Actor: Daniel Craig
US Release Date: 14 November 2008
US gross, $168.4 million
Worldwide gross, $570.0 million
Locations: Panama, Chile, Italy, and Austria
Source for above info: " the " Quantum of Solace - Official Site.
The MGM lion roars followed by the torch bearing lady from Columbia pictures. After a shot over the lake we see Bond driving from Lake Garda where he had shot Mr. White in the earlier movie Casino Royale. And then suddenly we are put in a roller coaster where goons in cars go on a shooting rampage with Bond and his Aston Martin as their target. This is literally a roller coaster ride where we are shown the action as fast as probably Bond would view it. After a piece of nifty driving, Bond manages to send all of the goons to an early grave and finally drives to Siena, Italy and opens the trunk and says hello to Mr. White. This teaser sequence literally leaves the audience shaken and stirred, and the roller coaster mounted shakey camera shares the responsibility for that. Then the titles kick in which are quite different from the ones in the Brosnan era titles. These are reminiscent of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore style titles but not that exciting. A very dull song follows by Jack White of The White Stripes and Alicia Keys who collaborate on "Another Way to Die". This is the first duet in Bond music history and most probably the worst song in ages in a Bond title track.
Then follows a nice sequence between Bond, Mr. White, and the head mistress M.
Mr. White: I was always very interested to meet you. I heard so much about you from Vesper. If she hadn't killed herself we would've had you too.
James Bond: Are you going to tell us who you work for?
Mr. White: The first thing you should know about us is that we have people everywhere.
And even before we gather our wits, a traitor (hence �the people everyone� quip) starts a shooting match here and then Bond starts a rooftop chase after the traitor. After a very nicely choreographed fight with Bond and the traitor hanging for their lives on ropes, Bond manages to get to his Walther first and wins the duel.
As Mr. White manages to run away in the midst of the chaos, M is shall we say shaken and stirred. The fact that her personal bodyguard used to work for the terrorist organization right under her nose bothers her the most.
M: Who the hell is this organisation Bond? How can they be everywhere and we know nothing about them!
Back at MI6 headquarters, it looks like Q Branch has laid off Q and saved the money from Q�s salary to buy a sci-fi table which works like the touch screen from Minority Report. Using this touch screen table, MI6�s analysts manage to trace some of the dirty money from Le Chiffre to Haiti. Ok, time for a break. If you haven�t seen Casino Royale earlier, you will not understand half of what the folks in this movie talk about. And then you will be left just watching Bond blowing up things, not that there is anything wrong in it. Refresher course � Le Chiffre was the main villain in Casino Royale. Vesper was Bond�s love interest who committed suicide once Bond realized that she betrayed him.
Bond lands in Haiti and has a Bourne style hand to hand fight with another goon named Slate. As Bond is in �Wanted Dead Not Alive� mode, he wipes the Slate and then sweet talks the hotel receptionist into giving the goon�s briefcase to him. As he walks out of the hotel he meets the main hottie of the movie, Camille (Olga Kurylenko). After some introductory hi-hello dialogue it transpires that Slate was sent to kill Camille. Camille dumps Bond from his car and Bond manages to flip another goon from his motorcycle. The bad guys in this movie just come in one after the other, with Bond swatting them like flies. Bond takes the bike to the docks where he first sees Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), the chairman of Greene Planet and a member of the terrorist organization Quantum.
You see the producers are a clever lot; they used an Ian Fleming title and used part of it to name the bad guy�s organization. The title is from a short story in Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only. A brief English lesson for the literary handicapped: Quantum = A quantity or amount. Solace = A source of comfort or consolation.
Bond is looking for his quantum of solace and that is he wants his closure. In the short story, Ian Fleming said that if you don't have a quantum of solace in your relationship then the relationship is over. It's that spark of niceness in a relationship that if you don't have you might as well give up. Bond doesn't have that because Vesper has been killed. So Bond is looking for revenge to make himself happy with the world again. Well, whatever makes the guy happy. It�s all good as long as he manages to knock out the bad guys, blows things up, and makes the world a better place.
Back to the story. We overhear the dialogue between Greene and General Medrano and understand that Quantum is helping the General to stage a coup d'�tat in Bolivia in exchange for a piece of desert land. Bond sees that Greens has forced Camille to �escort� the General on his boat. Bond�s helpful nature prompts him to do a dangerous stunt with his bike and to take part in an elaborate boat chase with the General�s cronies. Needless to say Bond manages to sink all of the boats of the bad folks and chugs along to drop off Camille for some medical care. Here you see a marked difference. If it was good old Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan as Bond, then 007 would have seen to it that he �nursed� Camille properly with the right love and care. But Daniel Craig�s Bond is focussed on Quantum and his Solace and has little time for hotties like Camille.
