Little did Winston Churchill know, but when he said
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air… whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender
he could well have been talking about the exploits of a fictional British secret agent called James Bond. Quantum of Solace might be a celebrated 106 minutes long, but not only does our favorite martini-swiller find the time to do all of the above, but he manages to sex up a naive plot point, attend the opera, blow things up in Italy, Bolivia and Russia in addition to France and get his buddy at the CIA a promotion. That he does all of this while sharing with a grateful audience the recipe for his favorite drink and taking out the man ultimately responsible for doing him wrong, is just a measure of his cool.
Don’t worry, I haven’t spoiled the movie for you. You could read the script with Daniel Craig’s little notations in the margins and it still wouldn’t ruin this movie. Reason? Because it’s awesome.
‘Awesome’ as in it blew my mind. Not because the whole damn thing is a rollercoaster that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Not because I’m so shocked that they managed to keep that arthouse chic of Casino Royale ticking in its sequel.
‘Awesome’ because it remains true to its genre while subtly probing the mind of the cold bastard at the center of the movie. As Bond deals with the fallout of his love affair with Vesper Lynd in the previous installment, you get the feeling that you’re no longer watching a movie about “Bond: The Early Years”, you’re watching “Bond: The Making Of”. If you haven’t watched Casino Royale then perhaps this might not make much sense – and you arguably wouldn’t be missing much subtext. But if you have, then this movie is the epilogue of that conversation between Vesper and Bond on the beach in the first film.
I, for one, am thrilled that I got to watch Bond learn the lesson he learns in Quantum of Solace. It makes me feel much better about the crush I’ve had on him – if “sonofabitch” is a personality trait, then Bond clearly arrived at it honestly.
PS – if they wanted to bring back Olga Kurylenko down the road, I wouldn’t mind it at all. Now that Bond’s her father figure. *koff*