Bond film no. 22, Daniel Craig’s second outing. I actually watched this back in 2008, but apparently I wasn’t super impressed (and I wish I wrote more back then lol). I suspect I didn’t really like it because this movie is actually a direct sequel to Casino Royale which I hadn’t seen until this year. It picks up on several hanging plot threads, and some of the characters appear again, and Bond in this film is primarily motivated by anger over the events of the previous film. Not to mention I had only seen two Brosnan movies prior to watching Quantum of Solace at that time, so I really didn’t have either the franchise foundation or the context from Casino Royale to appreciate this film.
This film sets up more of the gritty tone for modern Bond. Unlike the black and white factions of the cold war, the geopolitical setup here is more complicated, with even Bond’s traditional allies the CIA mostly turning against him. The villain’s plot and motivations seem kind of thin and the plot itself is a bit forgettable; while I recall many of the scenes from my previous watching, I didn’t remember what the overall plot was until it just happened.
Olga Kurylenko gave a great performance here. The film also has some great action sequences, and even hits the trifecta of land, sea, and air chases/vehicle fights. The theme song here is “Another Way to Die” by Alicia Keys and Jack White (of the White Stripes), which was ok but I didn’t particularly enjoy. Stana Katic makes a bit appearance here towards the end, before her run on Castle. Also I just chuckle to myself whenever Bond tries to use a 2008-era dumbphone like it was a modern smartphone, such as taking pictures good enough for facial recognition from like a hundred feet away.
Still, the movie is a decent watch. Overall I’m enjoying modern Bond, but I have to admit I kind of miss the campy tropes of classic Bond, but I can understand why they’d have no place in a modern action franchise. I mean, Craig still hasn’t even got a Q or any fancy devices! (Yes, I know he gets a new Q eventually). Anyway, next is Skyfall!