Quantum of Solace
Director: Marc Forster
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Sequel to: Casino Royale
Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Gemma Arterton, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Jesper Christensen, David Harbour, Rory Kinnear, [and for about 5 seconds Stana Katic]
[Here’s my first review.]
Set directly after the events in Casino Royale, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is out for revenge and to understand exactly what happened with Vesper. To that end he kidnaps Mr White (Jesper Christensen) and he and M (Judi Dench) interrogate him. But before White can reveal much more than that he is working for a mysterious organisation, things go south. In the end Bond is left only with one lead that brings him to seemingly squeaky-clean environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). But things are far from being clean.
Watching Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back just makes one thing even clearer: Quantum of Solace really and definitely and fully sucks.
The movie just has way too much action and way too little plot or characters. I’m not a huge fan of chase scenes in general, but what Marc Forster does here is frankly ridiculous. Within the first 70 minutes of Quantum of Solace he has a chase scene each on foot, by car, boat and plane. And that kind of overdoing it, without regard to whether it fits the film or the story at that moment is quite symptomatic for this film.
And it still irks me beyond belief how they treat Camille (Olga Kurylenko). Right after her big moment of revenge they take away all her competence and agency and reduce her to a child who needs saving from Bond. That is especially grating because up until then Bond completely respected her, her strength and her mission. And then they take it away just like that, going so far as having Camille ask for Bond’s advice on how to live her life. Because he is in so much fucking control of his own?!
I’m also not sold on Amalric as the bad guy. I just thought that he had way too little charisma for the role, especially when compared to Mads Mikkelsen. And I hated how they threw away Gemma Arterton. Who is amazing when you let her do something apart from being a victim.
At least Judi Dench was still great. And I still like Daniel Craig as Bond (even if he doesn’t undress enough in this film). And at least the plot managed to connect well to that of Casino Royale, even if it did leave quite a mess of things. In any case, Quantum of Solace isn’t entirely bad. But it just isn’t great.
Summarising: disappointing, even the second time around – I didn’t remember it being that sucky.