Thoughts On… Quantum of Solace (2008)

quantum_of_solace_ver4The twenty second James Bond film, and the second for Daniel Craig as the infamous secret agent, Quantum of Solace (2008) is probably best known for its overtly flowery title which a lot of people didn’t really understand. The story is as follows:

James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country’s most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love. (source)

Every time I watch this film I have so many thoughts, but no energy to actually sit down and form a well-constructed critique. With that in mind, here are some thoughts I always have about Quantum of Solace after pretty much every viewing of it.

  1. I really like the fact that, for an entirely made up (i.e. not originally written by Ian Fleming) Bond story, they attempted to bring back a super-Bondian secret organisation plot in the vein of SPECTRE.
  2. I love the whole opera scene where Bond finds out who the members of Quantum are. The direction and music are perfect.
  3. I also really love the way that M finds out that Dominic Greene is known to the CIA. Very clever indeed.
  4. I suppose I also really love Daniel Craig in general.
  5. The opening title sequence is also pretty great. I love the visual concept with the women made out of sand and the star charts. Really beautiful visuals.
  6. However I’m really not a fan of the song. Actually, to be more specific, I like the general tune of the song but I’m not sure I like the vocal combination of Alicia Keys and Jack White and their non-harmonising singing/yelling. I really like Jack White by himself though.
  7. The homage to Goldfinger (1964) with Agent Fields (played by the adorable Gemma Arterton) being covered in black oil on the bed was a nice throwback and also exceedingly creepy.
  8. The resolution to the Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) story from Casino Royale (2006) was done in a sufficiently emotional yet cold manner by Daniel Craig. A good way to provide some closure after the ending of Casino Royale, which may have been a shock for anyone who hadn’t read the book before seeing the film.
  9. There’s a brief appearance by Oona Chaplin (AKA Talisa Maegyr AKA King In The North Robb Stark’s wife) where she serves algunas cervezas to the evil general in his desert resort. I didn’t realise this until very recently.
  10. The cinematography is pretty awesome in this, particularly during the aforementioned opera scene and also during any scene in the desert.
  11. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad film but it always shows up around the middle of my Bond ranking list.
  12. I guess what always sticks with me is something that my partner said about this film that I’m not able to forget. He once said that the entire plot of this film sounds like something Ernst Stavro Blofeld would sum up in one sentence in a better Bond film. E.g. SPECTRE goons sitting around a big table, and Blofeld is asking them updates on the little sub-projects that the organisation is involved with, and then they would move on to something bigger and better than controlling the water of one country.
  13. And there are too many plotholes.
  14. And some of the dialogue is so cheesy that I can’t handle it.
  15. Good times!

Watch this film at Amazon!

14 comments

  1. QUANTUM OF SOLACE is the worst bond movie I’ve seen!

    1. Worse than Die Another Day?!

      1. I think we have a draw. 🙂
        That one was very bad as well

  2. great review Anna! I liked this one, but it still wasn’t as good as Casino Royale (2006)

    1. Thanks Rob, totally agree! 🙂 This is definitely the weakest of Craig’s three Bonds so far.

  3. It’s not terrible, but easily the worst of Craig’s Bond flicks. Just far too convoluted for its own good. Nice work.

    1. Thanks Wendell! 🙂 I agree, I think it just tried a bit too hard.

  4. You have to remember that this film was made around the time of the writer’s strike, which is why the script is up in the air. But it is the direction that gets me. The cinematography is so breath-taking, I cannot understand why more people don’t love it as much as I do.

    Nice spot with Oona Chaplin. I must watch out for that next time I sit down to watch it.

    1. I actually had no idea it was written around the writer’s strike! Makes sense. I do love the cinematography as well, Roberto Schaefer has an amazing eye.

  5. Cool write-up yo. For me QoS was a big disappointment coming after the awesomeness that was Casino Royale, but even as its own separate entity, it fails to capture the basic codes and conventions that make a Bond film worth watching. Besides Daniel Craig and Mathieu Amalric’s face which is funny as this film’s villain, this film just doesn’t have a very compelling plot, the Bond girls are insignificant and the action while it is big and loud, it doesn’t have any style or interesting choreography. When I finish watching QoS I just feel like I’ve watched something that could have been better, it’s not the worst thing ever , but it certainly isn’t that good either. Oh and that theme song, what a mismatched mess, I don’t think Alicia Keys and Jack White’s vocals gel together at all, I would have preferred if he had handled the song on his own or as part of The White Stripes or The Dead Weather. That being said I’ve grown to like the song a lot of the years because it has an addictive hook and that main melody with the guitars and horns I like a lot lol.

    1. Thanks! 🙂 Oh my gosh, you hit the nail on the head. I really just wish the song was better! So much mismatched yelling!

  6. Great review! I think it’s the weakest film of the Craig era, but like you’ve highlighted, it’s not all bad. Certainly not on the level of View to a Kill or Man with the Golden Gun. Fun read 🙂

    1. Thanks Jim! 🙂 I have to admit that I quite enjoy A View to a Kill, but probably only because Moore is my favourite Bond and I adore Grace Jones, so the combination is pretty awesome for me.

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