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on 19 November 2015
Quantum of Solace - Non Spoiler Review:

In my honest-to-heart opinion - this is probably the second best bond (best being casino royale). If you haven't seen Casino Royale, then Quantum of Solace will make no sense whatsoever - so don't see Quantum before you see that movie. Back to Quantum - there's everything you want from:
a) a bond film
b) any great film
The movie opens with a thrilling car chase, taking place approximately 30 minutes after Casino Royale, where Bond has Whyte in his car. We then get a fantastic chase, from rooftop to rooftop, with astounding stunts, fantastic, realistic action, (Yup, we're past Die Another Day) and another great David Arnold score.
I really haven't a clue why so many hate on Quantum, it's a fast-paced, well directed Bond film. As aforementioned, this really is a sequel to CR, and a lot of it's main events come of the back of that. Quantum is also a movie about revenge, but for the most part, Bond tries to convince himself that he's not motivated by it, as M (who has some great dialogue) suspects. The ending of the movie is really powerful - more subtle than Casino Royale's, and just as heart-breaking, as we learn that Bond has moved on from the past.

Bottom line - Fantastic Movie - check it out (but watch CR first, for sure) - it's a kick-ass action film, with great performances.
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on 17 February 2009
Let's be honest, everyone has an opinion on what a Bond film should be like. In terms of 'I would have done it this way' or 'they shouldn't have done it like that' a Bond film ranks up there with how the country should be run or the management of the national football team where everyone is an expert. Too much sex, not enough glamour, ridiculous gadgets, not enough gadgets, the stunts are too far fetched, it's too realistic....and so on; whatever combination the producers put in their films they'd be criticised for any of the above.

Quantum of Solace is no different, whilst still hugely successful Marc Forster's film has split audiences and critics alike. The storyline sees Bond pursuing the organisation he holds responsible for the death of his love Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. It turns out that this organisation, Quantum, is unknown to MI6 yet is highly powerful and internationally connected and Bond stumbles on its plot to control Bolivia's water supply. Like M, we are never quite sure if Bond is on the mission or pursuing his personal agenda, as he gives little away whilst displaying his resourcefulness in following various leads around the world.

Quantum of Solace starts half an hour after Casino Royale and immediately you are into the film. An exhilarating car chase by Lake Garda is followed by an innovative title sequence and then we have a bit of exposition from M before another chase ensues, this time by foot and before you notice twenty minutes have passed and you haven't breathed. The plot proceeds more like a sequence of events as opposed to a structured build-up as Bond, hopping countries, goes from one chase (land, sea and air) or fight to the next, with just enough dialogue in between to balance the tempo. Following the predictably explosive third act the film's final scene lets the audience take stock and breathe out.

The reoccurring criticism levied at Quantum of Solace is its lack of build-up and depth, with Bond too solemn throughout. For me this misses the point, as producers were at pains to point out that this is a direct sequel to Casino Royale. I would go a step further and add that it's actually Act Two of one big film; where Casino Royale is the prelude and Quantum of Solace the finale where Bond, angry, lets loose. Viewing it this way will give you a different perspective.

There are a few downsides. The premise of a secret organisation whose evil aim is to up the price of water is, if not far fetched for today's audience, hardly blood-curdling stuff. And insisting on an explosive denouement is one thing, but to achieve it by having the enemies clash in a hotel powered by ultra flammable pressurised gas is, to say the least, a bit contrived.

The upsides though are many. The action is superb (if a little Bourne-juddery at times) as are the several fight sequences. You actually believe Bond is a highly trained killer and your expectancy doesn't let you blink when he gets into a clash (do you remember watching the Roger Moore fights slightly embarrassed?). The cinematography may not fully capture the pseudo glamour of the Bond countries of old, but you really feel you are in these places with Bond, sharing his claustrophobic world. And I loved the odd retro touch the film endows such as where Bond, all stealth and dressed like Steve McQueen, sneaks around a seedy Bolivian town in the dead of night and actually uses a public telephone.

The characters are mostly all well played too. The highlights being Gemma Arterton's breath of fresh air as Miss Fields and Jeffrey Wright's brooding Felix Leiter. But the plaudits have to go to Judy Dench and Daniel Craig who are both class acts. Whilst deadly serious, Craig delivers his witticisms with perfect timing and reassuring arrogance with a healthy disregard for authority. And the chemistry he shares with Dench's maternal, eternally reproachful M can't be faked.

