Ah, Quantum of Solace. After Casino Royale, expectations were understandably high for Daniel Craig's second outing as 007. However, the movie as a whole is average at best. After having seen QOS a few times, I do feel that the high points in the film far outweigh the lows overall.
Give credit to Daniel Craig for his portrayal of the no nonsense, stone cold secret agent. I did feel one minor flaw how Bond is shown as a super agile, acrobatic agent able to jump, flip, and somersault his way out of any dangerous situation. James Bond has always be known for using his wits and instincts to survive rather than just brawn alone. However, this is minor and it does provide for entertaining action. I do like how QOS starts off right where Casino Royale ended. The enigmatic Mr. White and his mysterious organization has M & co. at their wits end trying to figure out what he's up to.
The relationships between the characters are great here especially between Bond and M. You sense they are both on shaky ground since M is not sure whether or not she can fully trust him to act objectively (especially after the events in Casino Royale). Bond's stubborn and headstrong ways push the envelope to the edge, but he still manages to prove to M that he is reliable. From the earlier films of Connery, Moore (and so on), M & 007's relationship is already well established. I thought it was interesting to show the early side of it here. Also, Felix Leiter (played well by Jeffrey Wright) and Bond bump into each other again. Even though they've only met once, you can sense the trust between the two. This relationship is a major theme between 007 and Felix in most of the Bond films.
On the downside, QOS suffers from a weak story. The story of Mr. White, Bond's quest for revenge and finding the truth is great, but after the first third of the movie, it tends to drift away from that. The plan of Dominic Greene and Quantum was just not as interesting. The action scenes (car chase, interrogation, hotel battle) are fun, but the times in between seem to hurt the pacing of the film. Dominic Greene was a subpar villain who's best weapon was making threats. Also, Camille came off kind of bland as just seemed to 'be there'. I felt that Fields (Gemma Arterton) played a much more memorable role. In fact, her one scene was strangely reminiscent of Goldfinger.
Overall, QOS is not a bad Bond film. I must admit that I am curious to see how Bond 23 will be, but I must be patient and await MI6's debriefing for that future mission.
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