Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by:Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright
Released: November 20, 2008
Grade: B

Virtually every regular moviegoer is going to pay to see Quantum Of Solace.  Friends haven’t been asking me what this film is about because they know what to expect.  A James Bond film is a genre in itself.  The question people have been asking… is whether the film is any good.  So let’s cut to the chase.

I’d ideally like to jump up on my soap-box and say how much I loved or hated the film.  That would leave an indelible impression on those reading this review.  Unfortunately, my opinion falls somewhere in the middle.  There’s an equal mix of positives and negatives and I left the cinema with a feeling of indifference.

I must say that this is a lot better than the trashy Bond films of the 1990s which starred Pierce Brosnan.  Those sad days are behind us thankfully.  At the same time though, this new flick didn’t have the same “wow factor” as Casino Royale.  I remember being blown away by the amazing action sequences and the strong performance of first-timer Daniel Craig.  My interest in the series was reinvigorated.  Perhaps my expectations were too high this time around.

Quantum Of Solace picks up where the last film left off.  Bond (Craig) is trying to track down the man who killed his love interest, Vesper Lynd.  In the process, he uncovers a secret organisation which is up to something sinister.  The ringleader is a high-profile businessman known as Dominic Greene (Amalric).  Bond doesn’t know what he’s up to but he’s determined to find out.

Back at MI6 headquarters, M (Dench) is worried.  Bond’s body count is piling up and he’s treading on the toes of other agencies.  She believes that he’s acting out of revenge as opposed to his civic duty.  Caught up in the story is Camille (Kurylenko), a young Russian woman with ties to Greene.  Bond realises she is a person of value but is not sure if she can trusted.

So, what did I like about the film?  The performances were great once again.  Daniel Craig humanises the character and you get a sense of the darkness that lies within.  It reminded me of The Dark Knight in that it shows the difficulty of being a super-hero.  It’s not easy to save the world and sometimes you have to make sacrifices.  Judi Dench faces her own moral dilemmas as M.  Some of the best scenes in the film are those where M and Bond face-off.

My two biggest criticisms relate to the plot and the action sequences.  The story seems to jump all over the place and it’s as if parts of the film were missing.  I didn’t think that Greene’s evil plan made a lot of sense nor did I understand why other people were involved.  Also, what was with the two American CIA agents?  Whose side were they on?  You can see that no expense has been spared on the stunts but they too are hard to follow.  I didn’t feel any moments of true suspense.

It’s been months since we had a big blockbuster in release and Quantum Of Solace will be a breath of fresh air for cinema owners.  I’m curious to know what the public will make of it.  You can be the judge.