The 22nd James Bond film in the franchise, Quantum of Solace sees Daniel Craig return as MI6’s most dangerous spy and is named and very loosely based on a short story by Ian Fleming that appeared in the For Your Eyes Only collection. Paul Haggis once again receives credit as one of the many script contributors and it was directed by Marc Foster. At the box office it took a few million less than Casino Royale, but was still a huge success. However Quantum of Solace‘s legacy was to bring about another shift in production of the James Bond franchise due to its legacy as one of the most dour installments.
Desperately hunting down members of the mysterious QUANTUM organisation to avenge the death of his lover Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Craig) kidnaps Mr. White and brings him for interrogation to the head of M6, M (Judi Dench). Mr. White escapes and Bond pursues him which leads him to discover a plot by environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) to assassinate his lover Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko). Greene is also negotiating with an exiled Bolivian General, the man who killed Camille’s family, to overthrow his Government in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of desert land.
As you can tell from the above synopsis Quantum of Solace has a complicated and overly preposterous plot, but as with decent thrillers these machinations are really just a cover for a revenge thread that runs through its core. The question must therefore be asked, what’s the point of making it so complicated. With Daniel Craig giving a pronounced, vicious central performance and Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric and Gemma Arterton given ample supporting roles there was really no need for Quantum of Solace to be so silly. What’s worse is that it doesn’t even seem to be enjoying itself while doing it and it completely fails to marry up the absurdity with the character’s story arcs.
The legacy of Quantum of Solace is perhaps even more damming. It became clear that the film-makers had gone too far in their goal to make Bond more serious and dramatic to the point where they had removed all humour and fun entirely. However with such a weight of expectation, certain elements were thrown in as necessary, which jar and cause the audience to break concentration. Quantum of Solace is comfortable one of the worst examples of James Bond films, being so serious, tiring to watch and completely forgettable at the end.