All said and done Quantum of Solace is a hugely enjoyable film. It might not have the suave assuredness of the Connery films, nor the glamour of the some of the Moore's but what it has is Daniel Craig who, and this is coming from a lifelong Connery fan, is hands-down the best Bond of the series.
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on 9 September 2015
Hopes were very high for the second outing of Daniel Craig's 007 following the sterling job he, director Martin Campbell and producers Broccoli/Wilson did with the previous entry 'Casino Royale': What would happen following the death of Bond's beloved Vesper Lynde? Is René Mathis all he seems? Who was that mysterious organisation? Would Daniel find a laundry intime so he can wash out his blue speedos? Enquiring minds needed to know, however as the film unspooled before me my interest barometer decided to take a one-way trip to snooze-ville...

The story plunges us straight back into the action mere moments after the previous entry as we find 007 putting the pedal to the metal evading a team of shadowy pursuers as fan favourite Mr White (Jesper Christensen on fine form) lies neatly placed in the boot of the Aston. Following a bout of old skool interrogation, White escapes and between a series of punch ups, chase sequences and MI6 mumbo jumbo, Bond finds himself in cahoots with Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a Bolivian agent with a vendetta ironically tying in with James' own mission: Track down bug eyed lunatic Dominic Greene (a sleepwalking Mathieu Amalric), who may or not be involved with a shadowy organisation calling itself Quantum and finally putting an end to the unfinished business concerning Vesper.

To begin, I love Bond movies. However, this ''sequel'' to Casino Royale is a disjointed affair that tries hard to be a lean action spectacle, but due to poor characterisation, lazy screenwriting and an over reliance on Jason Bourne style rip-offery - it leaves you a feeling short changed by film's end. Sure, this new Bond is all brooding and lovelorn, but the film around him didn't need to be so dour - everyone is either psychologically damaged or generally in a bit of a huff. Listen, I'm a fan of a darker Bond (the very underrated Tim Dalton being one of my favourite 007s and ironically its his 'Licence to Kill' that Quantum most resembles, except without the fun) and have no issue with presenting the character as an emotionally bereft machine, but where Casino Royale director Martin Campbell managed to balance Craig's disconnected hero with luxurious scenery and diverse characters - here helmer Marc Forster seems out of his depth, clearly wanting to make the franchise 'his own vision', going for deep meaningful conversations about pain and making sure you don't leave the screening in a good mood.

The blu-ray release features a very strong transfer with vibrant audio. However, as the movie is photographed in such a dull, point and shoot fashion - its almost lost on the format. The extras are also quite average and don't hold the attention as much as say the original movies where MGM filled the discs with many documentaries, etc - maybe a future re-release will rectify that. All in all, a missed opportunity and if I'm honest, its only worth a two star rating, but I couldn't bring myself to do that to Bond so settled on a 'sit on the fence' three. Thankfully for the world, things picked up with 007's next adventure 'Skyfall' (even though that still has its faults) - however, this film fails to capitalise on the success of its progenitor and performs the worst crime that anyone can ever do in 007 picture: It makes Bond boring. For shame, Marc Forster. For shame.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 June 2014
I didn't like this film at all and I was barely able to finish watching it - in fact I had to fast forward some parts of it, even if at 106 minutes it is not all that long (one of its few redeeming characteristics).

This is a follow up of "Casino Royale", which I didn't like either but which was at least watchable. Well, in this film a guy named Bond looks for people responsible for the death of a woman he fell in love with in the previous film, a little bit like in "Diamonds are forever"... However for me Daniel Craig is simply NOT credible as James Bond (I liked even George Lazenby more!) and therefore I simply refuse to consider him as real Bond - and that makes this film just another one of hundreds of spy/action films.

Bond films were never concerned with credible plots and indeed here the story is also non-sensical - which in itself doesn't bother me in the least... But Bond films were always about larger-than-life villains, their impossibly extravagant henchmen, unaffordable life-style, paranoid plans for world domination, luxury, decadence, gadgets, unbelievable fights, stunts and escapes and chicks, chicks, chicks... Here all of this is missing in action, ALMOST completely!

The only reason why I give to this boring, lame film two stars is because there are indeed two hot girls in it, unlike in the previous one (I totally hate Eva Green in every film she ever made). Olga Kurylenko and especially Gemma Arterton make parts of this film watchable - but most of it isn't...

