It isn’t that [director Marc] Forster is trying to be too clever by half in Quantum of Solace, though. The problem is easier than that: he doesn’t appear to know what makes Bond different from any other spy out there. Prior to Royale (which Quantum tries to ape but consistently gets all wrong), there was certainly a lot of dead franchise weight that needed to be shed. All those hokey mannerisms, and the “Bond, James Bond” ticks that kept popping up in rigidly formulaic film after film. After a while, it was only the girls who were different, and even they began to blur together. Does anybody really remember anything about the Pierce Brosnan films? Casino Royale cut through all that and gave us a Bond who was certainly leaner and meaner, but also much closer to the charmingly callous and arrogant bastard whom Ian Fleming had originally imagined. There seemed a hint of a real person inside that tuxedo….
Quantum of Solace is playing everywhere in the known universe, should you choose to see it. You can read the full review in this week’s “The Screener” column at PopMatters.