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Quantum of Solace
A continuation of a great franchise.
Quantum of Solace
Daniel Craig to Star in "Quantum of Solace."
OPENING WEEKEND: $55,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $195,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

August 11th, 2008: Continuing on from the events of Casino Royale, Bond is once again on the track of the Lords Resistance Army.

What to Expect: The preceding Bond film, "Casino Royale," was a huge gamble. New Bond actor, new attitude, pretty much a totally new series. It paid off in a big way; the Bond reboot starring Daniel Craig became the highest-grossing Bond film ever, and it brought a whole new viewing audience (including this reviewer) to the Bond franchise. Following up this film will be no mean feat, especially when the expectations are this huge and the bar has been set this high. I for one have no idea how any Bond film can top the parkour foot chase that opened "Casino."

Article continues below

The 22nd Bond film has what I'd consider a bit of a handicap: a totally ridiculous title. "Quantum of Solace?" Really? What does that even mean? The worst part is that they're not even bound to it by virtue of having based the film off a Fleming book of that title. There is no Bond book of that title, which is taken from a collection of Fleming's short stories. The actual story that the title is taken from is not even related to the film at all, the film's plot is an original story. So why use it? Is there some law that says that all Bond film titles must be taken from Fleming's work? They're already rebooting the concept and crafting original stories for Bond, why not just think of their own titles? They couldn't do much worse than "Quantum of Solace."

But there the handicaps end. This new film represents another novelty for the Bond franchise; it's a direct sequel to "Casino Royale" instead of just another episode of Bond's tuxedo-clad adventures with only a tangential relationship to his previous exploits. The plot picks up an hour after the previous film's ending, which finds Bond confronting Mr. White, the man responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd, the woman Bond loved. The plot is something about an all-powerful shadow organization called Quantum, which has agents in MI6, and Bolivia's water supply and a phony environmental corporation, but who cares? Bond plots aren't really plots, they're frameworks upon which to hang awesomeness in the form of car chases, high-stakes gambling, fabulous babes and dashing derring-do on the part of Our Hero. The added element of Bond's single-minded quest to avenge Vesper adds that element of emotion that was such a novelty in "Casino Royale" and forged Bond into a new kind of secret agent, one who was raw and reactionary. One who cried in showers. One who didn't care if his martini was shaken or stirred. One who made us go "hell, YEAH!"

In this new film, the "fabulous babes" are present in the personages of Ukrainian model/actress Olga Kurylenko as Camille, a Russian-Bolivian agent who first clashes with and later teams with Bond, and English actress Gemma Arterton as MI6 Agent Fields. Arterton is pretty hot right now; aside from the Bond gig she's also landed a role in Disney's new summer-tentpole franchise-to-be "Prince of Persia" opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. Returning to their Bond roles are Judi Dench (quite the fabulous babe herself) as M, Jeffrey Wright as CIA agent Felix Leiter, and Giancarlo Giannini as French agent Rene Mathis. New to the world of Bond are Mathieu Almaric as Dominic Greene, a Quantum member with evil machinations afoot. Almaric is a well-known and much-lauded French actor who was recently seen in "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

The script for Quantum was written by the same team of writers that gave us "Casino Royale," so that's encouraging, but where things get interesting is in their choice of director. Although it is not known why the Casino director, Martin Campbell (a veteran of two Bond films) has not returned, the directing job was originally offered to "Notting Hill" helmer Roger Michell, who has directed Daniel Craig in two films. Michell turned down the opportunity, citing the lack of a script at the time, which was a problem for him given his desire to make extensive pre-shoot preparations. Producers then turned to a very unusual choice: Swiss director Marc Forster, who is known for such exciting action films as..."Finding Neverland" and "Monster's Ball."


Forster has built up a pretty impressive resume, including "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Kite Runner" in addition to the two films cited above, but nothing about it screams "Bond!" But then, these new Bond films are thinking outside the box, so this could be a revolutionary new vision. That being said, given that the last film represented a revolutionary new vision, I'm not sure that the very next film is the time to introduce yet another revolutionary new vision. How much Forster will bring to the table in terms of stylistics and directorial artistry is uncertain, given that Bond films aren't known for being director showcases.

So, what can we expect from Quantum? Well, for one, it's been reported that this film contains the longest pre-credits action scene of any Bond film ever, clocking in at nearly half an hour and featuring a Harrier jet and a helicopter fight. This report has been called into some question, it must be said, but more reliable sources cite a thrilling speedboat chase later in the film and a 200 kph (125 mph) car chase along the shores of an Italian lake. Reports indicate that "Quantum" will be a more traditional Bond film than "Casino Royale" and will feature a grossly misbehaving Bond (the best kind). Dench confirms that M will be a very strong presence, uneasy relationship with Bond and all. There's been talk of having some gadgets, notable absent from "Casino," and that worries me a little bit, I don't mind telling you. I suppose a few gadgets are all right, as long as we don't get into laughable bomb-in-the-eyeglasses territory. What are the chances for this film's success? Well, let me put it this way: it'll really have to suck to fail. Even so, given this film's massive $230 million price tag ("Casino Royale" cost $140 million), "Quantum of Solace" will have to deliver major box-office in order to make back its investment. It's well positioned to do so. November isn't exactly a haven for action films, and the holiday months are traditionally busy movie-going times. It might not face much direct competition for moviegoers, and so many people were excited by "Casino Royale" that the anticipation level is high for this film.

So now we're left with the most important question of all: who's singing the theme song? Which lucky artists are faced with the challenge of incorporating the words "quantum of solace" into song lyrics? That Herculean task will fall to the unlikely duo of Jack White and Alicia Keys, and that, dear moviegoers, is reason enough to go to the film right there.

In Conclusion: It's Bond. It's a sequel to a hugely successful film. It features Daniel Craig in tiny little swim trunks. Ka-ching! Unless the reviews and word-of-mouth are horrendously bad, this film feels like a surefire hit. Whether it is as well-made and affecting as its predecessor remains to be seen. If they've made a clunker, it will probably still make money, but it could seriously affect the next Bond film's chances for success.

Similar Titles: Casino Royale, Live Free or Die Hard
November 14th, 2008 (wide)
March 24th, 2009 (DVD)

MGM, Columbia Pictures

Marc Forster

Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright, Jesper Christensen, Joaquin Cosio

Total: 218 vote(s).

Action & Adventure, Drama, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content.

105 min




Quantum of Solace at Trailer Addict

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