Quantum of Solace (2008)

It had been quite some time since I watched this movie, and I completely forgot that it was so closely tied to the previous movie, Casino Royale. I mean, yes, I knew that it had Daniel Craig as Bond again, and he was still doing interesting things with a Walther PPK and an attitude, but I didn't realize that they storylines were so closely woven together. I mean, we have Bond still pining over his lost love, and M still dealing with the fallout from killing the big bad guy. This is as direct a sequel as you can get.

So our Bond villain in this movie has no physical deformity. It's true! Mathieu Amalric is a small man, and he comes across as a kind of startled chipmunk most of the time, but he doesn't have a scar on his face, a streak of white hair going across his burned head, or even a facial tattoo. Instead, he is given the ironic last name of "Green" and the outward appearance of a man heading a philanthropic endeavor to ensure that everyone in the world gets drinking water. It's interesting that his group has become so large and wealthy, but no one ever questions what they are buying and why. An evil fortress? Stop guessing, you'll spoil it!

We get like two and a half Bond girls in this movie. Gemma Arterton is an agent whose job is simply to make sure that Bond gets on a plane and flies back to the UK after he violated orders. Needless to say, he romances the pretty redhead and she can then be used against him as leverage or as a threat. We also get a very brief glimpse of Stana Katic, who plays some intelligence agent playing a source. I think she gets three lines, and her dress seems to be frontless rather than backless, but it covers enough to not get the censors upset. Finally, we get Olga Kurylenko. She's the tough, no-nonsense do-it-yourselfer who Bond has to rescue time and time again.

Poor Judi Dench and the gang have to deal with paperwork and investigations and keeping the oversight groups at bay while seemingly working with and against Bond at every possible opportunity. Bond basically doesn't listen to anyone, so they have to treat him like a pariah, but Judi actually trusts him, so she also wants to let him get away with whatever he can do while she maintains plausible deniability.

Yup, he's a bad ass.
As you may have guessed, the plot is a bit more convoluted than the last movie, but it makes the movie more interesting. The plot points are opportunities for action and exotic locales, so this movie gets the full Bond treatment in that respect. Rather than simply showing up and having stuff happen inside Bond's brain (like figuring out what someone's tell is in a card game) we get treated to actual investigation and clues aplenty along the way.

Direction was very good
Action was very good
Cinematography was excellent
Acting was very good
Dialog was good

Bottom Line: Another Bond movie, and this batch appears to be highlighting only the best of what Bond has to offer.



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