I rented this film instead of buying and it was still a waste of time and money. Avoid this cr@p! If however you decide to watch it anyway, well, immediately after I recommend to see "You only live twice", "Live and let die" and "The world is not enough" to cope with anaphylactic shock...
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on 25 October 2012
After the franchise reboot, Casino Royale, being so finatualy successful, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was made. Quantum of Solace is a first for Bond movies – the first time a Bond film continues exactly from where its predecessor ended. Unfortunately, although the storyline of Casino is continued upon, the quality is not. Casino Royale was a really good film, Quantum I would say is mediocre or good at best.

It has some of the same flaws as Casino Royale. Again, the gunbarrel is not at the start of the film. A minor flaw, but most irritating. Casino got away with it as it reboot 007 himself back to a time before he held his 007 status, the gunbarral was nicely done as Bond’s first kill. However, there is no excuse for not having the gunbarral back to its usual place, and it wasn’t. Q and Moneypenny, again, both failed to make an appearance. That can still be partly excused because it is still the reboot of the franchise, but there is still no reason as to why they could not have been reintroduced into the franchise in this film.

What cannot be excused is the fact that after brilliant women and villains such as Le Chiffre and Vesper Lynd, we get absolutely dreadful ones like Dominic Green and Camille. My biggest flaw is awful camera work, it’s pathetic, fast paced where the camera shakes a lot. This is not for Bond films. ‘Another Way to Die’ is one of absolute worst Bond themes ever. Quantum of Solace was simply not ‘Bond’ enough. This was just more of a simple action movie rather than a pure Bond movie.

However, that does not mean that there are no good points. Anget Fields was the other Bond girl in the movie, and is a better character than Camille. A fantastic reference to the 1964 Bond film, Goldfinger, was also in the film. We see Fields drowned in oil, lying on the bed in the same way Jill Masterson was. Acting was also good, especially from Bond himself, Daniel Craig, who clearly continued to give a stunning performance.

So overall, a bland and flat film that is obviously flawed with multiple issues throughout, yet the film still did not fail to deliver and still enjoyable and watchable. I most certainly enjoyed the film occasionally.
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The unique brand that is James Bond was pretty much re-invented two years ago with the release of Casino Royale, and although there was a lot of scepticism at the time - such as a too short, blonde Bond - there can be little doubt that the new formula worked. That film has gone on to comfortably become the most successful Bond film to date, bringing in more than US$600 million at the worldwide box office, and won a number of awards including a BAFTA for Best Film. The challenge now is whether that new look will work second time around, because although this is the 22nd of the film franchise, it will be seen by many as the second of the re-invigorated, re-styled and re-booted takes on Ian Fleming's famous creation. It therefore suffers from exceptionally high expectations and the spectre (sorry) of sequel-itis, the financial plague affecting so many follow-ups to blockbuster movies.

And it is plainly a sequel, because it starts just one hour after the conclusion of Casino Royale. In that story, Bond - with the help of treasury officer Vesper Lynd (played by Eva Green) - was trying to foil the efforts of Le Chiffre, an unscrupulous financier who was bankrolling international terrorism. For once Bond actually fell in love - with Lynd, not Le Chiffre - but she betrayed him by allowing herself to be manipulated by a sinister organisation which had a greater hold over her than James Bond. That betrayal ultimately led to her death in Venice, and at the beginning of QoS Bond is trying to come to terms with that but at the same time trying to convince M (Judi Dench) that he is not seeking revenge - he is seeking his quantum of solace, his peace of mind. He needs to know who he can trust, who his friends are. In an exciting opening sequence, several members of that aforementioned organisation have caught up with Bond and so begins a fast and furious pursuit/escape in the Aston.

Broadly speaking the whole film is one of a hunter seeking those responsible for his new-found state of mind, brought about by the death of Vesper Lynd. So Bond has vengeance in mind, which manifests itself in the evil shape of Dominic Green (played by Swiss actor Mathieu Amalric), who is also sought by the inevitable Bond Girl: Camille, played by Olga Kurylenko, a woman quite capable of acting independently and like Bond has personal reasons for wanting Dominic Green dead.

