november nouveau: quantum of solace

Have regrets. Get revenge.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) is a secret agent film and the second James Bond movie to star Daniel Craig. It was produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson thru their Eon Productions, directed by Marc Forster, and written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade. In addition to Daniel Craig the movie also stars Olga Kurylenko and Mathieu Amalric.   

Cast

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Olga Kurylenko as Camille Montes

Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene

Bond 22 All Photos by Karen Ballard

Judi Dench as M

Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis

Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields

Joaquin Cosio as General Medrano

Jasper Christensen as Mister White

Following the events of CASINO ROYALE (2006), Bond captures and loses Mister White but not before learning of the existence of the organization he works for – which we ultimately learn is called Quantum. Bond’s investigations lead him to Dominic Greene and a scheme to overthrow the Bolivian government. With the help of a beautiful Bolivian agent and old acquaintance Rene Mathis, Bond is all that stands between Quantum’s machinations and sheer disaster. 

  • The title QUANTUM OF SOLACE comes from a 1959 short story by Ian Fleming that was included in the collection FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. The short story has nothing in common with the film. 
  • Daniel Craig was injured three times while making this film. 
  • The movie’s finale was filmed at the Atacama Desert in Chile. It has the dubious distinction of being the driest region on Earth with no record of any measurable rainfall ever having occurred there. 
  • This is the first Bond film where James Bond does not make love to the principal Bond girl. 
  • The free-fall scene with Bond and Camille was shot in the Bodyflight Wind Tunnel in Bedford – which is twenty-six feet long with a diametric width of about sixteen and a half feet and can simulate free falling at one hundred seventy miles per hour. 
  • Only two actors have ever played Felix Leiter more than once. David Hedison played him in LIVE AND LET DIE(1973) and LICENCE TO KILL (1989). Now Jeffrey Wright has played him in this film and CASINO ROYALE. 
  • Gemma Arterton found out she got the part of Strawberry Fields when her agent called and sang the James Bond theme over the phone to her. 
  • The movie was filmed in more locations than any other Bond film: The United Kingdom, Panama, Chile, Italy, Mexico, and Austria. 
  • This is the only Bond movie to have a car chase, a boat chase, a foot chase, and a plane chase. 
  • This is the shortest Bond film at one hour and forty-six minutes. 
  • Agent Strawberry Fields’ name is based on The Beatles song. However, her first name is not given in the movie and is revealed in the closing credits. 
  • Gal Gadot auditioned for the role of Camille Montes but didn’t get the part. 

Dislikes:

  • To quote James Bond in this very movie: “They say you’re judged by the strength of your enemies.” If that is true, then Bond gets a low rating because lately his enemies have been lame. I thought Le Chiffre was bad, but this guy Greene is a weasel! He looks like a weasel, he sounds like a weasel, and he acts like a weasel. If you’re going to have a weasel as the bad guy, at least give him a henchman that can appear menacing. But no, the weasel bad guy is surrounded by weasel flunkies, and you have the gall to put this rodent of a villain in a climatic fistfight with James Bond. Are you out of your mind? Not only was this fight – which is supposed to be the climax – not exciting it was almost laughable. What were they thinking? 
  • Once again Bond goes rogue. They stick a transponder in him in the last movie. Why? Because he is out of control. They disavow him in this movie. Why? Because he is out of control. He gets suspended in SPECTRE (2015). Why? Because he is out of control. They might as well have changed his name to Jason Bourne and have done with it. 
  • M is supposed to be the director of MI6, but she doesn’t act like it. Or perhaps more accurately she doesn’t get treated as if she were the director of a spy agency equal to the CIA. She takes a lot of guff from other people and I wonder why. Is it because the producers want to get their money’s worth from Judi Dench’s salary and give her more to do – including being disrespected? Or is it because she is a woman, and they subconsciously write her this way because she is a woman. I say this because I cannot see M the admiral (from DOCTOR NO to LICENCE TO KILL) being spoken to the way they speak to her. The Minister of Defense Frederick Gray treated M with great respect in six Bond films. M even stands up to the Home Secretary in THUNDERBALL (1965). Female M doesn’t seem to get treated with the respect due her as the head of MI6. In fact, I wasn’t too crazy about the way the head of the NSA treated her in DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002). We get more of the same in this movie and I don’t like it not one bit.

Likes:

  • This film is a direct sequel to CASINO ROYALE. I know that sounds funny because all of the Bond movies after DOCTOR NO (1962) are sequels. But this one starts out right after the events of CASINO ROYALE. I like that and enjoyed re-watching both movies together as a single story.  
  • Bond didn’t get to sleep with the Bond girl Camille. I like that. This movie is a direct sequel to CASINO ROYALE where Bond’s love Vesper dies. It is supposed to show him dealing with her death. It wouldn’t make sense for him to be bedding everything in sight. Granted that he does make love to Strawberry Fields – this is still a James Bond movie. But that was more of a one-night stand. If he had slept with Camille, it would have had a more emotional impact and therefore would have been inappropriate for someone in mourning. 
  • Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis is perfect. He was an interesting character in CASINO ROYALE but in this movie, he supplies most of the heart as he becomes Bond’s best friend/wise old uncle. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963)’s Kerim Bey, ON HER MAJESTY’S SERCRET SERVICE(1969) ‘s Marc Ange-Draco, and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY(1981)’s Milos Columbo were like this as well, and they are in the best of the Bond films. 
  • I love the main title sequence in this movie and adore the theme song, ANOTHER WAY TO DIE – which for the first time is sung by a duet Alicia Keys and Jack White. 
  • Bond is back and boy did I miss him. This is an action-filled film with James Bond at his violent best. A study by the University of Otago in 2012 found it to be the most violent of the Bond films. Yay boy! This is my kind of movie!  

Despite its flaws I consider this one of the best James Bond movies and it is on my top ten list. It is number ten, but it made the list. Considering there are 27 Bond movies that means 17 didn’t make the grade. I know this goes contrary to popular opinion and most people don’t like this movie. I have never catered to popular opinion. You are entitled to how you feel but I stand by what I say. This is a damn good James Bond movie. 

I fully recommend this movie. If you’re an action fan check out this film, you will not be disappointed. If you’re a fan of secret agents and spies, then see this movie it is right up your alley. If you’re a Bond fan, then you have probably seen the film already, but I recommend you take a second look. Those that I know who saw this movie when it first came out and didn’t like it or had mixed feelings upon seeing it now have generally changed their minds. I think you will too. 

On our rating scale I give QUANTUM OF SOLACE four gray geeks. 

Okay buckaroos it is time this little spy guy went to bed. The Sandman is beating me to death. As always thanks for taking the time to visit with me. Thanks for letting me share my love of movies and entertainment with you. Most of all thanks for making room for me in your busy schedule. I really do appreciate it and love you for it. Until next time may the bird of happiness take a poop on your head – only make sure it was the bird of happiness and not some diarrhetic pigeon. Excelsior!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s