Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Quantum of Solace does what no other Bond movie has done so far. It’s plot takes off practically immediately after the ending of the last movies, Casino Royale. Such continuity of story line has never been done but it works well with the Daniel Craig version of Bond as he continues with his grittier portrayal of the super agent, fueled with a desire to find out more of who was actually behind the baddies in the earlier movie. In particular, to find some sort of closure and revenge on the death of his love interest, Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.

The picture opens explosively enough with an edge of the seat car chase in the winding mountainous roads in Italy. Then, almost barely taking a breather, we witness M narrowly escape being killed, before Bond engage in another death defying chase in the scenic streets and buildings of Sienna. All this in the midst of their annual medieval style horse race event offering a strangely ethereal beauty amidst the violent chase. This sort of sets the tone for the whole movie. The action sequences are relentless and perhaps that’s the problem. There wasn’t enough of the quieter moments for the audience to digest what was going on before the next mayhem happened. Characters appear and disappear in quick succession. Amazingly however, there was still time to have Bond bed with the female leads. The opening action sequences were also probably the film’s better choreographed ones making it seem like perhaps the film’s action meter peaked too early.

The two main female leads are played by Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields, an unfortunate British agent who had a brief appearance, and Olga Kurylenko as Camille, a tough mercenary out of revenge against the same foe as Bond. These two characters were poorly developed and hence, have little impact to the story whatever happens to them. The villain of the piece, Dominic Greene (played by Mathieu Amalric) is also not a very colourful and memorable villain. So what we have here is a lack of interesting characters and a cohesive plot to stick all the bombastic action sequences together.

While Quantum of Solace continues the high standards set by Casino Royale in its excellent technical department especially in the meticulous details given in the action sequences, director Marc Forster failed to maintain the same level of human connections that his counterpart Martin Campbell did so very well in Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace is by no means a bad movie. It is just that the new James Bond in the form of Daniel Craig has elevated the franchise to a higher level of expectations from its more sophisticated audience. Craig’s performance here further seals his fate to becomes what is to me, the best Bond in the series.

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