QoS doesn't have the same stunning impact that Casino Royale did, but that's simply because we know what to expect this time; that film raised the bar several notches above what can now be regarded as the rather feeble Brosnan years. So the very least it has to do is to give us more of the same, without coming across as a clone, and in those respects yes, it almost succeeds. It has one of the most relentless and gripping pre-title sequences in Bond history, less of a surprise perhaps but definitely providing an even stronger adrenaline rush. As far as thrills are concerned it grabs hold and just never lets go, my only criticism being that there is probably too much emphasis on thrills and action at the expense of the humour and understated threat of Bond films of old. Many observers think that it shows too much 'Bourne influence', which would be an irony because the three Bourne films were often described as being influenced by Bond only with more action. I wonder if the thinking with QoS was to out-Bourne Bourne? It has to be said though that this is more of an action movie than one in the best Bond traditions, but let's remember that only the geriatric among us will really remember the Bond of old with any emotional attachment and the franchise must constantly strive to draw in younger and less sentimental audiences. Die-hard Bond fans may regret its dilution of identity and (relative to the original Connery films of old) rather weak character development, but the compensation is there for younger audiences in the shape of superb action sequences in a film that probably needs to recognise what made very different films such as The Dark Knight such a huge success. At the end of the day, sadly, it's all about money, and when the producers sat round a table and talked about how to raise another $600 million they clearly opted for the all-action route rather than stay faithful to the James Bond brand. For this reason it will probably be a financial success, but 007 purists might worry that some of the original identity is lacking and that as a family of much-loved films it has taken a slightly worrisome direction.

It's okay, then, but an experience that might not linger in the memory as long as classics such as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger et al. Daniel Craig, as brutal, terse and macho as in Casino Royale, carries the film with ease and with the occasional dash of laconic humour but at times I wondered if he was actually too good for the film; a strange reflection given the worries we all had before we had seen him in the previous film. He's absolutely right for the part physically, but some of his genuine acting talents are wasted. Mention should be made too of Olga Kurylenko as the ubiquitous Bond Girl, because instead of being just a pretty face she comes over as a truly original variation on the theme - mysterious, driven, highly capable yet vulnerable too. Likewise the villain, on the face of it a respectable billionaire but when provoked able to show a latent menace often missing from the (let's face it) rather camped-up characters in Bond films past. These two are excellent supporting characters and I feel the film as a whole would have benefited by being five or ten minutes longer (but with a different and less predictable ending!) so as to look a little more into their backgrounds and personalities. At 106 minutes I believe the time was there to be added without undermining the other objectives of action and excitement.
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on 23 August 2009
How does Bond turn up in a crisp white shirt, spotless dickie-bow, and immaculate dinner jacket minutes after he's escaped yet again from the jaws of death, lethal bad guys or unbelievable car chases? Well, he's doing it again in this one. It's a bit darker than the usual franchise stuff, fewer jokes and more realistic violence. After a bit you tend to lose the plot somewhat, but it's all very fast-moving - plenty of big bangs, beautiful girls and touristy locations. The Blu-ray gives a truly cinematic feel to the proceedings.
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on 22 March 2009
Reading through the existing reviews, they appear to fall into two camps. Negative ones complain about the lack of Q, Moneypenny, and the saucy quips of Roger and Pierce. Positive ones invoke Ian Fleming, and reckon he'd love "Quantum of Solace".

Actually - no he wouldn't - because QoS the film is a total mess. I'm aware that it's a direct sequel to "Casino Royale", which makes the comparison all the more stark. CR is the definitive Bond film because it is a supremely classy piece of cinema that stood comparison with the best grown-up films released in 2006. It has at its heart that superb performance from Daniel Craig as 007. There is action in abundance, beautifully shot with a minimum of CGI and with a clarity and flow of editing that makes following the plot a breezy pleasure.

QoS. Is chopped. Up into tiny. Snippets. As the inexperienced. Director. More famiiar with. Emotional material such as. "The Kite Runner". Hasn't. The Foggiest Notion how. Action Scenes should be. Shot. And. More. Importantly Edited.

Craig can't take the blame, there's nothing wrong with his steely, driven, performance. And he's ably supported - Dench is wonderful as ever and Bond Girl Kurylenko equips herself well in scenes where the pacing slows down. The stunt work is able, a shame we couldn't take more time to enjoy it.

A massive opportunity squandered after the genius of CR, then, but three stars because it's still James Bond.
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on 17 February 2009
Let's be honest, everyone has an opinion on what a Bond film should be like. In terms of 'I would have done it this way' or 'they shouldn't have done it like that' a Bond film ranks up there with how the country should be run or the management of the national football team where everyone is an expert. Too much sex, not enough glamour, ridiculous gadgets, not enough gadgets, the stunts are too far fetched, it's too realistic....and so on; whatever combination the producers put in their films they'd be criticised for any of the above.

