007 in 23: Assignment #022- Quantum of Solace

ASSIGNMENT #022: Quantum of Solace (2008)

James Bond is in mid chase from Lago di Garda to Siena, Italy, with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) from the previous feature in the trunk of his car. Bond and M begin to interrogate Mr. White about his organisation, Quantum (which is essentially SPECTRE and SMERSH), when M’s bodyguard, Mitchell (Glenn Foster) attacks M as he is a double agent. White escapes as this occur and Bond chases down Mitchell on foot and kills the bastard. Bond and M proceed to head back to London and search Mitchell’s flat in discovering banknotes that trace back to a contact in Haiti. Bond heads to Haiti to find the contact, Edmund Slate (Neil Jackson) and learns that he has been sent to kill the lover of environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), Camille Montes (the stunningly beautiful Olga Kurylenko). As Bond observes her meeting with Greene, Bond learns Greene is helping an exiled Bolivian General, Medrano (Joaquin Cosio), the muderer of Camille’s family, to take over the government in exchange for a barren desert (Because, for another time, that is how that works). Bond rescues Camille from Medrano and heads follow Greene to a performance of the opera Tosca in Bregenz, Austria as CIA head Gregg Beam (David Harbour) to make a deal with Greene to keep access to stocks of Bolivian oil and now I’m having World is Not Enough flashbacks. Bond inflitrates a meeting at the opera between the Quantum agents scattered throughout the audience (try Starbucks next time). Bond interrupts the conversation engaging in a gunfight during the dramatic part of the opera, which is a great sequence in an otherwise dull film. Bond kills Quantum member Guy Haines, who is bodyguard for Special Branch and advisor of the Prime Minister, casuing M to revoke Bond’s passports and credit cards after Bond refuse to head back to MI6. Fortunately, this isn’t going to stop Bond.

Bond catches up with his ally Rene Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) to come to Bolivia with him asking to provide some passports and credit cards. Upon arrival to the La Paz aiport, MI6 officer Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arteton), possibly Forever, meets them demanding Bond to return to London as soon as possible, but Bond being Bond soon picks in her fields (sorry for the pun, again) before they head to Greene party later in the evening. Bond heads to the party and see Greene is ready to kill Camille and rescues her again, leaving Fields at the party alone. As they leave, they are both pulled over by Bolivian police working under Medrano, who put Mathis in the trunk of Bond’s car to frame him, with Bond starting to fight them as Mathis is killed. The next day, Bond and Camille look to see the land Quantum has obtained only to be shot down in battle and skydive out of the plane to a cave. Bond and Camille discover that Quantum is damming Bolivia’s supply of fresh water in order to create a monoploy, because that is exactly how that should work (take notes, other Bond villains). Bond heads back to La Paz to encounter M overseeing the murder of Fields after Quantum drowned her in crude oil, a nice throwback to the paint suffocation in Goldfinger. Bond escapes being arrested for disobeying M’s order, but tells M that Fields was a brave worker in the field which convinces M he can be trusted. Bond meets up with old pal Felix Leiter (Jeffery Wright once again) who tells Bond that Greene and Medrano are planning to meet in the desert to finalize the deal. Bond evades the CIA Special Activities Division where they attempt to kill him. Greene and Medrano negotiates their terms where Greene reveals his true plans to control the water supply and make his water company the sole supplier at a higher rate. Bond enters the hotel, kills the Chief of Police for betraying Mathis and heads to confront Greene. Bond and Greene destroy the hotel (Bond fights cause more property damage than The Avengers do in one film), Camille kills Medrano avenging her parents death and Bond captures Greene. Bond interrogates him about Quantum and leaves him in the desert with an engine oil can as Bond and Camille kiss (No love making for Bond with her, but Fields is fine? Okay, I guess.). Bond heads to Kazan, Russia where he meets with Vesper’s former lover, Yusef Kabira (Simon Kassianides) with a new target in the form of a Canadian agent. Yusef, part of Quantum, seduces women with great contacts, but Bond, possibly seeing the similarities, decides not to kill Yusef and allows MI6 to arrest him. M tells Bond that Greene was found dead in the desert shot twice with engine oil in his stomach and Bond denies any knowledge of it. M informs Bond that Leiter has been promoted to Beam’s position and reinstates Bond as an agent. Bond leaves saying he never left and drops Vesper’s necklace in the snow.After all that, we get a satisfying return of the true gun barrel sequence.

Quantum of Solace is a dull film with a dull premise and doesn’t scream Bond. The action is pretty okay, the plot is crap and paced very slow which is ironic considering this is the shortest of the Bond features. Craig as Bond is still fantastic and shines greatly along with Olga Kurylenko, who I think is a fantastic actress who always ends up appearing in a ton of terrible films, but manages to be the best part and this film is no exception. The villain played by Matheiu Amalic isn’t memorable in any sense of the word and doesn’t seem like a threat. Judi Dench and Jeffery Wright play a much bigger role and are delightful in their respective roles. Gemma Arteron and Giancarlo Giannini also clean up nicely acting wise. The plot, though realistic, fails in being interesting with too many things going on as once and trying to tie into Casino Royale, but fails at that. The only highlight is the spectacular opera gunfight, which is a treat to watch. The film mostly gained these fault due to the Writer’s Strike of 2007-2008 that made the film be rewritten nearly on the spot and causing commotion, much like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which also fell victim to the strike do to using the first draft to film rather than just rewrite.

The theme song ‘Another Way to Die’ by Alicia Keys and Jack white is also just okay. It has a great beat and a great sound, but the vocals of Alicia and Jack just don’t mesh together well. Quantum of Solace is not the best Bond film, but it is far from being the worst thanks to performances that make the dullness a bit easier to sit through.

Assignment Status: 2.5 out of 5

Next time, Bond investigate an attack on MI6 by former MI6 operative Raoul Silva after years of absence from the scene. The sky will fall, the clouds shall open, and the world of Bond is about to change again like it changed to world fifty years ago in 1962.

Final Mission: Skyfall

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One thought on “007 in 23: Assignment #022- Quantum of Solace

  1. Pingback: Catch up on 007 in 23 Before Skyfall is Posted! « From the Mind of Sergio Berrueta

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