Bond is back, with many big explosions and an audience friendly running time of 93 minutes. The movie itself however can only be described as disappointing. After the expectation exceeding Casino Royale, Quantum had a lot to live up to and whereas Royale was measured, well plotted and just generally a great movie, this is slender, erratic and basically your bog standard action movie that just happened to have James Bond in it.
The good first, as is the policy of this website. I'm liking Craig's Bond. Its a decidedly tougher, less camp take on the character and he is without doubt the most physically indimidating of the Bond's. Granted he seems to have lost his sense of humor, but better that then the ironic pastiche Bond was headed for in Die another day. The action scenes are generically impressive, whilst not ground-breaking and Gemma Arterton's cameo as a junior agent almost steals the film. But it says a lot about this film that it is almost stolen by what in narrative terms is a 2nd tier bimbo. The writing is the film's weakest point. It seems to have been rushed out after CR's success and it shows. The dialogue is unremarkable as is the plot and the villain is a glorified middle-man and in many places feels like an after thought. This isn't Mathieu Almaric's fault as his performance is passable, its just a shame he feels like a last minute addition.
I realise that this is coming off as a very negative review so I should say this film is fine for an enjoyable night out. But it is a disposable action movie when it should have been so much more. Throughout all of this I have yet to mention the 'Bond Girl' of this film, Olga Kurelyenko. This could be because both performance and character are bland beyond belief. Or maybe its because she, like the villain is not smoothly worked into the film and thus feels superflous, like the producers shoehorned in a bond girl because they felt they had to. But it just hurts the so-called revenge plot regarding the deceased Vesper, which is supposedly driving him to the edge yet he is able to flirt with Kurelyenko's character easily. Antithetical narratives people. So to Conclude, if Casino Royale was Craig's From Russia with love, then Quantum of Solace is his Thunderball.