Quantum of Solace is no different, whilst still hugely successful Marc Forster's film has split audiences and critics alike. The storyline sees Bond pursuing the organisation he holds responsible for the death of his love Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. It turns out that this organisation, Quantum, is unknown to MI6 yet is highly powerful and internationally connected and Bond stumbles on its plot to control Bolivia's water supply. Like M, we are never quite sure if Bond is on the mission or pursuing his personal agenda, as he gives little away whilst displaying his resourcefulness in following various leads around the world.

Quantum of Solace starts half an hour after Casino Royale and immediately you are into the film. A exhilarating car chase by Lake Garda is followed by an innovative title sequence and then we have a bit of exposition from M before another chase ensues, this time by foot and before you notice twenty minutes have passed and you haven't breathed. The plot proceeds more like a sequence of events as opposed to a structured build-up as Bond, hopping countries, goes from one chase (land, sea and air) or fight to the next, with just enough dialogue in between to balance the tempo. Following the predictably explosive third act the film's final scene lets the audience take stock and breathe out.

The reoccurring criticism levied at Quantum of Solace is its lack of build-up and depth, with Bond too solemn throughout. For me this misses the point, as producers were at pains to point out that this is a direct sequel to Casino Royale. I would go a step further and add that it's actually Act Two of one big film; where Casino Royale is the prelude and Quantum of Solace the finale where Bond, angry, lets loose. Viewing it this way will give you a different perspective.

There are a few downsides. The premise of a secret organisation whose evil aim is to up the price of water is, if not far fetched for today's audience, hardly blood-curdling stuff. And insisting on an explosive denouement is one thing, but to achieve it by having the enemies clash in a hotel powered by ultra flammable pressurised gas is, to say the least, a bit contrived.

The upsides though are many. The action is superb (if a little Bourne-juddery at times) as are the several fight sequences. You actually believe Bond is a highly trained killer and your expectancy doesn't let you blink when he gets into a clash (do you remember watching the Roger Moore fights slightly embarrassed?). The cinematography may not fully capture the pseudo glamour of the Bond countries of old, but you really feel you are in these places with Bond, sharing his claustrophobic world. And I loved the odd retro touch the film endows such as where Bond, all stealth and dressed like Steve McQueen, sneaks around a seedy Bolivian town in the dead of night and actually uses a public telephone.

The characters are mostly all well played too. The highlights being Gemma Arterton's breath of fresh air as Miss Fields and Jeffrey Wright's brooding Felix Leiter. But the plaudits have to go to Judy Dench and Daniel Craig who are both class acts. Whilst deadly serious, Craig delivers his witticisms with perfect timing and reassuring arrogance with a healthy disregard for authority. And the chemistry he shares with Dench's maternal, eternally reproachful M can't be faked.

All said and done Quantum of Solace is a hugely enjoyable film. It might not have the suave assuredness of the Connery films, nor the glamour of the some of the Moore's but what it has is Daniel Craig who, and this is coming from a lifelong Connery fan, is hands-down the best Bond of the series.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 24 February 2009
James Bond was conceived by Ian Fleming as both rough and suave, British and cosmopolitan, a brutal connoisseur with a license to kill. I think his perfect embodiment lies somewhere between Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. I am afraid that Daniel Craig does look like a...parking valet moonlighting as a gigolo.
Nevertheless, Casino Royale was an excellent film and I remember enjoying it greatly. QUANTUM OF SOLACE, on the other hand, is simply its...expansion.

After the (unimaginative) opening sequence of traditional naked dancing shadows and the (admittedly awful!) title song, the story picks up exactly where CASINO ROYAL left us: the Aston Martin rocketing up and down narrow mountain Tuscany roads and into a quarry, pursued by Bond's enemies. Who, mind you, can be found everywhere...

The film feels short and more like the staccato series of action sequences (and moments of closure over Vesper) than a flowing story.
This is Bond-by-Numbers: chases and gadgets (OK, product plugs), girls and villains, stylish lines and surviving impossible explosions. When the end credits roll you may not be able to put your finger on what was missing but you will not be able to shake that feeling either.

If a fan of Daniel Graig, get Casino Royale instead.
For classic Bond though, my advice is to watch From Russia With Love once more.
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