Watch Quantum of Solace (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie
Sep 20, 2022
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Watch Quantum of Solace (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie
Quantum of Solace (2008)
James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organisation from eliminating a country’s most valuable resource.
Quantum of Solace is a 2008 spy film based on the Ian Fleming character James Bond, produced by Eon Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the sequel to Casino Royale (2006) and is the twenty-second Eon-produced James Bond film.
Directed by Marc Forster and written by Neil Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis, it stars Daniel Craig as Bond, alongside Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright, and Judi Dench. In the film, Bond teams with Camille Montes (Kurylenko) to stop Dominic Greene (Amalric) stage a coup d’état in Bolivia to access the country’s natural reserves.
A second Bond film starring Craig was planned before production began on Casino Royale in October 2005. In July 2006, Roger Michell was announced to direct with a planned release for May 2008, but he left the project that October after there were delays with the screenplay. Purvis, Wade, and Haggis completed the screenplay by June 2007, after which, Forster was announced as Michell’s replacement. Craig and Forster also contributed uncredited rewrites to the film’s screenplay.
Principal photography began in August 2007 and lasted until May 2008, with filming locations including Mexico, Panama, Chile, Italy, Austria, and Wales, while interior sets were built and filmed at Pinewood Studios. The film’s title is borrowed from a 1959 short story by Fleming. In contrast to its predecessor, Quantum of Solace is notable for citing inspiration from early Bond film sets designed by Ken Adam, while it features a departure from tropes associated with Bond villains.
Quantum of Solace premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square on 29 October 2008, and was theatrically released first in the United Kingdom two days later and in the United States on 14 November. The film received generally mixed reviews, with praise for Craig’s performance and the action sequences but was deemed inferior to its predecessor. It grossed $589 million worldwide, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 2008 and the fourth-highest-grossing James Bond film, unadjusted for inflation. The sequel, Skyfall, was released in 2012.
OK, I’ll say it. Never again. Don’t ever let this happen again to James Bond. “Quantum of Solace” is his 22nd film and he will survive it, but for the 23rd it is necessary to go back to the drawing board and redesign from the ground up. Please understand: James Bond is not an action hero! He is too good for that. He is an attitude. Violence for him is an annoyance. He exists for the foreplay and the cigarette. He rarely encounters a truly evil villain. More often a comic opera buffoon with hired goons in matching jump suits.
“Quantum of Solace” has the worst title in the series save for “Never Say Never Again,” words that could have been used by Kent after King Lear utters the saddest line in all of Shakespeare: “Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!” The movie opens with Bond involved in a reckless car chase on the tollway that leads through mountain tunnels from Nice through Monte Carlo and down to Portofino in Italy, where Edward Lear lies at rest with his cat, Old Foss. I have driven that way many a time. It is a breathtaking drive.
You won’t find that out here. The chase, with Bond under constant machinegun fire, is so quickly cut and so obviously composed of incomprehensible CGI that we’re essentially looking at bright colors bouncing off each other, intercut with Bond at the wheel and POV shots of approaching monster trucks. Let’s all think together. When has an action hero ever, even once, been killed by machinegun fire, no matter how many hundreds of rounds? The hit men should simply reject them and say, “No can do, Boss. They never work in this kind of movie.”
The chase has no connection to the rest of plot, which is routine for Bond, but it’s about the movie’s last bow to tradition. In “Quantum of Solace” he will share no cozy quality time with the Bond girl (Olga Kurylenko). We fondly remember the immortal names of Pussy Galore, Xenia Onatopp and Plenty O’Toole, who I have always suspected was a drag queen. In this film, who do we get? Are you ready for this? Camille. That’s it. Camille. Not even Camille Squeal. Or Cammy Miami. Or Miss O’Toole’s friend Cam Shaft.
Daniel Craig remains a splendid Bond, one of the best. He is handsome, agile, muscular, dangerous. Everything but talkative. I didn’t count, but I think M (Judi Dench) has more dialogue than 007. Bond doesn’t look like the urge to peel Camille has even entered his mind. He blows up a hotel in the middle of a vast, barren, endless Bolivian desert. It’s a luxury hotel, with angular W Hotel-style minimalist room furniture you might cut your legs on, and a bartender who will stir or shake you any drink, but James has become a regular bloke who orders lager.
