Quantum Of Solace Review

Published 6 years ago by

Short version: Quantum of Solace is the best James Bond film in over a decade.

quantum of solace reviews Quantum Of Solace Review
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.

Click to continue reading “Quantum of Solace Review.”

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The supporting cast all fit nicely into their respective roles. Mathieu Amalric delivers one of the best performances of a Bond villain in years. While the part may not be as iconic as Blofeld or Goldfinger because he has no “gimmick,” the actor does make Mr Greene real. The Bond girls Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton do admirable jobs, but their roles are merely window dressing. At least the filmmakers have realized that Bond doesn’t need a female partner a la Halle Berry. Having said that it would seem that Bond sees action everywhere but the bedroom. If he’s not careful Craig’s Bond could become as monastic as Timothy Dalton’s “new man” of the 1980′s -  and we all know how… ahem… wooden he was.

Judi Dench’s M is much improved this time around and her relationship with Bond does show growth, but I still feel that if they were rebooting the franchise they should have dropped her too. Bond needs a father figure, not mothering. His relationship with Felix Lieter (Jeffrey Wright) is also warming up too and Leiter’s character is more than Bond’s one dimensional American buddy for the first time in years.

While there is much to praise about the Quantum of Solace I do have a few niggles. It wouldn’t hurt to have more of that theme music in there and why switch the gun barrel opening to the end of the film? Also, if at some point they are going to have to reintroduce Q and Moneypenny – why keep holding it off? After all Moneypenny is only a secretary and Q is a piece of walking plot exposition. I’m sure Haggis, Purvis and Wade can fit them in without too much trouble.

Quantum of Solace is Bond at his best. Thrilling and entertaining, this new outing highlights yet again why this franchise has been around for over 45 years. While many will try and highlight the Bourne-ification of James Bond they seem to forget that this is the cold blooded killer created by Ian Fleming in the 1950s. Bond isn’t aping Bourne – it’s the other way around. While the action may be more visceral and frenetic it is still pure Bond.

Quantum of Solace puts Bond back on top. I really can’t wait for James Bond to return…

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: 4 star movies, quantum of solace

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  1. if you haven’t seen the movie… then don’t! QoS is a failure! lame action, questionable plots, lack of cool gadgets, too much drama, and most of all, its a 45 minute 1-act play dragged, stretched and cursed into a 2 hour film. i love bond films that why i felt cheated. why, bond, why?!

  2. Well, I’m on vacation in Hong Kong, and QOS came out on the 6th, so I got to see it before you guys in the USA, lol.

    Well, I’ll have to say that Casino Royale was definitely much better. QOS was pretty good, the action was pretty intense, but overall, CR had better story telling and more realistic action in my opinion. But this was definitely a blast to watch. So check it out when it comes out. It start right into the action, so make sure you don’t get to the theater late. :-)

  3. See now here’s the problem with letting people other than me review movies for Screen Rant: I would have given this a MUCH lower score. I despised the hyper-quick-cut edits.

    The action sequences actually made me angry because I *wanted* to be able to see what was happening but simply could not take in the “big picture” due to the uber-close ups and camera angle change (literally) every half second.

    I was actually RELIEVED when there was no action on the screen. I also didn’t think too much of the overall plot – the more I think about it the more I think it was very basic and too thin to carry the film.

    My review would have been very different indeed – I’m debating whether I should bother writing one. Don’t want to confuse people with two reviews of the same film on the site.

    Vic

  4. Vic,
    You could always call it
    Quantum of Solace My Take.

  5. Yah, Marc Forster had said he doesn’t want to do another Bond film. I think if they can’t think of another good director, they should go back to Martin Campbell who did Casino Royale. He has proven himself with Bond twice. I liked Goldeneye and Casino Royale, both by Martin Campbell.

  6. Do It Vic. Just distinguish it. “QOS another view” explain up front why you believe it needs a RE-Viewing= a reevaluated review. Take the time to research the points you want to make both historically speaking in the BOND genre and the current artistic choices. Passing fad? New concept that hasn’t found its proper living space, etc. I want it, that’s what your page is about the civil discussion of the differing points of view for this genre of Cinema!

  7. Nice review. I disagree with you about M, on large part because i just love Judi Dench, but also because I think she evens out the masculine-saturated aroma Bond emits.

  8. Vic, what you already wrote is the crux of my problem with the movie. That, and they didn’t attach the Watchmen trailer.

    I don’t know how a butt-ugly actor can play the role of the debonair 007. He could replace Mark Wahlberg in a remake sequel of Planet of the Apes–with no cosmetics. It’s like Teabag in Prison Break being sold as a lady’s man. The best part of a Bond movie, if nothing else works, is the animated title sequence–and the theme song playing (not subliminally playing) now and then.

