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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Quantum of Solace (2008)


Hey, I don’t blame Bond. I’d be pretty pissed if Eva Green was taken away from me.

Returning once again, James Bond (Daniel Craig) battles wealthy businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a member of the Quantum organisation, posing as an environmentalist who intends to stage a coup d’état in Bolivia to seize control of the nation’s water supply. Bond seeks revenge for the death of his lover, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), and is assisted by Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), who is seeking revenge for the murder of her family.

After falling in love with Casino Royale right from the first-shot on, I realized that the only way to keep this “new” Bond series going-strong, would be to up the ante a bit and give us some more action, more intensity, and most of all, more of Bond just being cool. That last one isn’t really hard to do, but the first two can sometimes be pulled-off well and other times, cannot. Sadly, I think director Marc Forster took this idea of “more, more, more”, and decided to just go to town with it and that’s where I think the film/”new” series takes it’s sudden-dip.

See, what makes Bond so cool is that the guy is able to do all of this crazy, violent crap that definitely makes you go “Ouch!”, but is also able to pull off some sly and witty stuff like faking people out, getting in between buildings without being seen, and just being the ultra-sneaky spy we all know and love him to be. However, all of that violent crap starts to take over the film and as fun as it may be to watch, you can’t have a Bond flick with over 15 minutes of non-stop action, already happening in the first 30 minutes of the actual-movie. That makes it seem more like an action-thriller that is more about being thrilling, rather than being a Bond flick and as weird as that may sound, yes, they are both two different types of films in their own right and I think it comes off more as Bourne movie.

A lot of people complained that the last one felt a bit too much like a Bourne movie with all of the non-stop shaky-cam work, crazy stunt-work used, and high-flying, action set-pieces, and sort of getting rid of the old-school, classy-way that Bond usually does his line of business. However, as much as I agree with that statement, I can definitely say that some of that is true because it is a very gritty, actiony thrill-ride that delivers more action than it deserves class, but at least it had the classic, Bond class. This film, somehow, doesn’t even seem to really have that. It goes on and on and on with Bond killing almost every single person that walks into his way, without him ever getting a chance to ask question them or interrogate them in any way possible, and to top that off, the story makes no sense despite picking right up 5 minutes after the first-one ended.

In a case like this, I think it’s easy to blame the writers, the producers, and the companies who were behind this movie, but I think the one to really blame is Foster of all people. For people who don’t know who the hell Marc Forster is, well, let’s just say that he’s a guy that’s most known for directing character-based dramas like Stranger than Fiction, Monster’s Ball, and the Kite Runner, among others. To be honest, the only type of action that happens in any of those movies is when Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton decide to get down and dirty, late one night, so why the hell would they decide to give this guy a Bond movie that’s all about guns, cars, violence, girls, and Bond? Seriously, it’s not like the guy does a terrible job or anything, it’s just that it’s pretty obvious that the guy brings nothing new to the table in terms of action or story-development, and instead, has this movie come off like a failed-attempt at trying to create a Bond spin-off for a far, far away future. It’s no surprise that this guy’s screwing up World War Z now, because he sure as hell came close to screwing this one up, big-time.

But as much as I may get on Forster’s case, and this movie’s case, I can’t lie anymore because I really did have a fun time with this flick and all of it’s action. Some of the set-pieces are a bit unbelievable and ridiculous, but you know what? So were some of the ones in Casino Royale and that’s what sort of made me love that movie even more, so I can’t really get on this film for all of that crap either. At the end of the day, it’s still a James Bond movie that definitely features plenty of thrills worthy of seeing and worthy of being in a Bond movie, and even though they sure as hell aren’t as memorable as Bond playing poker, they sure as hell keep your attention on the screen for as long as it can.

And come to think of it, as much as this film may not be worthy of his skills, Daniel Craig still kicks plenty of ass as Bond and shows us exactly why he was chosen for this role in the first-place. Craig, no matter what all the haters may say, just has this dirty and tough look to him that makes you scared for the baddies that go up against him in brawls, but also has this charming and swift look that makes you feel like he is the coolest guy in the room, and definitely the type of guy you would go up to and try to conversate with, but no words would come out because he is simply that cool and intimidating. Maybe I put too much thought into this guy’s look and role, but I don’t care, because Craig is awesome.