Who are the clients at this highest of high-end hotels? Lawrence of Arabia, obviously, and millionaires who hate green growing things. Conveniently, when the hotel blows up, the filmmakers don’t have to contend with adjacent buildings, traffic, pedestrians, skylines or anything else. Talk about your blue screen. Nothing better than the azure desert sky.
Why is he in Bolivia? In pursuit of a global villain, whose name is not Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Drax or Le Chiffre, but … Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). What is Dominic’s demented scheme to control the globe? As a start, the fiend desires to corner the water supply of … Bolivia. Ohooo! Nooo!
This twisted design, revealed to Bond after at least an hour of death-defying action, reminds me of the famous laboratory mouse who was introduced into a labyrinth. After fighting his way for days through baffling corridors and down dead ends, finally, finally, parched and starving, the little creature crawled at last to the training button and hurled his tiny body against it. And what rolled down the chute as his reward? A licorice gum ball.
Dominic Greene lacks a headquarters on the moon, or on the floor of the sea. He operates out of an ordinary shipping warehouse with loading docks. His evil transport is provided by fork lifts and pickup trucks. Bond doesn’t have to creep out on the ledge of an underground volcano to spy on him. He just walks up to the chain-link fence and peers through. Greene could get useful security tips from Wal-Mart.
There is no Q in “Quantum of Solace,” except in the title. No Miss Moneypenny at all. M now has a male secretary. That Judi Dench, what a fox. Bond doesn’t even size her up. He learned his lesson with Plenty. This Bond, he doesn’t bring much to the party. Daniel Craig can play suave and he can be funny and Brits are born doing double entendre. Craig is a fine actor. Here they lock him down. I repeat: James Bond is not an action hero! Leave the action to your Jason Bournes. This is a swampy old world. The deeper we sink in, the more we need James Bond to stand above it.
Immediately following the events of Casino Royale, James Bond is driving from Lake Garda to Siena, Italy, with the captured Mr. White in the trunk of his Aston Martin DBS V12. After evading pursuers, Bond delivers White to M, who interrogates White regarding the mysterious organisation Quantum. When White responds that their operatives are everywhere, M’s bodyguard Craig Mitchell suddenly shoots one of the guards and attacks M. Bond chases Mitchell and eventually kills him; White escapes in the confusion.
Searching Mitchell’s flat in London, Bond and M discover Mitchell had a contact in Haiti named Edmund Slate. Bond learns Slate is a hitman sent to kill Camille Montes at the behest of her lover, environmentalist entrepreneur Dominic Greene. Observing her subsequent meeting with Greene, Bond learns Greene is helping exiled Bolivian General Medrano, who murdered Camille’s family, to overthrow the government and become the new president, in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of desert.
After foiling Camille’s assassination attempt on Medrano by “rescuing” her, Bond follows Greene to a performance of Tosca in Bregenz, Austria. Meanwhile, the head of the CIA’s South American section, Gregg Beam, along with agent Felix Leiter, strike a noninterference deal with Greene for access to putative stocks of Bolivian oil, which the CIA believes to be the reason for Greene’s interest in the land. Bond infiltrates Quantum’s meeting at the opera, identifying members of Quantum’s executive board, and a gunfight ensues.
A Special Branch bodyguard working for Quantum member Guy Haines, an advisor to the British PM, is thrown off a roof by Bond after refusing to answer his questions. He lands on Greene’s car and is shot dead by one of his men. Assuming Bond killed the bodyguard, M orders him back to MI6 for debriefing. When he disobeys, she revokes his passports and credit cards. Bond heads to Talamone and convinces his old ally René Mathis to accompany him to Bolivia.
They are greeted by Fields, a consular employee who demands Bond return to the UK immediately. Bond seduces her, and they attend a fundraising party Greene holds that night. At the party, Bond again rescues Camille from Greene and they leave. The Bolivian police pull Bond and Camille over but discover Mathis unconscious in the car’s boot. One of the policemen shoots Mathis before Bond kills both of them. Mathis dies in Bond’s arms, urging him to forgive Vesper and himself.