Next we get to the best part of the movie when Bond follows Greene to Puccini's opera Tosca, near Bregenz, in the Austrian shore of Lake Constance. Here the members of Quantum are discussing shop and world domination while watching opera. Their plan for world domination or rather domination of Bolivia is called the Tierra Project. Bond with his impressive wits and fists manages to overhear their plans, like in Goldfinger , and then disrupts the meeting with a classic one-liner.
James Bond: Can I offer an opinion? I really think you people should find a better place to meet.
Then director Marc Forster (known for a series of art house films) pulls out all his tricks of the trade to execute an elaborate fight scene intercut with scenes of the opera and Greene glancing malevolently at Bond. If this was a standard formula Bond flick then the Bond theme would be blaring all out during this scene. But the Bond theme is missing here and that�s what really works. At the end of this sequence, Bond is mistakenly blamed for killing a British agent in Special Branch and hence M gets Bond's passports and credit cards revoked. But you can�t keep a good man down. Bond manages to meet Rene Mathis. (See Casino Royale to understand who he is) and sweet talks him to fund him to get to Greene in Bolivia. At the Bolivian airport, Bond meets Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) who is sent by M to get Bond back to London .
Agent Fields: If you attempt to flee I will arrest you, drop you off at the jail and take you to the plane in chains, understand?
James Bond: Perfectly, after you.
Mathis: I think she has handcuffs.
James Bond: You hope so.
Posing as teachers who have won the lottery, Bond gets into the poshest hotel in town. He wins another lottery, by having a romp in the Fields. Later, Bond meets Camille again at a fundraiser hosted by Greene. After an acerbic exchange between Bond and Greene, Bond leaves with Camille and the local police try to frame Bond with Mathis�s murder. Bond dispenses with the crooked cops and has a poignant moment with Mathis. It is a good thing that Daniel Craig is a damn good actor. In the hands of a lesser actor (like George Lazenby), the scene between the dying Mathis and Bond would have turned wrong very fast. But here you understand that Bond feels for his friend but he has a job to do.
Next Camille and Bond fly a Douglas DC-3 propeller plane to the place which Greene has demanded from the decadent General. A dogfight takes place between Bond�s plane and a plane flown by Quantumites. Bond wins but has to jump ship with Camille. Camille fills in with her back story on why she wants to send the General to hell. Bond finally comes across the real secret of why Greene needs the piece of land.
Bond returns back to La Paz, Bolivia and upon checking into the hotel finds M and her secret service folks swarming around. Fields has been bumped off by Greene after dipping her in Oil and M is in a nasty mood. After some ingenious moves, Bond manages to escape from the hotel and then and engages in some cool chat with his brother from Langley, Felix Leiter. Felix tells him that CIA Special Activities Division forces will hunt Bond down and also tells him about Greene�s secret lair which is a hollowed volcano. Oops, wrong movie. Greene�s lair is an eco-hotel powered by hydrogen fuel cells, located in the Bolivian desert. Bond and Camille land at the hotel and blow up the whole complex Jerry Bruckheimer style. Camille gets her revenge and Bond gets his too (albeit in an unusual way involving the same oil that Camille was killed in). In an unusual (Non Bondian) move, Bond leaves Camille after a small kiss and it�s adios senorita.
Bond finally meets Yusef who was the boyfriend of Vesper who forced her to betray Queen and Country, and Bond. Yusef is a Quantumite who is highly trained in the secret art of seducing women in high places to get them to betray secrets. Bond shows how he has matured in the movie and finally gets his Quantum of Solace.
M: I want you back.
Bond: I never left.
This is followed by the Gun Barrel opening or ending, if you may call it and the Bond theme blares over the credits.
A totally different Bond film. Almost like the creators of this movie wanted to strip all the extra fat from the character and make it a fat free, lean, mean movie. Following the trend of the earlier Casino Royale, the formula is out and anything is possible. Here Bond downs six drinks consecutively, is unable to sleep, and can�t stop killing the bad guys. This is until the end when he gets his closure and develops into the James Bond that we know for ages. Director Marc Forster sets his action sequences in the four elements � earth, water, air, fire. We have the entire movie without Bond saying his �Name is Bond, James Bond� introduction, no Q, no Moneypenny yet, we see Bond�s vulnerability and an emotional complexity which makes him human. We have Camille as a mirror for Bond who speaks words which Bond cannot speak because he is too tough to say these things. Wow, these are the levels to which a James Bond movie never went to. And it all feels great. Probably the Joker in �The Dark Knight� would have asked Bond �why so serious�. That would be apt for this movie which requires the serious tone (not that it doesn�t have some humorous one liners) and now that Bond has his Solace, he can chase Quantum next time with a grin on his face.
This movie is the biggest hit in all of the Bond series and hence without a doubt, James Bond returns in Skyfall.
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