In the vast cosmos of James Bond movies, Quantum of Solace seems to be the undiscovered planet — the one that’s misjudged, often neglected, and treated like a stepchild of the franchise. Yet, like a hidden treasure, there’s something to be found beneath its surface.
In 2008, Daniel Craig, fresh off his astounding debut as 007 in Casino Royale, graced the silver screen once more with a sequel that left many viewers shaken, not stirred. Quantum of Solace, a direct continuation of its predecessor, was a risk for the franchise, exploring a more character-driven narrative in a series typically known for action-packed mayhem.
Rewind to 1969, when George Lazenby gave us a more vulnerable Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, only for audiences to be wooed back by Sean Connery‘s familiar charm in Diamonds Are Forever. The parallels between these two sets of films are as clear as a well-polished martini glass.
Quantum of Solace is no Diamonds Are Forever, though. This film digs deeper, presenting an emotionally charged story helmed by Marc Forster, the cinematic maestro behind The Kite Runner and World War Z.
Quantum of Solace – A Great Movie with an Energising Cast
The story begins with Bond on the hunt for vengeance after Vesper’s (Eva Green) death. It’s a high octane start as Bond is chased in the Aston Martin DBS V12 with Mr White (Jesper Christenson) in the boot.
Things quickly unravel into a thrilling, multilayered spy adventure as Bond finds himself trailing behind the sinister “Quantum” organization. He joins forces with Bolivian agent Camille Montes (played by Olga Kurylenko) to take down the impressive villain Dominic Greene (played by Mathieu Amalric), and their story is reflected in each other’s.
The rest of the cast is impressive and is made up with our favorite CIA sidekick, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), returns and his stroy with his shady boss Gregg Beam (played by David Harbour) adds some intrigue into the plot. Giancarlo Giannini returns as René Mathis, who we learn isn’t a traitor after all.
Judi Dench is back as M and she’s as powerful as ever, and then there’s Agent Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton) who plays a small but excellent part in the movie. Starting as a straight-laced agent, Agent Fields is quickly seduced by Bond’s carefree attitude, and they end up in bed in a fast turnaround even for Bond standards. Her death even resembles that of Jill Masterson’s classic gold painted death in Goldfinger.
Quantum of Solace is Much Better than
Quantum of Solace, the shortest of the Craig Bonds at a crisp 106 minutes, starts fast paced and is pretty much throughout, non stop. Its unpretentious nature, coupled with a lack of puns, one-liners, and gadgets, gives it an intimate, almost cozy feel within the Bond universe.
The film scores a pretty low 64% on the tomatometer and even worse 58% audience score on the Rotten Tomatoes review site, but seriously what do all those people not see? Quantum of Solace is actually a very good film.
The film is a genuine exploration of loneliness and revenge, as Bond and Camille seek solace in their respective quests. It’s a stripped-down, heartfelt spy movie that puts the agents out in the cold, both figuratively and emotionally.
Though Skyfall would ultimately pivot toward nostalgia and callbacks, Quantum of Solace deserves another watch as a unique, poignant installment in the Bond saga. The success of the Daniel Craig era is up for debate, but it might have been richer if we’d been treated to just one more film in this bold, daring style.