The following day, Bond and Camille survey Quantum’s intended land acquisition by air; their plane is damaged by a Bolivian fighter plane. They trick the plane into destroying itself, skydive into a sinkhole and discover that Quantum has been secretly damming Bolivia’s supply of fresh water to create a monopoly.
Back in La Paz, Bond meets M and learns Quantum killed Fields by drowning her in crude oil. Bond meets Leiter, who discloses Greene and Medrano will meet at a hotel, La Perla de las Dunas, in the Atacama Desert to finalize their agreement, and warns him to escape as the CIA’s Special Activities Division arrives.
Bond and Camille infiltrate the hotel, where Greene blackmails Medrano into signing a contract that will make Medrano the leader of Bolivia in exchange for the land rights, making Greene Bolivia’s sole water provider at significantly higher rates. Bond kills the police chief for betraying Mathis, and after killing the security detail, he confronts Greene. Meanwhile, Camille kills Medrano, avenging the murders of her family.
The struggle leaves the hotel destroyed by fire. Bond captures Greene and interrogates him about Quantum. Bond leaves him stranded in the desert with only a can of engine oil. Bond and Camille share a kiss, and she wishes him luck in conquering his demons.
Bond travels to Kazan, Russia, where he finds Vesper Lynd’s former lover, Yusef Kabira, a member of Quantum who seduces female agents with valuable connections and is indirectly responsible for her death. After saving Kabira’s latest target, Corrine, who works in Canadian intelligence, Bond allows MI6 to arrest Kabira, unharmed. Outside, M tells Bond that Greene was found dead in the middle of the desert, shot twice in the head and some engine oil found in his stomach. Bond admits that M was right about Vesper.
M tells Bond she needs him back; he responds that he never left. As he walks away, Bond drops Vesper’s necklace behind him in the snow.
Upon its opening in the UK, the film grossed £4.9 million ($8 million), breaking the record for the largest Friday opening (31 October 2008) in the UK. The film then broke the UK opening-weekend record, taking £15.5 million ($25 million) in its first weekend, surpassing the previous record of £14.9 million held by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
It earned a further £14 million in France and Sweden—where it opened on the same day. The weekend gross of the equivalent of $10.6 million in France was a record for the series, surpassing what Casino Royale made in five days by 16%. The $2.7 million gross in Sweden was the fourth-highest opening for a film there.
The following week, the film was playing in sixty countries. It grossed the equivalent of $39.3 million in the UK, $16.5 million in France and $7.7 million in Germany on 7 November 2008. The film broke records in Switzerland, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Romania and Slovenia. Its Chinese and Indian openings were the second-largest ever for foreign-language films.
The film grossed $27 million on its opening day in 3,451 cinemas in Canada and the United States, where it was the number one film for the weekend, with $67.5 million and $19,568 average per cinema. It was the highest-grossing opening weekend Bond film in the US, and tied with The Incredibles for the biggest November opening outside of the Harry Potter series.
From the British opening on 31 October, through to the US opening weekend on 14 November, the film had grossed a total $319,128,882 worldwide. The film grossed $168.4 million in Canada and the US, and $421.2 million in other territories, for a total of $589.6 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 64% based on 299 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action, but coming on the heels of Casino Royale, it’s still a bit of a disappointment.” On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 48 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
Critics generally preferred Casino Royale, but continued to praise Daniel Craig’s depiction of Bond, and agree that the film is still an enjoyable addition to the series. The action sequences and pacing were praised, but criticism grew over the realism and serious but gritty feeling that the film carried over. The film earned an average grade of “B−” from CinemaScore’s audience surveys, on an A+ to F scale, the lowest of the Craig’s era as Bond.
Roger Moore, the third actor to play Bond in the films, said that Daniel Craig was a “damn good Bond but the film as a whole, there was a bit too much flash cutting [and] it was just like a commercial of the action. There didn’t seem to be any geography and you were wondering what the hell was going on.” Kim Newman of Empire magazine gave it a 4/5 rating, remarking it was not “bigger and better than Casino Royale, [which is] perhaps a smart move in that there’s still a sense at the finish that Bond’s mission has barely begun.”
