Quantum of Solace – Worst Bond movie EVER!

This may be my last movie review. I saw this in the theatre a few years ago when it came out, and the funny thing was, I couldn’t remember a thing about it. So, when it was on cable TV a couple nights ago, I decided to watch it again to see if it was any good.

It wasn’t. Indeed, I found out why I couldn’t remember anything about it the first time, because there was nothing worth remembering about it the second time, either.

It’s a given that most James Bond movies have plots that range from over-the-top to the downright preposterous, but nonetheless the plots are at least understandable. But Quantum of Solace has no plot at all, at least none that I could discern. It’s just a bunch of action and fight scenes and car chases strung together with no central story to make you care about any of them. But beyond that, what was lacking in this movie was any sense of fun or style, two things that could usually redeem even the worst of previous Bond efforts. Bond is grim throughout, and one gets the sense that neither he nor “M” (Judi Dench) particularly like or trust each other.

The whole point of the Bond series was that it was pure, escapist fantasy. It presented a world in which you got to drive fast cars, travel to exotic locales, and have sex with gorgeous women. The whole thing was about glamour and style, and reality be damned! But apparently the curent trend is to have Bond movies strive more for gritty realism. Well, I guess they got the “Grit” part right, but in the process tossed out all the fun and charm. In short, this movie fails as even good entertainment. Indeed, you would be much better served watching the silly Vin Diesel effort xXx, with Diesel playing the wise-cracking, tattooed anti-Bond and Samuel L Jackson having ten times as much fun as Judi Dench in the role of his “Boot to ass” boss.

20 Comments

  1. You called that one Eric. When I saw “Quantum of Solace” the first thing that came to mind was: Well, I guess they’ve given up on James Bond movies!

  2. I’ve never been a fan of James Bond movies, and have except for a few of the early Sean Connery versions, found it impossible to sit completely through one.

    That said, we did go to see Casino Royale, and I thought that for all its flaws, it gave Bond an energy and believable physicality and capability he had lacked in earlier films.

    But then, that is just me and “fantasy films”. I’ve never been able to sit through a Star Wars movie either.

    Speaking of spy movies, did just recently re-watch the Quiller Memorandum, on DVD. The last time I saw it was probably on some late show 25 years ago, and before that, on TV when I was 10 or 12.

    It didn’t have the impact I remember it having, but was interesting enough, despite plot problems and a leisurely pace, to watch … both for the film itself and for the commentary.

    Good Lord, they certainly knew how to photograph women back then. The final framing of Senta Berger ….

  3. The biggest problem that I see with the Daniel Craig Bond flicks was the same that afflicted the Timothy Dalton ones: the violence is so overwhelming that it is really the only thing in the movie. The humor of the Roger Moore flicks is gone, as is the class of the Sean Connery pictures.

  4. Hube I read your post from 2011 and for the most part you’re on target. I wasn’t fond of Quantum but I have seen every Bond movie (at least twice) and I really never tire of the character. Maybe that’s because as a kid Fleming captured my imagination and to this day I can’t shake him. Or maybe because the first time I touched Mary Donnelly’s boob was in a theatre during Dr. No. One or the other.

  5. I’ll always have a fond memory for “Moonraker”. I had just gotten my driver’s license and me and three buddies drove to see it in the theater that summer. I had my dad’s Mazda RX3 station wagon with a rotary engine and a stick shift. I remember coming back from that movie doing 80+ on a two lane road in Northern Virginia in the fog. Stupid, to be sure, but l

  6. I’ll always have a fond memory for “Moonraker”. I had just gotten my driver’s license and me and three buddies drove to see it in the theater that summer. I had my dad’s Mazda RX3 station wagon with a rotary engine and a stick shift. I remember coming back from that movie doing 80+ on a two lane road in Northern Virginia in the fog. Stupid, to be sure, but loads of fun!

  7. I tend to think that part of the problem with the Bond series is it ran out of relevance after the Cold War ended. For one thing, they ran out of good villains. The last decent Bond plot was “Goldeneye”, which was set in the context of the Cold War having just ended. Also, I am no fan of Judi Dench’s “M”. It’s nothing against her as an actress, it’s just the character I don’t like. It’s the classic Feminazi ball buster “Gotta prove I’m tougher than the guys” type of thing. In contrast, the original “M”, Bernard Lee, never acted this way. It was just assumed he had gotten respect the old fashioned way – by earning it.

  8. I tend to think that part of the problem with the Bond series is it ran out of relevance after the Cold War ended. For one thing, they ran out of good villains.

    Gotta disagree with that Eric. What happened was the west went soft and refused to see the villains. You mean Ian Fleming couldn’t make a story out of Castro? Out of North Korea and Kim Un? Out of Sadam? Hell, he could make a story out of crony capitalists teaming up with corrupt government to bankrupt America if he wanted. But in our PC world, Fleming and Bond became irrelevant, because the line between good and evil did.

  9. Actually, they did make a movie with a North Korean villian. It was the last Brosnan movie called Die Another Day. But North Korea makes a pussaint villain compared to the old USSR.

    Maybe a good future villain would be the left wing scum right here in the USA. Make Obama or Hillary the next Dr. No, then have Bond shove him or her into a meat shredder and grind them up and turn them into dog food.

  10. We could also have Bond foiling the largest moslem terrorist attack ever on London. Or a saran gas attack by Chechnya terrorists. How about an attempt to blow up the Keystone pipeline to corner the oil market? Or a magnetic pulse hit on the US? I thought the NK villain was some rogue general, not Kim Un.

  11. Leggy, coltish girls have their attractions, though I’m not particularly attracted to exotics in addition. But that is just personal taste.

    I’m certainly an outlier here, but if I were giving out awards for looks I’d include the villianess in Thunderball; at least as the actress was photographed and presented there.

    Though, in 40 plus years or Bond potboilers, there have probably been female types enough included to cover any normal male preference.

    The idea of what is attractive and what is not changes with time and is based at least to some extent on familiarity and cultural contexts.

  12. Here you go guys, have at it. Which is the most beautiful woman? May the most voluble and insistent win.

    http://fstoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/average-faces-of-women-around-the-world.jpg

    Ireland is missing from this series, and among European female faces, she constitutes the most distinctive or identifiable in some ways. Also The American white woman average is not shown, but can easily be found elsewhere on the Internet. Same goes for average American white male, and male and female American blacks.

    The Swede and Czech girl image averages surprised me. Neither looks like I would have imagined, looking instead like a split the difference average for one of my kid sisters. Odd …

    Maybe Swedish women don’t look like I imagined from movies and all.

  13. Ireland is missing from this series

    PS: I saw the John Wayne movie The Wings of Eagles last night (I got a collection of John Wayne/John Ford DVD’s for Christmas) and his co-star was Maureen O’Hara, who is drop-dead gorgeous!

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