“Quantum of Solace” would be a good action-drama, if only it weren’t a Bond film.

Daniel Craig’s second performance as James Bond picks the up the action from the moment “Casino Royale” leaves off, and that’s the problem.

Director Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball”) correctly assumes that viewers of “Solace” already saw the previous film and know what’s going on. He seems to forget, however, that fans of “Casino Royale” who are sitting for “Quantum of Solace” are looking for James Bondish elements to the movie. There are none. Except for the good-as-always performance of Judi Dench as “M,” you would never know this was a Bond film.

Written by: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade, adapted from the short story by Ian Fleming.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Jeffrey Wright, and Judi Dench

Seen at: Showcase Cinema De Lux at Patriot Place

Running time: 105 minutes

Rated: PG-13


That alone is enough to ruin a supposed 007 film. No MI6 headquarters moments. No Moneypenny. No Q Branch. No new watch. No cars with machine guns and missiles. No sex scenes (the redhead didn’t count). Was this a Bond movie or not? Was this the British import we Americans have come to love and honor, or has the series finally succumbed to the reality of American film stupidity where explosions and kill-shots rule supreme over plot?

There wasn’t even a decent Bond villain. The so-called and so-dead “bad guy” was a hapless little dweeb who never really posed much of a threat. Even the boilerplate evil general seemed vapid and undeveloped.

He doesn’t even say “The name’s Bond, James Bond” in the entire movie.


It seems to me that you could have tacked this movie onto the special features of “Casino Royale” and bottled it down to a half hour.

Ukrainian beauty Olga Kurylenko is the latest Bond girl, Camille. Kurylenko slept through her role and failed to sell her revenge-driven rage character line. She may be the worst bond girl ever.

The real Bond girl in this movie was Miss Fields, (the redhead) wonderfully portrayed by 22-year-old Brit, Gemma Arterton, who should have had a much more prominent role in the movie. She gives the best performance in the film and gets about five minutes on screen for her troubles.

The movie is driven by the subplot of a far-reaching evil organization, reminiscent of early Bond films, but we never truly get a picture for what that organization is. It, like most of the movie, gets swept under the rug to make room for someone getting killed in every other scene.

There is an interesting scene where Camille and Bond try to parachute out of a falling plane and end up walking in the desert in a tuxedo and black cocktail dress. You almost get the hint that you’re watching 007 in action, but then you shake your head and wake up. No.

Cinematography-wise, “Quantum of Solace” is a very good movie and well-made, even with purposefully jerky camera moves.

It’s just not a Bond movie, and if it’s really to be billed as such, then “Quantum of Solace” is the worst Bond movie ever made.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

6 Responses

  1. abc

    I only read one sentence of your review, and it pretty much sums up the reason I hate movie reviews.

  2. eliz

    Ok, ABC, for one, reviews are completely subjective so you should understand that before you read a review. And second, this review, in my opinion, is totally correct.
    Swap out our main man Bond’s name for Jason Borne and you’ve got the same type of action flick. Bond was different. It was quirky and gave you moments of, now, see, this is why I like Bond, because its not trying to be everyone else.
    This movie WAS trying to be like everyone else and it worked. But, as a Bond movie, it failed.

  3. Charles Penoi

    Do they have a blood test for reviewers that drank the Kool-Aid on genre orthodoxy? Hope so, because we need to get all the current crop of reviewers tested and those that are positive put in quarantine till a cure is discovered.

  4. Sachin Seth

    Totally agree. Good action film but it has NOTHING to do with the bond.

    I understand that Forster wanted to continue to re-invent the franchise, but there’s some things that every bond movie has to have.

    One good thing: the oil covered redhead. Nice throwback to goldfinger.

  5. Yimi

    I have to disagree. As a lifetime Bond fanatic, I urge you to recognize that Casino Royale didn’t display a huge amount of Bond, cliche moments. This is a new industry, not a regurgitation of past Bond movies—-that would be vapid.

  6. harley93

    i agree with this, i think fields should have been in more, and i think camille should have had more fight, she was kinda weak. and the number one worst thing about that movie was the jerky camera, when a fight scenes on, i like to be able to see whats happening, but the camera jerk distracts and blurs out the fight. i think to make it more bond-ish, it should have had more gadgets, more storyline and the more moments that show how bond is a clever and witty spy. its well planned funny action moments that i enjoy the best in bond movies.


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