After the pure brilliance of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s second turn as 007 is rather a let-down. I’ve heard comment that the plot is hard to follow; not really — just that there isn’t much there to follow. Instead, it’s a poor excuse to squander some beautiful locations on some alright action (cheesy intercuts with background action twice: Palio di Siena and Tosca).
The film does have its moments, and the filmmakers actually manage to make Quantum a reasonably sinister evil organisation, but I hope they bring it out into the light a bit more in the next film. Craig is a bit less three-dimensional than in Casino Royale, but I’d still rate him as Bond; unfortunately Olga Kurylenko didn’t really live up to her billing, but that’s more down to the character she was given to work with, and it would have been nice to see a little more of Miss Strawberry Fields (a name that provides one of the many nods to the Bond films of old). Judi Dench has, by now, made M her own, but she didn’t seem altogether involved in this one.
Unusually for Bond, Quantum of Solace follows directly on from Casino Royale, and sets up the next film as well. That, plus the grittier feel and more bluntly applied violence, shows that someone has been watching Jason Bourne at work, and that’s no bad thing. Fortunately it hasn’t gone too far: Bond is still distinctly Bond.
Not all bad, not all good. Here’s hoping this is the weak second film of a storming trilogy.