QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Directed by Marc Forster
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Screenplay by Joshua Zetumer, Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
Based on characters and a story written by Ian Fleming
I come by my love of James Bond movies honestly. My dad took me to see “Diamonds Are Forever” in the theaters way back in 1971. And since then I’ve seen every James Bond movie first in the theaters. Day One. I’m there. Because James Bond is something I’ve grown up with. I even stuck with the character through the dismal Roger Moore years. I have all the Ian Fleming books and read them so many times I’ve had to buy new copies regularly since pages fell out of the previous ones. And I own, read and enjoyed many of the ones written by other writers after Mr. Fleming passed away. So I feel qualified to say that QUANTUM OF SOLACE is probably the most boring James Bond movie I’ve ever seen. I actually had to see it twice because I fell asleep during the first time I saw it.
Yeah, you read that right. I feel asleep during a JAMES BOND movie. I didn’t even fall asleep during “A View To A Kill” which until I saw QUANTUM OF SOLACE I considered the worst James Bond movie ever made. I talked to my “Better In The Dark” co-host Thomas Deja and amazingly we found that we both fell asleep during the same sequence; the plane chase.
Okay, let’s get into the plot…such as it is…
Here it is in a nutshell: the movie takes place 20 minutes after the end of CASINO ROYALE with James Bond (Daniel Craig) finding out that a mysterious worldwide conspiracy called Quantum was behind the death of the great love of his life, Vesper Lynd. Bond then goes after Quantum’s front man, Dominic Greene (Mathieu Almaric) an ‘eco-friendly’ businessman who has something to do with trying to overthrow a Middle Eastern government so that he can get the water rights to that country. I think. I’m not sure. Dominic Greene is the blandest Bond villain of any movie and I was never sure of what he wanted or even why. The Bond girls in this movie are equally boring and bland except for Gemma Arteton as Strawberry Fields. She was cool and spiced up the scenes she was in. She was the only person in QUANTUM OF SOLACE to actually be aware that she was in James Bond Movie and act accordingly.
Okay, let me get to the heart of this review so that I don’t waste your time and mine: I didn’t like QUANTUM OF SOLACE. I could not believe that they got it so right with “Casino Royale” but got it so wrong here. I got so tired of the scenes between such good actors as Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig trying to put new spins on the same tired lines: “Can I trust you?” Jeez, M… either you trust him or not. Do we really have to sit through ten minutes of you taking off your makeup while you ask him that? Daniel Craig himself looks as if he’s lost here. I don’t know who he’s playing here but it’s not James Bond. In “Casino Royale” we saw glimpses and hints of the character we would later see in the Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and even the brief two Timothy Dalton movies. And I got it. In “Casino Royale” we were watching an ‘origin’ story and seeing James Bond grow into the super agent we know and love. But in QUANTUM OF SOLACE…I didn’t understand anything that was going on. James Bond goes from Italy to London to Spain to whatever and I never understood why. And to be totally honest here, as an organization QUANTUM is so inept they make KAOS look good. When you have your number one guy kill everybody in the room except the head of The British Secret Service I have to wonder at the quality of your agents. Given what I saw in this movie, I could take over QUANTUM in a month.
What else is wrong with this movie? The inept direction of Marc Forster who front loaded all his major action scenes in the first hour of the movie so that we have absolutely no action scenes in the last hour and 40 minutes. The truly lousy theme song by Jack White and Alicia Keyes. It’s a song where we can’t tell who is singing what lyrics. We’re left with nothing with some really boring dialog. We got M and Bond doing their “Can I trust you” routine two or three times. And Dominic Greene talking to everybody else except Bond. I do like Daniel Craig as Bond. I do believe he has a career as 007. He proved that with “Casino Royale”. But he got it up the grainy hole here with this one. There’s no story here. No plot. Nothing that distinguishes this as a James Bond movie. I don’t like it. I don’t recommend it and it’s only a movie that should be seen by die hard James Bond fans.
So should you see QUANTUM OF SOLACE? If you’re a James Bond fan like me then you’ve probably seen it. Hey, I’ve seen it twice and I don't like it. But if you haven’t seen it and you're not a long time James Bond fan then don't bother.