Countdown to Skyfall: Quantum of Solace (2008)

Countdown to Skyfall: Quantum of Solace (2008)

QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)

BOND: Daniel Craig

DIRECTOR: Marc Forster (Finding Neverland)

BOND GIRL(S): Olga Kurylenko (Camille); Gemma Arterton (Strawberry Fields)

COOL GADGETS: None, really.

THEME SONG: "Another Way to Die," sung by Jack White & Alicia Keys.  It's a toss-up for me whether this or "A View to a Kill" is my favorite Bond song.  Tough call, but this one rocks.

IMDB PLOT SUMMARY: Seeking revenge for the death of his love, secret agent James Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's valuable resource.

ICONIC MOMENTS: The fight sequence between Bond and an MI6 turncoat while tied up by ropes and dangling in mid-air.

FUN FACTS: Craig has said in interviews that the production on Quantum was severely hampered by the Writer's Strike of '07-'08.  They didn't have a finished script by the time production began, and Craig and director Forster were writing and coming up with scenes on the fly.

VERDICT: It shows.  Considering how good the script was for Casino Royale, this one is a huge letdown.  It's good enough for about an hour, I guess.  I actually like the kinetic vibe that Forster brings to the action sequences.  He's got a good, if derivative, eye for this sort of thing.  Quantum, more so than Casino Royale, feels like it its trying to mimic the Bourne movies.  The pace is pretty fast and furious in that first hour, and I appreciated the attempt to make more of a direct sequel to the last film, something no other Bond movie has done.  But I don't know if it's the lack of a finished script, the absence of a compelling villain, or what, but I've seen this movie 3 times now and, each time, I lose interest and tune out around the 70 minute mark.  This is one of the shortest Bond films, if not the shortest, but it's rather joyless and the ending is a complete mess.  Craig kind of gets lost in the shuffle here.  His Bond doesn't really get any character development or interesting moments.  He just runs, shoots, and listens to bad guys spout expositional plot points.  Both Bond girls are vacuous and unmemorable.  Casino Royale may have built up a lot of goodwill in audiences, but Quantum nearly squanders it all.  Perhaps the MGM bankruptcy and the four-year delay between Quantum and Skyfall will prove to be a good thing.

GRADE: C+

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