Olga Kurylenko plays his “Bond girl” and is alright for the most part, even though she really has nothing to work with here other than a forced, sympathetic-route her character takes. I just want to know why the hell Craig doesn’t bone her, instead, goes off to bone Gemma Arterton as some red-headed, secret-spy that shows up for 5 minutes, gets laid, and is practically gone from the rest of the movie after that. I mean you put them side-by-side, Olga definitely takes the cake and it’s a shock to me that Bond would make a silly-mistake like this. Once again, gotta blame it on Forster. That guy should know Bond, and Bond’s taste in women. Damn you!

Matthieu Amalric plays Greene, the typical Bond-villain that we need in these movies to make it work and although he does what he can, the character is too thinly-written. It’s a good thing that Greene isn’t your typical Bond-villain, where all he does is twirl his mustache and hat and make huge, unbelievable promises of destroying the world around him, however, I felt like we sort of needed that in order to hate this guy even more and actually feel scared for Bond. Yeah, Greene does do some bad things, but never to the point of where I felt like Bond needed him to kill him right-away, or else all hope was lost. Also, the guy was a bit of a softy and I even think M could have kicked his ass, just as much as Bond could have.

Consensus: Quantum of Solace is definitely fun, entertaining, and a relatively mediocre addition to the Bond series, but still feels like it should have been so much more, instead of just settling for typical, action-thriller conventions, two-dimensional characters, and choices that seem to come from a place that isn’t all about Bond, and more about making a lot of money and making it quick. Hey Hollywood, news flash for ‘ya: It’s a James Bond movie, therefore, it’s already going to make a shit-load of moolah at the box-office. Now shut up, and let James get back to work!

7/10=Rental!!

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17 responses to “Quantum of Solace (2008)

  1. Mark Hobin November 8, 2012 at 6:08 am

    You’re being incredibly generous giving this a 7. Where are the gadgets, girls and quick witted quips? This Bond is angry and humorless. Some impressive stunts, but the camera is shaking so much and the jump-cut editing is so haphazard it’s difficult to tell what’s happening. Even the theme is forgettable. A huge step back from Casino Royale.

  2. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop November 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Enjoyed your write-up Dan. My biggest problem with this is that I can barely remember a single thing about it. I have a couple of faint memories of the action scenes but that’s about it, it’s just not very memorable. Both Casino Royale and Skyfall left me wanting to watch them again but this just left me a little cold.

    • CMrok93 November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      I saw it a couple of years back and remembered bits and pieces, but that was about it. This one definitely does not have what it takes to be the memorable Bond film we all love and cherish.

  3. Identity Crisis (@ICrisisUK) November 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I only watched this recently too and after complaining about its kinetic pace and general lack of logic, someone told me that it was pretty much written as they went along by Forster and Craig, as it was filmed during the writers strike. That at least makes it a bit more understandable, if not excusable.

  4. ckckred November 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    This is one of the most disappointing Bond films, especially compared to Casino Royale. I actually can’t remember anything about it except that Bond seeks revenge. Nice review.

  5. Hypersonic55 November 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I thought this film was alright, but when you compare it to Casino Royale and the other Bond films that came before it, this film is really disappointing. I watched it opening weekend back in 2008 and remember being very disappointed. And to be honest I hadn’t watched this film since I saw it back then, it was only when I re-watched both this and Casino Royale in preparation for Skyfall that I had to revisit QoS and the end result is still the same, still disappointing.

    • CMrok93 November 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I saw it on opening week too and was a bit bummed as well. However, it wasn’t terrible like I once imagined, just nothing all that special either. Rather dull, really.

  6. Jordan Rath November 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I honestly cannot fathom why this movie gets so much hate. Sure, when you place it side by side with Casino Royale, it’s disappointing. But in the grand Bond spectrum? It’s really not bad. And as an action movie, it is superb in my opinion.

    It seems like people just got so butthurt that it wasn’t another Casino Royale so they crucify this movie.

    Oh well, at least I still enjoy it. It’s a hell of a lot better than Die Another Day that’s for sure.

  7. cinematador November 9, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Nice review. Big fan of Casino, so I agree that Quantum was a bit of a let down in terms of story. Action was sick though. Looking forward to Skyfall!

  8. Derrick Grossnickle November 13, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now ;)

  9. lukebbtt May 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    The writers strike happened while making this film, so Forster was dealing with half a deck of cards while making this movie. I admit it isn’t the standard we expect from a Bond, but it’s not as bad as people have been making it out to be.

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