The StoryQuantum of Solace picks up about an hour after the end of Casino Royale. Bond's lover Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) has been killed by an organization that set her up and made her betray him. Although he claims it's not personal, Bond sets out to find the men responsible. Tracking the mastermind behind Vesper's murder, Bond travels around the world piecing the puzzle together and dispatching anyone unwilling to answer his questions. M (Dame Judi Dench) even has to ask Bond to try and avoid killing every possible lead, but it's a request Bond doesn't take to heart as the body count continues to mount.
Declared rogue by MI6, Bond is on the run from his own agency but that barely slows him down. He's learned all he needs to know about his target, industrialist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), and is off to South America to make Greene see red – blood red.
The CastCraig solidifies his place in the Bond universe with his incredibly intense performance in Quantum of Solace. Craig's Bond is not at all vain, appearing downright bedraggled at times. There's an emotional vulnerability to this Bond whose heartbreak over the death of his lover is etched on his face. We hurt right along with this man and we turn a blind eye to the fact he tosses all the rules aside in his pursuit of Vesper's killer. Craig's still sexy as all get-out as Bond, despite the fact he often looks like something the cat dragged in, and that sexiness is due in part to the fact there's more depth to the character in Quantum of Solace than in many of the Bond films of the past.
Mathieu Amalric, who was so terrific as paralyzed French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, shows he's just as good at playing evil. And of course Dame Judi Dench does M as only Judi Dench can do M. Surprisingly, M's the source of the few laughs to be had in Quantum of Solace. Bond's all business, but M tosses out a few witty quips to relieve the tension, and Dench's biting delivery makes even the lines that are barely funny work.
The Bottom LineBond takes part in a hair-raising car chase, leaps across rooftops like a cheetah pursuing a meal, breaks a man's neck while barely breaking a sweat, flies a motorcycle onto a boat which leads to a gunfight at high speeds on choppy water, and pilots a DC-3 while dodging enemy planes. It would be almost impossible to pack in even one more dangerous stunt in Quantum of Solace. This Bond movie seems to be attempting to satisfy action audiences even more so than it is Bond movie fans. And the downside to the number of fights scenes in Quantum of Solace is that the dialogue is clearly secondary to the action sequences.
Still, an easy to anger, eager for a fight Bond isn't a bad thing. Quantum of Solace takes Bond to a dark place, but at least it completes the story that began in Casino Royale and seemed unfinished at its end. Now that the period and exclamation point have been tacked onto the end of Casino Royale, Bond can get back to the business of bedding babes, looking snappy in stylish tuxedos, and sipping Martinis - shaken, not stirred.
Quantum of Solace was directed by Marc Forster and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.
Theatrical Release Date: November 14, 2008