Quantum of Solace is a unique film within the Bond cannon as it is a somewhat unofficial sequel to Casino Royale. The memory of the tragedy of Vesper Lynd and the notoriety of Le Chiffre haunts the film. The film unashamedly tries to replicate the look and feel of the last Bond. In fact Casino Royale hangs over this film like a penis over a ballsack. But after the dizzying highs and success of the latter Craig’s second outing as Bond seems like a massive comedown.
The pre titled old fashioned opening car chase through Siena keeps up the heady pace of Royale and shares somewhat of the same dynamic of the car chases in all the first three Jason Bourne movies. Recently the Aston Martin used in this sequence was part of the Bond memorabilia being auctioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the franchise, which was expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000, a rip off if you ask me considering the last state the owner left it in.
It is difficult to do a follow up to a film that was successful both critically and financially and this perhaps is the reason that Quantum of Solace has no sense of direction. The biggest let down is the revert back to bond stereotypes personified by the inclusion of Gemma Arteton’s character. Her purpose is solely to satisfy the needs and placate the sexual standing of James Bond, other than that tripping over a henchman on the stairs serves as her only purpose.
The franchise never lets you down when it comes to staging brilliant action sequences and there are a few here to satisfy. of course the car chase at the beginning, followed by a foot chase and fight through the streets and architecture of Tuscany, the aeroplane scene and the climatic Atacama desert sequence where Bond and Camille prevent a coup by the Le Chiffre type villain Dominic Greene. My personal favourite is the sequence during Puccini’s Tosca, where what is happening in the opera is juxtaposed with what is happening outside of it. The appropriately muted sound during gunfire is perhaps an effort not to disturb the performance.
I have enjoyed my time blogging along to all the Bond films, though I did cheat a little bit by unintentionally arriving during The Living Daylights. Unfortunately I think every single entry by the Illbomb was late (mostly by a day or two), but Quantum of Solace is at least four days early (hurrah!). I am not really a big Bond fan like the Incredible Suit, but Skyfall does look brilliant and I can’t wait to see it, then blog about it. Till next time.