginning for a harsher and more realistic Bond, but its bloated running time; generic soundtrack and tacked-on finale left me hoping that the next film in the series would deliver the type of James Bond film that I wanted.
So… how does Quantum of Solace measure up?
It surpasses its predecessor in almost every way and delivers the best Bond film in over a decade.
Shorter and more action packed, Quantum of Solace is a James Bond film for the new millennium. Unlike Brosnan’s swan song Die Another Day, the CGI is limited, and unlike Casino Royale the film doesn’t try to be too hip and trendy. From the pulsating opening car chase – you know that you are watching Bond, and like the older movies in the series you feel that it is the end of another adventure (it is) and not a piece of grandstanding from the second unit and stunt departments.
Picking up mere minutes after Royale’s climax the film hits the ground running (literally) and delivers action sequence after action sequence. Don’t worry though, unlike many action movies today this doesn’t feel like sensory overload – just damn good entertainment.
The plot is simple: Bond wants to discover more about the mysterious Quantum organization following his capture of Mr White. He also wants to get revenge for the death of his one true love Vesper from the previous film. Jet-setting across the Atlantic he finds that rogue environmentalist Mr Greene (Mathieu Amalric) has an affiliation with the evil group and whilst tailing Greene he meets Camille – a beautiful but deadly killer who wants revenge on one of Greene’s associates.
It feels like Marc Forster went into directing Quantum of Solace with a checklist of greatest hits from other Bond movies: car chase – check; boat chase – check; roof top chase – check. There are a couple more I could add but I don’t want to spoil the film – in any case you can bet they’re in there. What’s miraculous is that it all feels fresh and very real.
Forster also manages to bring back Bond’s weapon of choice – the Walther PPK for the first time in years. There’s even a death of a character that harkens back to Goldfinger. It’s all classic Bond, but it all feels relevant, despite what Mike Myers says.