Having missed out on Casino Royale, I was looking forward to watch Quantum of Solace despite the fact that I am not a fan of Bond films. However, that night my friend and I were seeking what every Bond film is about: absurdely ridiculous story with a cast of wonderful women topped with expensive cars being shredded and tons of humor and gizmos.
Sadly we were disappointed.
From the animated intro to the film I knew this wasn’t a normal addition to the series. The festive, colorful animations have been replaced by a an almost literal visual translation of the words Quantum and Solace. The oddly blue hues and purples already depressed most of the audience – and with sexy female figures not prominently featured, the male audience was disappointed.
Things turn to the better though when the film begins with an awesome, adrenaline-infused car chase. The incomprehensible story surfaces almost immediately, as I recognized from the get-go that this was a direct continuation from Casino Royale. Not that it really mattered to me personally – Bond films didn’t put much attention on story anyway.
Sadly, I was proved a tad wrong.
Quantum of Solace tries hard – for a Bond film – to focus its story on emotions. It really weakened the film in my opinion since you’re not expected to put in brain effort while watching such a movie. Not that the story was heavy in any way, but there were story elements that were carried from the previous movie. Moneypenny’s role as a moral advisor to Bond’s bewildered state of mind from whatever happened in the previous movie made me feel like I was forced to care about the characters.
Problem is, the cast is poorly developed. With the exception of Bond and Mon, the rest of the crew’s performance ranged from abysmal to mediocre. Camille’s – the Bond Girl here – story is a typical cliche you cannot care less about. The movie takes itself too seriously but it’s doing so by a weak, underdeveloped (and overly used) storyline while maintaining a gritty look and atmosphere. The storyline got overly burdened when it felt like a lecture about the current global issues – from water supply to Africa to oil. It’s tedious to squeeze all this into a two hour flick.
On the bright side of things, Daniel Craig’s portrait of Bond and Judi Dench’s of M is superb. They fit the roles naturally and even when everyone else was trying hard to be serious, they delivered a solid dramatic performance when needed. The movie’s pastel color tones and subdued hues added to the grittiness in a good way, and in fact made the film seem more “classy”. Whatever action sequences were there were choreographed well, despite some “crazy camera” issues at times when the producer tried to convey a sense of action by throwing you mind-boggling amount of scenes per second.
Overall, while I think it is a good thing if a Bond film is a film you would want to care about, the lack of (or little of) trademark Bond aspects made this film less like Bond and more like a Borne flick gone awry.
Whether that means anything it’s up to you.