Bonding with Bond, Day 24: Quantum of Solace

One intrepid RT editor is watching all of the James Bond films in order.

by | November 14, 2008 | Comments

I end my epic journey today with a writeup of Quantum of Solace, the follow-up to 2006’s Casino Royale that continues the story of a heartbroken Bond out for revenge.


Quantum of Solace (2008) 65%

QuantumOfSolace1

Well, here we are. After 24 whirlwind days in the world of James Bond, I’ve come to the final movie thus far in the franchise, Quantum of Solace. It’s been a remarkable experience, and I’m actually kind of sad it’s over, but all good things must come to an end. Brace yourselves, and be warned that while I’ve kept this writeup spoiler-free, you may still want to refrain from reading it until after you’ve seen Quantum of Solace.

I’ve mentioned here and there over the course of this series that watching all of these Bond films has helped me to understand the film universe of 007 on a much deeper level. There are things that I’ve come to expect from a James Bond movie, regardless of who the actor was and during what era the movie was produced. These things are the tried and true elements of the Bond persona, and while one may argue this persona has strayed heavily from its source material, one cannot deny that the silver screen Bond has established a sort of mythology all his own. I think some of you can see where I’m going with this.

Casino Royale effectively upended this mythology and sought to establish a new identity for 007. Not only was he rewritten to be darker and more ruthless, but the transformation was made complete by the controversial casting of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Daniel Craig, arguably less dashing than his predecessors but with a rugged face more suited for the brutal killer Bond would become. At the same time, Casino Royale retained a bit of charm, a pinch of humor, and enough of the familiar conventions that I had come to know and love as distinctly “James Bond.”

With all of this in mind, I also had certain expectations when I finally took my seat to watch Quantum of Solace, but again, my expectations were thoroughly challenged. I don’t want to get into specific details, because I’m not a film critic, and I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who has yet to see the film. But while I generally liked the movie, I enjoyed it for very different reasons than Casino Royale, and truthfully speaking, I was left with somewhat of a bittersweet aftertaste.

First of all, QoS is action packed. And I mean wall-to-wall, relentless, grimy, cathartic action. The very beginning of the movie plunges the audience into a high octane car chase, the pre-credit spectacle, and the remainder pauses only briefly to expand the plot. It wasn’t always easy to tell what was going on, what with the jittery camera work, but every knuckle to the jaw resounded with a visceral crunch, every gunshot popped with fury, and every fall to the ground vibrated through my back. Bond is just as ferocious, thrusting his body into countless perilous situations and emerging victoriously with an intense glare on his face and a smattering of dirt caked onto his clothes.

QuantumOfSolace2

However, aside from a couple of allusions to the Bond franchise (including an obvious homage to Goldfinger), the movie suffers from a lack of signature Bond elements. Though the gadgets, one-liners, massive lairs, Q, and Moneypenny were also absent in Casino Royale, that film still felt like a Bond film because of the nature of its characters and the structure of the story. Quantum of Solace, on the other hand, sports a relatively straightforward script and, despite the promise of a continuing revenge plot, one gets the sense its plot points exist solely to provide context for the explosive action sequences. Bond is also more stoic than ever, with precious few lines of dialogue and little development of his character beyond “I’m pissed off, and someone’s gonna pay!” Whether or not it’s more faithful to Ian Fleming’s novels is moot; because the 007 of the silver screen had been established for forty years, I think it’s somewhat understandable for some fans to be distraught over this.

But this is the double-edged sword. I gained a greater appreciation for Casino Royale after having watched all of its predecessors; this is not necessary to enjoy Quantum of Solace. It’s a hard-hitting action movie that doesn’t require one to be a die-hard Bond fan to indulge in its visceral thrills, so I think fans of action flicks in general will be able to appreciate it on some level, despite it having a thinner plot and no deep connection to the previous installments. This is pure adrenaline, and if that’s all you’re after, it may suffice. If you want more than that, you’ll probably be disappointed, and those simply looking forward to James Bond wreaking havoc will have a better time.

