Ton of fun to be had at Quantum…of Solace

After Daniel Craig’s largely successful 2006 Bond debut, Casino Royale , expectations ran high for the latest installment to the Bond franchise, Quantum of Solace . With Craig’s fiery new portrayal and some fresh writing, it seemed like the franchise had taken a turn for the better and added a certain edge to James Bond that hadn’t been present since the heydays of Sean Connery. But with its over reliance on fast-paced action scenes and some questionable directing, Quantum of Solace doesn’t quite measure up to the Casino Royale standard or its pretentious title, and most viewers will undoubtedly leave the theater feeling a little disappointed. The movie begins where Casino Royale left off. Bond is in a riveting car chase with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) shoved in his trunk after he retrieved White at the end of the last movie. When M (Dame Judi Dench) goes to interrogate Mr. White, it becomes clear that the organization that employs him, Quantum, is more powerful and connected than MI-6 could have imagined. So as agent Bond is sent out to do his thing (you know: gather some intelligence, kick some ass and swoon the ladies), it also becomes apparent that he has not recovered from the death of his love, Vesper (Eva Green), and he’s hell-bent on revenge. Sounds awesome, but the seemingly captivating plot turns a little mushy in the light of a disappointing directing change (from Martin Campbell to Marc Foster) and some less than compelling acting by supporting cast members. The Quantum of Solace Bond girl, Camille (played by Ukrainian model Olga Kurylenko), lacks the captivation and depth that Eva Green brought to the table in Casino Royale proving that beauty isn’t the only requirement for a Bond vixen. The villain in this movie, Dominic Greene (played by the usually fine French actor Mathieu Amalric), proves to be weak and lack luster as well with none of the fire and ruthlessness that Mads Mikkelson showed with Le Chiffre in the last movie. Where Martin Campbell seemed to capture the subtle nuances of the Bond characters and dialogue in Casino Royale , Marc Foster over compensates by using the action crutch and in turn, sacrifices some of the edginess and depth that made the previous movie so compelling. Every time it seems like there might actually be some meaningful character development, another throttling action sequence shifts into gear and drowns that thought out. It is certainly not all bad, though. Craig is as good as ever with his badass Bond persona and icy cool demeanor, and in many ways, he saves the movie from spiraling into a second rate film with good production value. Another savior of the movie comes in the form of its impressive action choreography. Many of the highflying action scenes are well done and very entertaining. The movie also touches on some of today’s major world issues including the all too accurate portrayal of the governments of major world powers as careless oil fiends. Overall, the movie proves to be a good popcorn diversion, but disappointment springs from its potential to be much more.