James Bond is back! And this time, he’s walking through the desert in a suit. Aroused? You bet we are!
Quantum of Solace, or as I call it, QoS (I really don’t), picks up an hour after Casino Royale left off. Bond’s got Mr. White locked in the trunk, or boot, as the Brits say, of his car. Uponst interrogation, White reveals that his organization, Quantum, which was responsible for blackmailing Vesper Lynd in the last movie, has people everywhere and is much more dangerous than anyone had imagined. He’s proven right a moment later when one of M’s personal bodyguards attacks both M and Bond, as White makes his escape. Intelligence on the agent takes Bond to Haiti, and puts him on the trail of a ruthless businessman and one of Quantum’s major players.
I’ll admit that, aside from these last two, I’ve only seen four or five Bond flicks, and while it’s possible that I’m horribly unqualified to pass judgment, I feel completely confident in saying that Daniel Craig is the BEST. BOND. EVAR. Seriously. See you later George Lazenby. Take a hike Pierce Brosnan. Craig’s work so far has been fantastic. He’s brash and arrogant, and at the same time substantive and, you know, believable. It also hasn’t hurt that the filmmakers turned the character into a British Jason Bourne. So, I <3 Daniel Craig. Of course, he’s only as good as his costars (or is he?). Olga Kurylenko doesn’t light my fire like Eva Greene, but she and Craig have a lot of chemistry and work very well together. Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini and Mathieu Amalric round out an impressive cast.
In spite of all this, Quantum didn’t quite live up to its predecessor. I felt like there was a big chunk of this movie that was moving back toward that sort-of-ridiculous, over the top James Bond we had come to expect before Royale was released. This wasn’t because Bond was driving around in a rocket-powered Audi that could travel through time, but because this movie had more than its fair share of crazy car chases, fight scenes and snarky Bond rejoinders, all at the cost of story and plot.
What I really liked about Casino Royale was that it felt like they were taking James Bond, who had really turned into a caricature of himself, and were turning him into a real, fleshed out character. There was the British spy who looked good and banged anything that walked on two legs, but we saw that there were reasons for his shameless womanizing and for how closed-off he really was. This movie has a LONG way to go to match the ridiculousness of some of the previous films, but the filmmakers are going to need to be careful and reel it in for the next one (coming in 2011!). If I were them, I’d also be careful not to overload the movie’s plot. After a while, all those names and exotic locales start to blend in to each other.
I’ve heard that Craig is signed up for as many as five films, and I hope he does every single one of them, as he’s probably the best thing to happen to the franchise since Sean Connery. I give this one a solid B+. If you don’t count yourself amongst the Twilight crowd, and I seriously pray that you don’t, get down to the multiplex and check this one out in all its high-definition, dolby digital glory.