James Bond Review: #16: Quantum of Solace

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     The experiment was interesting, but ultimately a failing one. One of the only Bond films that is a true continuation from the previous installment, the filmmakers felt that this film should be light on story, character, and a huge emphasis on action since all that good shit was in the last picture. What the filmmakers forgot was, even if it is a continuation, you have to make a complete, satisfying movie.
     Picking up literally where Casino Royale left off, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is out for vengeance against the organization QUANTUM for the death of Vesper (Eva Green). But not is all what it appears, as Bond starts to uncover a global conspiracy to drain water from Bolivia, because reasons. So now, 007 is on the run without any support from M (Judi Dench) or even Felix Lieter (Jeffery Wright), he goes deeper into the lion’s den in order to find solace.
     My initial reaction to the movie was, what was this trying to be? Casino Royale ushered in this new era of Bond films, where the emphasis was on characterization over action, and the action was on a more grounded level. The opposite of that is true here. Continuation or not, the film has to feel complete on some level, and even the villain has an underwhelming feeling to him. The filmmakers seemed more concerned with providing a real world conflict, than an actual story.
     Daniel Craig does a decent job as Bond in this outing, but an actor can only be as good as its story, and here it doesn’t really exist. This is probably the only Bond film that feels episodic within the confines of its installment; the characters weave in and out of the story to make the plot move forward and nothing more. M just randomly appears at intervals, scolds Bond, he runs away, and M just lets him go about his business. That’s a lot of faith to put into a new double-0. Felix is a fucking waste here. If you grew up during the Brosnan era, then you don’t really know that Felix is one of his best friends and trusted allies, and instead of developing that, we just get random scenes of him talking to CIA cohorts. A lot of missed opportunities here.
     Sometimes I feel like I’m too hard on the film, it did follow one of the most critically acclaimed installments in the franchise’s history. I still look at it in the way that they should have gone the road less traveled, that 007 comes first in the story, and we responded so strongly to Craig’s Bond because he felt like a real person instead of a caricature. I was worried that they were already repeating the sins of the past, instead of forging ahead into the future.
    

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