Quantum of Solace

Ok, enough of ND Football for now, time for something new. This past weekend, I went out so see the 22nd James Bond Movie, Quantum of Solace so I thought I’d throw my two cents in on the movie. (Note: I will do my best to keep all spoilers to a minimum)

The basic premise of the movie is rather…bland…well, for a Bond movie at least. The main “villain” is an environmentalist, whom as Bond comes to find out is a part of a large organization known as Quantum. This environmentalist is looking to overthrow the current Bolivian government and help a Bolivian General rise as its new dictator (for a fee). Bond, of course, is trying to stop this.

However, that isn’t really the intent of the movie. Much like Casino Royale, we are still watching Bond develop from a rookie 00-agent into the James Bond we all currently know. Bond is still quite motivated by his want to avenge his love in Casino Royale, Vesper. Much like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the main focus is on character development.

The movie starts with a quick car chase scene and Bond opening the trunk to reveal Mr. White, the man he shot in the leg at the end of Casino Royale. From there Mr. White reveals he is working for a large organization (which we later learn is Quantum), and they have people everywhere — and we find out he is dead serious as an MI6 agent turns and fires on Bond and M, starting yet another chase scene.

The movie continues following that same formula for the most part: spill a bit of the story, have an action/chase scene, repeat. This makes the pace of movie far, far faster than Casino Royale. There is no doubt that this is indeed an action movie.

The formula, while predictable isn’t what makes the movie successful. You literally see the “old” Bond coming through as the film progresses. Daniel Craig was meant to stick out like a sore thump in Casino Royale — blond hair, bulky build, and far more human than we have ever seen him. In Quantum, Craig starts to blend in — his hair is dyed brown, he fires of many classic Bond one-liners, and develops into a much more smooth and calm individual. Throughout both Casino Royale and Quantum, Bond appears more like Jason Bourne — more like an assassin. At the conclusion though, he begins to act much more like an actual secret agent than assassin.

Bond also starts to develop the much more familiar emotional detachment. I can’t really dive too deep into this without spoiling some major scenes and the ending. But believe me when I say that Bond’s prediction in Casino Royale comes true when he says if he continues being a 00-agent “there won’t be much humanity left in [him].”

It should also be noted that this movie is most definitely a bridge between Casino Royale and the future 23rd Bond movie. As far as the Quantum group goes, don’t expect much closure — in fact, some of the negative reviews that I’ve read and heard have highlighted this. Bond has always been episodic and not followed a continuing storyline so this is a radical departure. Keep in mind, this movie is much more about Bond’s character development rather than the villains he fights and the gadgets he uses. It isn’t a stereotypical “Bond Movie”, but it is definitely the right direction for the series. Previous stories were becoming way too far fetched almost to the point of parodying themselves; in fact, it is no surprise that the Austin Powers trilogy happened to come out during this time as Bond was making it far too easy.

The movie is definitely worth the price of admission and I’d highly recommend it. If you aren’t a fan of Bond to begin with, I would give this movie a shot if you liked The Bourne Identity or Batman Begins.

Final Grade: A-