I’ve enjoyed being able to experience all these films with you all, and I never expected to engage you as much as I did in discussing these films. From Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, a whole new universe was opened up to me, and I now have an affection for these films I never would have had before. Thanks for following along with me these past few weeks, and for those of you who have asked if we’ll do this again: yes, based on all of your support for this series, we are currently discussing doing another one, though nothing is finalized.

On a final note, also due to comments many of you have made, here are a few favorites (ane one least favorite) of mine:

  • Favorite Movie: Dr. No
  • Least Favorite Movie: Die Another Day
  • Favorite Bond Actor: Sean Connery
  • Favorite Bond Girl: Tracy di Vicenzo
  • Favorite Villain: Jaws
  • Favorite Car: 1963 Aston Martin DB5
  • Favorite Song: “Live and Let Die” – Paul McCartney and Wings

Other Articles:

Tag Cloud

sports Comics on TV diversity Fox News MSNBC ratings Lifetime boxoffice Interview Reality Competition E! crime Shudder Calendar Martial Arts Lionsgate TV Land dceu medical drama Music Song of Ice and Fire IFC Films Marathons historical drama LGBTQ Syfy APB Masterpiece comic Podcast blaxploitation period drama MCU USA Hulu The CW DGA jamie lee curtis cats Mary Poppins Returns Character Guide 20th Century Fox miniseries Awards Tour RT History Christmas Summer Opinion BBC America Tumblr AMC Sony Pictures Mary Tyler Moore Brie Larson YouTube Red Esquire Food Network police drama dc technology Best and Worst Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2018 Cosplay Musicals 007 The Arrangement USA Network Box Office Photos FXX Superheroe Acorn TV 45 Comedy Mindy Kaling DC Universe Ellie Kemper war Sci-Fi Teen Country Comedy Central Extras binge Musical streaming Ovation FX what to watch finale GIFs Quiz psycho CBS TCM Walt Disney Pictures Tomatazos Apple dramedy See It Skip It 2017 composers spider-man zombie DC streaming service Bravo Freeform Shondaland X-Men TNT Winter TV Oscars festivals Pop Nickelodeon ITV TBS FOX biography Crackle cooking TLC Comic Book Star Trek based on movie CNN Paramount Network YA Nominations cinemax VH1 ESPN Black Mirror Starz Ghostbusters Video Games doctor who Marvel Pixar IFC Horror Dark Horse Comics Infographic spy thriller Fall TV Paramount Captain marvel serial killer vampires President A&E TCA 24 frames Amazon DirecTV MTV BBC Premiere Dates TV History television Countdown Writers Guild of America E3 SDCC Certified Fresh mutant Superheroes Epix Universal SXSW CMT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sundance ABC Family Sneak Peek harry potter Year in Review aliens Thanksgiving adventure WGN robots National Geographic Emmys crossover zombies supernatural Super Bowl PBS American Society of Cinematographers casting justice league Western award winner PaleyFest ABC GoT unscripted CBS All Access Mystery 2019 Spike Adult Swim Trophy Talk El Rey New York Comic Con Logo Lucasfilm Animation Amazon Prime Grammys Winners VICE Rocky sitcom Election Rom-Com political drama Set visit discovery romance Disney DC Comics BET Holidays TCA 2017 NYCC travel Nat Geo Polls and Games Creative Arts Emmys golden globes Pirates talk show Biopics Warner Bros. Columbia Pictures green book Showtime Trailer YouTube Premium OWN SundanceTV Disney Channel transformers TruTV Kids & Family science fiction Valentine's Day Drama docudrama Netflix hist Action San Diego Comic-Con politics Star Wars Rock thriller Red Carpet Trivia social media Mary poppins GLAAD Fantasy TIFF 2015 Toys Sundance Now singing competition cops NBC HBO Britbox CW Seed First Look Reality crime thriller anime Spring TV Watching Series Awards 2016 comiccon Cartoon Network crime drama Schedule cults facebook 21st Century Fox