Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench
Most of the people I know who are hardcore James Bond fans universally agree that Sean Connery is the superior Bond. I, being the weirdo I guess, have always preferred Roger Moore. The reason for this is primarily because I grew up with Moore in the role and his movies were much more modern.
Many fans and critics have commented that Daniel Craig is a throwback to Sean Connery where Pierce Brosnan was a throwback to Roger Moore. Overall, I like Craig as a more modern version of Connery but I also liked Brosnan as a modern Roger Moore. The problem with the Brosnan run of movies was that he was great in the role but the movies he was weren’t stellar.
Unfortunately it appears the Craig’s version of Bond will suffer the same issues that Brosnan’s Bond did. Casino Royale was great fun due to some extremely memorable scenes, the most memorable of which was the opening black and white scene, but overall the plot just wasn’t that strong. Quantum of Solace features an even weaker story and no really memorable scenes outside the few minutes after the movie is over. A week after viewing this film there won’t be an action scene or a fantastic character exchange that you’ll tell your friends about. The movie, from that perspective, will disappear into the haze of other action films.
When friends ask you about the story of the film you’ll even have a more difficult time remembering and explaining it than trying to pick out a strong action scene. Honestly the story is just a big mess. The worst offense of the film is the fact that the revenge story that was so hyped in the marketing of the film just falls flat. The problem is that the story seems to already be in progress when the movie starts. Bond apprehends a bad guy who we don’t know and we don’t know what’s so important about him. It does get explained but in the most convoluted way possible. It also appears that Bond’s girl from the last film has been killed by these bad guys and Bond is pissed and wants revenge. No weight is ever given to Bond’s relationship with this girl other than through dialogue between him and a few other characters and her murder feels more like a plot device in the film than something truly dramatic. Olga Kurylenko, the Bond girl for this film, also has a revenge story in the film and the description and visuals tied to that story make it real and more dramatic. It’s much easier to understand and believe her anger in the film.
The villains in the film lack any charisma and never seem to be a real challenge for Bond. Honestly they’re just boring. I’m reminded of the villain in Lethal Weapon 3, he was serviceable but that was about it. Finally, none of the great setups of the classic Bond films are here, no casino, no shaken not stirred, no clever banter sexual innuendo laden dialogue between Bond and a Bond girl. Also, there’s no Q and no gadgets. Sure, there have been too many gadgets in some of the more recent films but he needs a few in order to make him appear to be working on a whole other level above other generic agents.
On the upside Craig fits fantastically in Bonds’ shoes and Judi Dench is a real pleasure as M. Sadly though that’s really all that’s positive about the film. For some Bond fans that may be enough because they are such big fans of the character. Believe it or not, because I’m such a fan of the character is why the film gets the below score. If I didn’t like the character and Craig in the role the score would probably be much worse.