However, he expressed nostalgia for the more humorous Bond films. The Sunday Times review noted that “following Casino Royale was never going to be easy, but the director Marc Forster has brought the brand’s successful relaunch crashing back to earth—with a yawn”; the screenplay “is at times incomprehensible” and the casting “is a mess.” The review concludes that “Bond has been stripped of his iconic status.
He no longer represents anything particularly British, or even modern. In place of glamour, we get a spurious grit; instead of style, we get product placement; in place of fantasy, we get a redundant and silly realism.”
The Guardian gave the film 3 stars, and was particularly fond of Daniel Craig’s performance, saying he “made the part his own, every inch the coolly ruthless agent-killer, nursing a broken heart and coldly suppressed rage” and calling the film “a crash-bang Bond, high on action, low on quips, long on location glamour, short on product placement”; it concludes “Quantum of Solace isn’t as good as Casino Royale: the smart elegance of Daniel Craig’s Bond debut has been toned down in favour of conventional action.
But the man himself powers this movie; he carries the film: it’s an indefinably difficult task for an actor. Craig measures up.”
Screen Daily says, “Notices will focus—rightly—on Craig’s magnetism as the steely, sexy, murderous MI6 agent, but two other factors weigh in and freshen up proceedings: Forster’s new technical team, led by cinematographer Roberto Schaefer and production designer Dennis Gassner. And the ongoing shift of M, as played by Judi Dench, to front and centre: the Bond girls fade into insignificance as she becomes his moral counterpoint and theirs is the only real relationship on screen.
” The review continues, “Bond is, as has been previously noted, practically the Martin Scorsese of the BAFTAs: 22 films later, with grosses probably close to the GDP of one of the small nations it depicts, it’s still waiting for that Alexander Korda award. The best Casino Royale could achieve was a gong for sound. Will this be the year that changes its fortunes?” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who praised the previous film, disliked Quantum of Solace.
He wrote that the plot was mediocre, characters weak, and that Bond lacked his usual personality, despite his praise for Daniel Craig’s interpretation of the role. Throughout his review, he emphasised that “James Bond is not an action hero.” Kate Muir wrote in The Times that “The Bond franchise is 50 years old this year, and the scriptless mess of Quantum of Solace may be considered its mid-life crisis”, before she went on to praise the film’s successor Skyfall as a “resurrection”.
Some writers criticised the choice of Quantum of Solace as a title. “Yes, it’s a bad title,” wrote Marni Weisz, the editor of Famous, a Canadian film publication distributed in cinemas in that country, in an editorial entitled “At least it’s not Octopussy.”
Not all the reviews were as critical. Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph, in a reflective review of the film in 2013, was positive. He praised the film’s shorter runtime, claiming that many other Bond films run out of steam before the end, and included Casino Royale in this category. Describing the film as having a “rock-solid dramatic idea and the intelligence to run with it”, he gave the film four stars out of five.
Daniel Craig retrospectively stated that the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike negatively impacted on the production and end result of Quantum of Solace, and in 2011 said “we had cobble that one together because it was made in the midst of the writers’ strike, and it had an effect on the finished product, no doubt.” During a 2021 interview on The Empire Film Podcast Craig described the film as a “shit-show” and referred to it as one of his least favourite performances as Bond.
Quantum of Solace (2008) Accolades
The film was nominated for Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Visual Effects, Film and Sound Editing at the 2008 Satellite Awards, winning Best Song. It was nominated for Best Action Movie at the 2009 Critics’ Choice Awards, and at the Empire Awards, which is voted for by the public, it was shortlisted for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Newcomer, Best Thriller and Best Soundtrack.
It was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film, while Kurylenko and Dench were both nominated for the Best Supporting Actress award. It was nominated by the Visual Effects Society Awards for “Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture.”
Movie critic Gilbert Cruz listed the film’s pre-titles sequence as the eighth-greatest car chase in film history.
Quantum of Solace (2008) Movie Info
Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads him to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization which coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and he must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil the plan.
PG-13 (Intense Sequences of Violence|Intense Sequences of Action|Sexual Content)