Quantum of Solace
After Daniel Craig's first and highly successful step into the Bond character in Casino Royale, it was just a given that the actor would return to play the masterful British secret service operative. Continuing along the same path, Quantum of Solace delves deeper into the personal motivation and physical strengths of 007, while wandering away from the gadgets and gizmos of decades past.Picking up where Casino left off, the agent is still hurting over being double-crossed by Vesper, a woman blackmailed into stealing his hard-earned gambling winnings (which were supposed to be given back to the British government). Returning to pay Mr. Bond an unwelcome visit is bad guy Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) who reveals the organization involved in all that former nasty business is far bigger and more penetrating than anyone at MI6 can imagine. (Read that to mean the bullets are about to fly...)
Following a trail that begins in Italy, makes a stop in Haiti and eventually winds up in Bolivia, Bond also finds new allegiances with old enemies, like Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini). And, of course, there's always a woman or two to distract him from his "official" duties. Yet, in this case, the rambling Romeo is provided with a stark lesson ? la Goldfinger about the moral consequences of mixing recreational sex with the Queen's business.
His violent behavior still seems to be condonable though, as evidenced in the dozens of on-screen and off-screen shootings, hard-hitting hand-to-hand confrontations and car chases -- all of which place no value on the lives of innocent background civilians who become collateral casualties amidst the mayhem. While only a few of these depictions are moderately explicit (and overall the level of carnage feels a little less intense than Casino Royale), it is nonetheless plentiful enough to prevent a recommendation for family viewing.
That's somewhat unfortunate because this is a well-constructed film, which even puts the brakes on coarse language (granted, you'll still hear one scatological expletive and an assortment of mild profanities, along with terms of Deity). Thanks to the remarkable talents of screenwriter Paul Haggis, we are given an unusually intelligent plot and a superbly paced trip around the world. Although the movie is continually punctuated with high-octane action, at least the snippets of included dialogue are important to the storyline, as opposed to the fluffy and frequent witticisms of previous Bond scripts. However, if the more humorous Bond was your preferred cup of tea, this new direction may leave you yearning to check out some classic 007 titles in your home theater.