The Bond refresher by the name of Casino Royale a couple of years ago surpassed expectations of what the franchise could potentially be. It was about as good as they could have made it, and even more impressive because they were effectively starting from scratch. So there has inevitably been excitement and apprehensive curiosity about whether the follow up could be as good.
And although Quantum of Solace is a few notches down the ladder from Casino Royale, in fact I fear the word “disappointment” will be used quite often amongst both fans and critics alike, it’s still impressive in its action-focused intents. However one-track-minded that ultimately may be.
Following directly on, in fact approximately just one hour, from the last outing, Quantum of Solace sees Bond going up against the mysterious Quantum organisation and the exacting Dominic Greene. Fuelled by his anger for the death of the woman he loved, Bond takes this mission personally as he attempts to stop Greene and his attempt to take control of one of the world’s most precious resources.
The Bourne franchise gave the Bond one a serious kick up the ass. It showed that the old-style Bond just wasn’t going to cut it in the 21st century world of the movies. And Bond did kick up its intensity, excitement, and overall quality with Casino Royale. Unfortunately the franchise has taken a few steps back as despite its actual increase in the amount of action it doesn’t seem to flow as well as it should. It feels constantly like intense action then rest, then intense action and then rest again. It travels this road throughout the entire movie and it starts to get quite distracting. In Casino Royale the action felt justified and warranted, but here it seems rather forced.
It’s just relieving, then, that on their own merit the action sequences are fantastic, equalling those done in the previous film and in places even surpassing it. From its opening minutes when we get thrust into a high-octane car chase right up until its explosive conclusive confrontation the action is top notch. It seems that the focus has been taken off the “in-between” scenes and is firmly on the physical action. And this decision is both the film’s biggest strength and its biggest weakness; lacking in emotion and anything but a simply adequate script it may be but as a far as action goes it’s about as full-on as you could hope for.