After the events in Italy that led to the death of Vesper and the capture of Mr. White, Bond evades pursuers in an attempt to take his hostage back to MI6. During the interrogation, commotion leads to the injury and escape of Mr. White and causes the MI6 team to realize that they have not even scratched the surface of the secret organization’s plans. After uncovering a clue to recapture the trail, Bond travels to Port au Prince and meets Camille Montes, who is targeted by her boyfriend for elimination. When Bond observes a meeting between ecologist chairman Dominic Greene and Bolivian general, Medrano, he chooses to follow Greene to Austria and attends a opera. During the performance, a series of covert conversations take place between individuals with ties to an organization entitled “Quantum” and Bond is able to both break it up and cause a gunfight to ensue. Between his more reckless behavior and high-profile activity, M chooses to revoke his agent status. With suspicions of Greene’s involvement in something more sinister, Bond reconnects with old friends (Rene Mathis and Felix Leiter) and new ones (Camille Montes) to uncover the plot that connects Greene to general Medrano in Bolivia.
Starring: Daniel Craig (James Bond), Olga Kurylenko (Camille), Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Green), Judi Dench (M), Giancario Giannini (Rene Mathis), Gemma Arterton (Strawberry Fields), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter), David Harbour (Gregg Beam), Jesper Christensen (Mr. White), Joaquin Cosio (General Medrano)
Returning to lead the way in this film is Daniel Craig, who is just as pensive and intense as ever. As his character dealt with more direct conflict with the bad guys in the first film, his reprise is focused on his status as a rouge and a wanted man. Acting off the grid, even with MI6, Craig is able to exhibit a slimmer of heartbreak that carried over from the loss of Vesper. Olga Kurylenko serves as the central Bond girl in this part of the story and has an excellent blend of fire, class and a slight damsel element. She does a great job with matching Craig’s rebel style with a little of her own. Judi Dench is always a pleasure as M, with her no nonsense command of MI6 and willingness to both give Bond slack on his action and hold him in line. Mathieu Amalric, as Dominic Greene, has an eerie blend of class and despicableness as a man whose business practices are hidden by a seemingly good willed ecological organization. Jeffrey Wright makes a reappearance as Felix Leiter, though his role is a bit reduced. Giancario Giannini also makes his reappearance and exit as Bond’s eccentric friend, Rene Mathis. Joaquin Cosio, as General Medrano, has a robust, domineering presence as a man who believes he is in control at all moments.
Though writer Neal Purvis continued through to this second film in the series, the director switch to Marc Foster kept a similar overall feel with a slight darker turn. Bond, in more of a reckless state after the loss of Vesper, was trying to continue the hunt for plot hidden by Le Chiffre and the still unknown “Quantum” organization. Though M had tolerated his negligence in the past, recognizing his abilities and his young status as a 00 agent, the growing number of dead informants had become too much to bare. In addition, the new villainous character, Greene, had moved forward with a plot to frame Bond to keep him out of the picture. Using petroleum as his murder weapon and disposing of Mathis, Greene had thrown off the authorities and MI6 to keep the security organizations off of the trail of his true intentions with the country of Bolivia.
The action in this film is definitely up to par with the first installment, but there was less of a consistency in the flow of the story. While Craig was able to provide hints of his masked anguish in his performance, the amount of uncertainty in the identity and purpose of Quantum makes the film seem a little more unfocused. The harsher Bond also eliminates the more suave personality that fans of the series have grown to appreciate, even with Craig’s harder edge. Still, the twists and turns in the story, as well as the uncertainty, set up the possibility for a strong third installment of this storyline in the Bond universe.
Quantum of Solace includes all of the action and suspense of previous Bond films but takes a harsher, darker edge with a Bond character less focused and running on anguish and anger. While still an enjoyable film and one that will not let down fans of the series, it does take a slight step backwards from the strongly performed and constructed Casino Royale.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5