    What’s with the obligatory roof chase and the falling/glass/rope scene (both in the tv commercials)? I could not get a fix on what was happening?

    Not shaken, not stirred from Not Bond, Not James Bond.

  9. Best movie of the year and every part of the movie has exciting

  10. SPOILER

    Shooting the tank to blow out of the burning building was almost as ridiculous as the time everyone spent in the building that was aflame.

    Watching this movie, I felt like I was swinging upside down with a rope around my foot, hopelessly grasping for an enjoyable scene.

    Without taking the time to look it up, I wonder where I’ve seen the bug-eyed guy before. Was he Toad in X-Men? Was he the psycho guy who lived behind the wall panels from Voyager?

  11. 1: Moore
    2: Connery
    3: Craig
    4: Brosnan
    5: Niven +
    6: Lazenby
    7: Dalton

  12. Great article, Mr. Browne.

    I wrote a review of the movie and I think my viewpoint is indicative of my generation, so it might give you some perspective. I only gave it two out of five. (sorry)

    Anyway, if you can check it out, that’d be amazing.

  13. Unintelligible rush-cut scenes. Not a charming bond movie at all. Where is Jaws and Moore’s self-ironic eyebrow sense of humour. And the raunchiness!??

  14. Are you drunk?!
    Even better, were you drunk when you watched it? ‘Cause I’ve got to tell you, it wasn’t you shaking in the chair, it was the damn camera! I mean, what’s wrong with that director?! You can’t even see the action sceness… ooh and the chases, soooo many boring chases, at one point I was hoping for the bad guys to kill Bond and end my misery.

  15. Chase scenes are used to fill in space. The thing about chase scenes is that you don’t really need to come up with a reason for it, and you can make them as long as you need to get your film to its target length. Notice QOS was the shortest Bond film. If it didn’t have those chases, it would have been even shorter. Not enough content.

  16. OK. Perhaps my last comments were really a review of Casino not having seen QoS. Now I have seen it and there are so many problems with it I do not know where to begin. All the chases are herkey, jerky, shaky stuccato film clips. You can never really see what is going on. This is contrary to the taditional Bond flick replete with detail. And if Craig is gritty, moody, mean & vindictive one can still see a path by which he becomes a cooler if not cold uber-professional agent with a dry, sardonic sense of humor. This Bond clearly appeals to a feminine perspective that escapes me. I understood him not becoming ‘involved’ with the other women in the 2 flicks as having high standards and was at least relieved to see his response to Fields as, what we would term a normal orientation! (The women seem to love that Bond does NOT ‘hook up’ with the main girl in either film and broods ceaselessly like a forlorn Hamlet for his unrequited lover from Casino). Even the opening chase, usually one of the best, is almost visually incomprehensible. Car chase, rooftop chase, sewer chase, apartment knife fight chase, boat chase, plane chase, Chase-Morgan, certainly they all were purloined from the Bourne genre but somehow Bourne’s were more believable.

    The opening graphics were not as bad as I feared, but were definitely not 007 quality. Far too much of Craig shooting his Walther PPK .380; (don’t make me go into why that is a problem). We have grown accustomed to the sultry, sexual/sensual and awesome graphical intro to the Bond films. This one was not of the same caliber. Ditto on the theme song. It was not a good as past songs but I was fearing worse and it was actually passable relating somewhat to the general theme of the film. The barrel scene was placed at the end of the film. I prefer the beginning but in either case it should be presented with high quality graphics and punctuated with 007 theme song riffs. It was not.

    Lots of chases. Most are barely watchable. I actually liked the reference to the traditional 13th century Italian Palio horse race in which the riders can use their longer wooden canes to encourage their steeds or discourage their opponents; and the actual event was supposed to be occurring outside of the chase area.

    The knife fight was lame. How did the baddie die anyhow? Please tell me not with the little pair of cuticle scissors Bond had. And if the death blow was to the only wounded area shown, the left jugular, where did all the blood go as Bond let him ‘bleed out’. Not to worry the details because we are soon introduced to THE BOND GIRL. Well, a little anti-climatic because she is not quite as attractive as we are used to although she has very pretty lips. The rest of her seems strangely disproportionate for some reason. It’s also strange that she would return to the baddie who just tried to have her whacked. That has little probability for success for someone who we later learn is “Bolivian Secret Service”. Oh well, not to worry, we are off on another chase, this time with boats. It is perhaps the best done but for the last scene in which the grappling hook is somehow thrown onto the rubber speed boat and flips it from the front of Bond’s boat over the top to the rear…… can’t quite figure the physics out on that one. Not to worry, we’ve docked and Bond mysteriously hands the unconscious maiden who he has just rescued over to a dock attendant…what?

