Quantum of Solace
Great action set pieces
A sullen Bond is a bit of a downer.
There is typically very little continuity among the Bond films. Sure, there are returning characters but they rarely acknowledge anything that has come before. While there have been some minor exceptions, Quantum of Solace is really the first Bond film to tackle the character within a continuity involving the previous film
Quantum of Solace, the 22nd official Bond entry, finds Bond, again played by the stoic Daniel Craig, still reeling from the death of Vesper in the previous film Casino Royale. Whereas in Casino we get to see glimpses of Bond as a whole, emotional person, here Bond seems to have little internal motivation beyond vengeance. I like a good revenge flick as much as the next guy, but here it is mostly in service to smaller ideas and a more limited plot.
There are hints of a larger, secret organization (Spectre anyone?) and after a shocking assassination attempt on “M” – the effective Judy Dench, wherein it is revealed that even the British secret service has been infiltrated by this organization, Bond goes rogue to track down the assassin. This leads him to South America where he teams up with a damaged Bolivian agent with whom he forms and almost paternal relationship. (Similar to a relationship in For Your Eyes Only.)
There is a strangely emotionally poignant moment involving Bond and a friend which I won’t spoil. It is perhaps the most satisfying part of the film. There’s also a pretty good scene evocative of Connery’s Goldfinger which has a pretty good impact.
Quantum of Solace has some impressive action set pieces. I remember when I originally saw it in theaters being impressed that it had a car chase, a speedboat chase (my personal favorite) and even an Airplane chase. Throughout, Bond is clever and lethal. Unfortunately, it just never becomes as effective as it’s immediate predecessor, nor of it’s successor; the excellent Skyfall.