Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
As the US prepares itself for the unveiling of the latest Bond movie, I thought this would be a good time to look back at the last Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (QoS). Released four years ago in the wake of the triumphant success of Casino Royale, which introduced the world to a new James Bond, Daniel Craig, and rebooted the series, QoS has never received the admiration that I believe it deserves. While this may be due to a number of legitimate factors, some of which I will discuss here, I believe QoS is a worthy addition to the Bond cannon and will likely stand the test of time on par with another under-appreciated Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (OHMSS).
Indeed, if the then-Bond producers had any sort of integrity, OHMSS would have been followed with a movie like QoS. Given the death of his wife, a sequel could have showed how Bond was affected by the death of his wife and how it changed him. In any event, the current-Bond producers followed a more sensible path by allowing Casino Royale’s story to continue onward in QoS – dramatically, this made sense because Casino ROyale had shown Bond as a newly designated and quite arrogant 007 whose perceptions of right and wrong were pretty much destroyed by Vesper’s betrayal. It, therefore, stands to reason, that as he recovers from this betrayal Bond becomes an even bigger bastard and stays focused on getting to his target i.e. the truth behind Vesper’s betrayal.
It seems to me that this integrity, which made QoS a true sequel to Casino Royale, is what irked so many movie watchers. Among the most common complaints I heard and read about QoS were that it did not feel like a true Bond movie but rather like a piece of the Bourne series. That actually is a legitimate complaint since in this instance, both movies share common themes of betrayal, search for truth, and a desire for revenge. This is also the reason why I like QoS much more than other Bond movies – its focused, streamlined, and has only one thing on its mind. It makes a great companion piece to its predecessor, something very rare in today’s movie culture. Finally, it also set the series up for a return to the traditional Bond movie, which, according to reviewers, is what we will get in Skyfall.