REVIEW - The Quantum of Solace

The Quantum of Solace (2008): Review

C Grade
LAURIE’S GRADE

QUANTUM noun –  /ˈkwɒntəm/
A discrete quantity of energy…

proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.

or
A required or allowed amount, especially an amount of money legally payable in damages.

So then, one of those… of Solace. Make sense to you? …No? Oh well.

James Bond returns as Daniel Craig – or should that be the other way around – this time pursuing the shady crooks encountered at Casino Royale’s denouement.

Revenge seems to be a dish best served lukewarm, as Bond’s quest for the killers of his ‘beloved’ Vesper Lynd lacks passion and direction, meandering through a variety of set pieces without much of a payoff.

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Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric, in a fair turn given the material) is a greasy bad guy masquerading as a philanthropist, after some Bolivian land for some sort of reason. British & American governments are playing the my enemy’s enemy is my friend game and don’t want to go near his shifty dealings. Bond, of course, has other ideas, especially if it’ll get him closer to the mysterious criminal network pulling the strings.

It is hard to say why people do what they do, why they go where they go, or why anyone in the audience should care about any of it! Poor action sequences with quick, shaky cuts round out the problems, with a particularly disappointing canyon airplane chase at the bottom of the barrel.

Despite the above, Craig remains a satisfyingly steely eyed, craggy rock of a Bond, even with a script and supporting plot that don’t give him much to look cool-headed about. Olga Kurylenko shows glimpses of class, but is never given enough to work with.

Coming in the midst of the writers’ strike, the disjointed nature of the story and uneven weighting of the production aren’t a huge surprise, and it’s tempting to forgive the movie for coming up short. At the very least, it kept the James Bond ball rolling in time for Skyfall (marginally better).

You can’t help feeling Craig was dealt a less than fair hand in his Bond tenure; who knows where his 007 could have headed without strikes & budget problems marring life behind the scenes.

For my money, neither Skyfall nor Spectre were vast improvements, and it’s all about the next instalment. Time for a big change; Jane Bond perhaps?

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