QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Bond: Daniel Craig – 2 tusks
No huge change from Casino Royale. He’s a bit more brooding at the beginning of the movie and it takes the entirety of the film for him to get past the events of the previous film and finally show some levity. He has some great moments though including a couple of really good character building scenes.
Girl: Olga Kurylenko as Camille – 1 tusk
Camille is a carbon copy of previous Bond girls and offers nothing exceptionally new here. I think she was supposed to mirror Bond’s quest for revenge, but the lessons she learns don’t really translate to him in anyway. She wasn’t horrible though, just nothing to write home about.
I did like Gemma Arterton as the “other Bond girl,” Strawberry Fields. She had a good dynamic with Bond and it was too bad that she had to go.
Gadgets: Few, if any – 2 tusks
I can’t think of any gadgets in this movie. And a gadgetless Bond film is always welcome in my book.
Opening Theme: “Another Way to Die” performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys – 2 tusks
The song itself is off a bit. I hated it when I first heard it, but in tandem with the amazing graphics of the opening, I don’t mind it. It’s a bit of an acquired taste and winds up being fitting for this movie. Ultimately, the graphics not only save this, but make up for any deficiencies the song may have.
Villain: Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene – 1 tusk
Not the worst villain in the franchise, but certainly not the strongest. He is the weakest part of the film (along with his henchman) and the overall film suffers some because of that. He has a weasely charisma that would make him a fine villain in a Die Hard film, but not a Bond film. I also didn’t like how he had such insights into Bond’s personality.
Henchman: Anatole Taubman as Elvis – 0 tusks
This guy reminded me of Gareth from the UK version of The Office. Except Gareth might make a better henchman. This guy wasn’t fleshed out and I barely even want to give him credit for anything.
Pre-title Opening Sequence – 1 tusk
I love a good car chase, but this one was very hard to follow due to quick cuts and super-close shots. Very reminiscent of some of the Bourne movies. This is a problem throughout the movie. Although as it progressed, I rather liked the clever and “artsy” ways that the director dealt with action sequences.
A lot of people were let down by this film after Casino Royale. I don’t think it as great as its predecessor, but I do enjoy it. It’s a nice coda of sorts to the previous film and refreshing to see what happens next after a Bond film. These films so often stand alone that the first 20 films only sometimes feel they are a part of the same universe. With this film picking up minutes after Casino Royale ends, we already know we’re in for a treat.
The downside here is that the villain is lackluster and that isn’t made up for in a strong henchman. In fact, the henchman is even worse. What we see in Casino Royale is Bond settling on what he must become. In Quantum, we see him actually become that. There are two key scenes in this movie. The first is the death of Mathis. With the two of them forgiving each other, Bond is free of the weight of his wrong decision in Casino. Second, the scene at the end where Bond finds Vesper’s boyfriend and does not kill him. Bond has moved past doing this for any emotional reason.
As of right now, I don’t know what Skyfall has in store for us, but I think it will be stronger because of what we see in Quantum. Bond needed to get past what happened to him in Casino.