Quantum of Solace
(2008, Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Dir. Marc Forster)
Though I'm not much of a Bond fan overall, as I haven't seen most of them, I am a big fan of Casino Royale
. So I was looking forward to its follow-up, Quantum of Solace
. However, leading up to and after its initial released, I had heard mostly a negative or meh vibe, critically and from RT'ers. So I thought I would wait and get it on DVD, but my cousins and siblings wanted to see it in the theater, and my bid for Australia
was in vain. Well, I'm glad that I was overruled, because in the end, I found it quite enjoyable.
It took me a little to get into the film though. I did not like the in medias res
car chase in the beginning. I seriously wondered for the first thirty seconds if it was a Bond-themed car commercial. Similarly, I was underwhelmed by the foot chase, hand-to-hand fight, and boat chase that form the next action sequences. I did like the meeting of Bond and Camille (Kurylenko) and Craig's delivery of the line, "It looks like someone is trying to kill you."
Then suddenly, out of this lackluster beginning, comes this brilliant scene in an opera house, where scenes from the opera Tosca
are intercut with Bond's espionage and a subsequent gunfight. I loved
this scene and would almost be willing to go to the theater just to watch this scene again. It is certainly the highlight of the film.
From this scene on, the film seemed stronger. There's one scene where Bond gives his own guys the slip (he is suspected of going rogue), and he smoothly leaps over a railing to walk along the outside of it and get out of the hotel and I preferred just that simple, graceful, demonstration of agility and environmental awareness over any of the film's first few action scenes.
Daniel Craig remains magnetic in his role as James Bond, and for me, forms the main attraction of the film. M (Judi Dench) gets to deliver some of the best quips of the screenplay. Olga Kurylenko was a great Bond girl - her Camille was just about equal to Bond in sheer steeliness.
Also, before Quantum of Solace
, I'm not sure I had encountered a Canadian spy in a movie before. She has a very brief part, but her quiet "thank you" as she leaves the scene was a really nice touch.
Everyone else in the group seemed to enjoy it, with some unique praises and nitpicks of their own. Someone commented that they liked how things weren't too easy - that someone could look out the wrong side of the plane for danger, or that the name of a person of interest would be not the only person with that name in the intelligence database. Several others found that the secondary villain's assault on an unnamed woman near the end was included just to secure his villainy, and that was really quite unnecessary.
All in all, I found it lesser than Casino Royale
, but not so much that I would disparage it for that fact.