    Well were off to track this baddie and somehow reconnected with the GIRL in Bolivia where we eventually learn that the baddie, Mr. Greene of the evil Greene corporation in conjunction with the even eviler Quantum Criminal Consortium LLC has concocted a plot wreaking with the venom of true corporate greed, evil capitalism and nefarious financier-ship; to wit, steal all the fresh water in where? Why Bolivia of course and sell it back to them Bolivians at double the price! MUAHHAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh). We learn at a big party that times are tough in Bolivia because it is costing a weeks wages for an average Bolivian to buy a gallon of clean water! As I remember, the average Bolivian earns about $0.25 per day making the water cost about $1.75 a gallon; pretty much on par with market values in Cleveland. Perhaps this is not the best country for our get richer quicker scheme.

    No matter, we are off to the evil opera where the evil baddies are meeting to plan, well, evil. This is where we juxtapose a modernistic version of the Tosca operatic bloodshed whilst Bond dabbles in the real thing dispatching the body guards of the evil biggies who, now discovered & uncovered, are making a hasty retreat for the exits faster than attendees at an Al Gore speech.

    No matter, while in Bolivia we are matroned by the closest thing to a real Bond girl, agent Fields. Unfortunately we never really figure out what is beneath that trenchcoat although it appears that Bond does. Also unfortunately for Fields and us, she is quickly eliminated by the baddies in what can only be termed as a ‘crude’ theft of the Goldfinger modus operandi. I would have expected more of a mess but why waste camera time on the slickened Fields when you can spend it on bathroom scenes with….who else….M of course. Perhaps the most difficult what seemed to be15 minutes of the film (as if minutes were hours Mr. Spock) was watching M in her bathrobe apply & remove cold creme. The threat itself would have sent Mr. Greene permanently into pro bono philanthropy. Not finished with us yet, M draws her bath and the tension in the theater built noticeably as we all began to fear that we would be greeted with an au natural scene of her slipping out of the robe into the tub. Fortunately we were spared that experience (wait for the unedited version coming to DVD soon!). However, it just calls into question what fob with a mommy complex of some sort is calling the shots in these films.

    M continues to demonstrate why she should not be “M” vacillating from suspecting Bond to needing him back in 00 some 4-5 times during the movie. We did get a glimpse into the possible personality of M’s hubby when he meekly announced, “the calls for you dear on your private line”. Whatever.

    M may welcome Bond back with open arms or have him captured or killed, no matter, the BOND GIRL is rescuing Bond in her getaway car, a 1964 VW Beetle. I guess the Bolivian Secret Service does not get to roll like the 00′s in MI6. At least it was a 40HP!

    No matter. We are now off to a hotel in the middle of a high plains Bolivian desert. Time to charter a plane…no, not the little Beachcraft Bonanza that would actually be faster and more maneuverable. Choose the DC-3 with a load of cargo on board. Watch out though, you’ll get shot down by the Bolvian Air Force in a single engine Cessna. I guess the BAF doesn’t get to roll like the 00′s at MI6 either.

    No matter because they are both jumping out of that crate with the only parachute. Somehow everything turns out ok after wrestling for 10,000 feet with the BOND GIRL & parachute falling at 120 MPH because the chute opens 20 feet off of our LZ, a nice big soft slab of granite. BTW, the BOND GIRL walks for miles on granite stones in her bare feat…she’s a hearty lass.

    It’s off the hotel to find the baddies. The hotel, located in the high plains desert of Bolivia, is called the Plaza del Sol. It is completely self-sufficient and powered by…solar….no you idiot, hydrogen fuel cells. In fact, each room appears to have its own hydrogen fuel cell and its accompanying hydrogen supply tank. The maids must make your bed and refill your hydrogen tank when they replace the shampoo in the bath, I guess. Naturally the hotel, located in the high plains Bolivian desert is made substantially of steel & stone. Unfortunately, the steel & stone in Bolivia is not quite as durable as the steel & stone you and I have grown to love as we discover when Bond causes a baddie car to crash through a wall igniting a hydrogen tank. The rest of the hydrogen tanks ignite sequentially. Darn it, I hate when that happens, you just can’t get good hydrogen tanks anymore. Again, unfortunately, the Bolivian steel & stone burns more like paper mache. Bond battles the Greene baddie but aborts to rescue the BOND GIRL who is caught up in her own subplot vendetta too trite to be explained here. Mr. Greene escapes into the desert only to meet a cryptic fate induced by other unknown baddies and Bond’s 10W-40 payback for the treatment of luscious Agent Fields.

    You would be better off waiting for this to hit DVD. At least then you can slo-mo or replay the chase scenes making sense of them, spend more time with the slick Agent Fields and most importantly, FFW or skip over M’s bathroom escapades. You have been warned.

