Quantum of Solace

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Quantum of Solace
MGM Home Entertainment (Distributed by 20th Century Fox)
Blu-ray Disc Review By Jerry Rutledge
 

Quantum of Solace, the sequel to Casino Royal, is a solid addition to the James Bond franchise of spy, action films.  It is a worthy addition to every fan’s collection.

The film picks up where Casino Royal left off.  James Bond (Daniel Craig) has captured Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), an enigmatic figure that belongs to the secret Quantum organization that is responsible for the death of Bond’s lover, Vesper Lynd from the earlier Casino Royal film.  White’s escape leads to Bond’s pursuit of another Quantum member, Dominic Greene (Mattheu Amalric) a ruthless predator with a bug-eyed look who covertly seeks to profit from the overthrow of a Bolivian government while masquerading in polite society as an ecological philanthropist.

Bond globe trots to some fantastic locations filmed with gritty realism such as Panama, Chile, Italy, and Austria.  Along the way he is catapulted into stunning trademark action sequences — a rooftop race, a shot out through collapsing scaffolding and pane glass, frantic car and speed boat chases, and an explosive airplane dogfight.

The film explores Bond’s need for revenge for the betrayal, grief and rage he feels over the death of his lover Vesper Lynd.  He has two main allies in the film.  Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko) is a Russian-Bolivian agent spying on Greene.  Greene seeks to overthrow a Bolivian government and install a dictator, General Medrano (Joaquín Cosío), the same dictator who murdered Camille’s family when she was a child.  Camille stays close to Greene and waits for the opportunity to kill the dictator and exact her revenge.  She is a less experienced agent who shares Bond’s need to avenge the death of loved ones.  Bond finds partial redemption by helping her.  The second ally, René Mathis (Giancarllo Giannini) an older operative in the intelligence community, provides a voice for the turmoil of emotions that Bond buries with alcohol.

The film has been updated with the theme of modern day moral ambiguity.  Bond’s ability to carry out his mission is questioned – primarily by his superior M (Judi Dench) who wonders whether his need to revenge the killing of Vesper Lynd is interfering with his ability to interrogate witnesses for more information, and also by her superiors and the CIA.  There is a suggestion in the film that absent information that Quantum is an evil society, governments must turn a blind eye and remain competitive by doing business with it for the world’s oil supply.  As a result, Bond is pursued as a rogue agent by his own organization and the CIA.  This film is a large break from tradition in which Bond’s sardonic humor, judgment and licensee to kill villains and their henchmen went largely unquestioned.

Ultimately Bond and Camille must confront not only the villains that have destroyed their lives but also their inner demons.

The film extras include: “Another Way to Die” the music video from the movie title theme song; “Bond on Location” that details the film crews’ globetrotting to make the movie (some of which is later repeated on a smaller clip called “On Location”); “Start of Shooting” a short clip indicating the director started filming dialogue scenes with Daniel Craig before action scenes so he had a chance to get immersed in his character; “Olga Kurylenko and the Boat Chase” a clip about the making of one of the movie stunt sequences; “Director Marc Foster” a short clip of the director’s comments about the film, “The Music” a short clip on setting the film’s mood music; “Crew Files” many web site blogs from the location film crews, some of which were used to construct the longer “Bond on Location” feature; and theatrical trailers.  Noticeably absent is an in-picture commentary feature.

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