  17. well children, and i say that in the nicest possible way, i have to say that i starteed off with BOND in 1959 and with CASINO ROYALE, that was the first bond book i read, n i was hooked on the character, the gambling scenes in the books made my day from then on, well some of u may not know this but the most recent CASINO ROYALE film is the 3rd time that it has been dramatised, and and i m still disappointed in as a bond movie, if craig had been called smithy instead of bond i would of enjoyed it as a good yarn, but i dont see him as bond, and i as a bond fan , well i have to go and see 1 when they bring one out, sometimes i m disappointed, no big deal. SOLACE did nothing for me, and as for rating the players ,

    i got

    1. connery
    2. brosnan
    3. moore
    in that order
    and as fopr the bond girls
    well after USHI only one more came close to compete as an equal n both had the same scene HALLE
    i can name the other bond girls if i think about it, but these 2 i dont have to think to remember them!!

  18. All I have to say is… the parachute scene= dead bond…. honestly… and “Walking” out of a three story pile of rubble! at least climb down it…

  19. that is way off base, it does not hold true to typical bond movies. if you want an action film with a rushed storyline OR better yet one that is severely lacking then go watch a “Bourne” flick…
    when i “Step” into the world of James Bond i EXPECT cool gadgets and gizmos, pretty half nakked girls, cool cars and a
    shoot from the hip wittyness, NOT some crap about your run of the mill guy who sets out to…. im still trying to figure that out, revenge/duty/redemption/failure? anyways bond is and will ALWAYS be a secret agent that is cool under pressure has all the toys and a cold and calculating ladies man and killer and this hack of a film wont change that. yes it made money but for those who truly love films it was a failure on SOOOO many levels hated it so much that i had to call in 3 friends to give it the thumbs down it deserved… dont change a formula that has worked for years and that people have grown to love is the moral of this story.

  20. Unintelligible rush-cut scenes. Not a charming bond movie at all. Where is Jaws and Moore’s self-ironic eyebrow sense of humour. And the raunchiness!??

  21. Nice to see that someone else enjoyed this movie just as much as I did. I didn not think it was as good Casino Royale but I thought it did a GREAT job of picking up where the other one left off. I do agree that some of the stunts were pretty ridiculous, but I really enjoyed the continuiung story, Daniel Craigg’s portrayal of a conflicted James Bond, the story, and teh fact that they had the same sinister organization from the last film in this one. I thought that this movie delivered all that need to be delivered

  22. I just hope they get a good action movie director in for the next one so we don’t have someone trying to overcompensate for a lack of action movie experience by putting in an action scene every two minutes… I think this is one of the few times where the action just got old because you saw it so often and almost all of it was some kind of chase, whether by foot or by car, or by plane…

  23. To S the baddiew in the hotel room fight died from exsangiunation (bled out) not too hard when you get stabbed in the neck the hand the forearm and the femoral artery, you can see him stab him in the inner thigh with those manicure scissors and that giant pool of blood under him would be more than enough to make you pass out, Short story i was almost mugged and carjacked but the guy got a few puncture wounds with a bic pen, in the forearm and just under the clavical the cops found him 3 blocks away passed out from blood loss, i hit the radial artery so yeah a sharp pair of scissors is more than enough, I LOVED the sound of him getting brained with that laptop PRICELESS!!

  24. Casino Royale was a very good movie, but not really a James Bond movie. Even compared to the less gadgetry filled world of Dr. No, Craig looses a vital part of the Bond mystique, which I think there is wide agreement here.

    I mention Casino Royale, because when we see Craig and crew in a bad movie, it becomes really clear this is not James Bond but rather Jason Bourne movie. In fact, you could replace Bond with Bourne and I don’t think anyone would notice. Bond movies are supposed to have *grand* stunts, not just car chases and roof chases with falling tiles. Bond movies are supposed to have state of the art chases. Didn’t James Bond sort of invent – or at least bring to western consciousness – the jet ski and other extreme sports? And what about the famous tech gadgets? James Bond is basically defined by introducing the world to the spy camera, the GPS tracking device (OK, just radio controlled), and wrist watch lasers. But apparently now the Bond movies are content with providing ridiculous web content on wall sized glass screens.

    Connery’s best movie he says is ‘From Russia With Love’ – because it has both romance and action in it. That is why I thought Casino Royale was a good movie – it also was an action movie that turned on characters. But Quantum really didn’t add any character development that the other movie had. At the end, Bond becomes bitter – but he was bitter at the end of Casino Royale as well.

    The Bond franchise was ruined by it’s own success. As Rodger Moore grew older and older, the franchise sort of grew old and lazy along with him.
    The Timothy Dalton movies were supposed to create a new, grimmer Bond more like the original, without the fancy villains and gadgets. That failed. Sound familiar?