Quantum of Solace


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

There isn't much I can write about the new James Bond film that has not already been covered elsewhere. The Daniel Craig version of Bond retains minimal continuity from the earlier Bond films. There's almost no witty dialogue. Q and his gadgets are gone, ditto Moneypenny. There's no super-villain, just some hypocritical sleazebags trying to make a dishonest buck in corrupt third world countries. This version of James Bond is not a very sympathetic character unless one remembers his great deeds of yesteryear. In fact, if his name were simply changed to Nigel Ludwick, he would be totally impossible to like if the viewer had not seen Casino Royale, and difficult to like even with the CR back-story.

I'm not saying it is a poor movie. Many people prefer this frigid, serious Bond to the jokey Roger Moore version, for example. It's just not a Bond movie. The entire series has been re-jigged to make 007 into Jason Bourne with a British accent. To that end it is a great travelogue and a spectacular action picture with plenty of shaky-cam work and rapid-fire editing rather than long tracking shots. Daniel Craig is a good actor with an impressive physique. Hell, the film even has some surprising character depth.

It just doesn't have James Bond in it anywhere.

The nude scene is a nice homage to Goldfinger. After Bond seduces Gemma Arterton, the baddies kill her, strip her naked and paint her entire body black with oil. Bond next sees her dead, naked, and lying on her stomach. Since oil is called "black gold," one might reasonably call this film Black Goldfinger, except that such a title would make it sound like it should star Jim Brown, or Richard Roundtree, or maybe Fred "The Hammer" Williamson.

So I guess that would be about the worst possible title you could come up with, unless you picked some words at random and jumbled them together nonsensically like, for example, oh, I don't know ... some gibberish like "Quantum of Solace."

By the way, Quantum of Solace is the real title of a James Bond short story written by Ian Fleming himself. In addition to the twelve Bond novels, Fleming wrote nine short stories featuring 007. Here is the title's explanation in 007's own words:

"Quantum of Solace - the amount of comfort. Yes, I suppose you could say that all love and friendship is based in the end on that. Human beings are very insecure. When the other person not only makes you feel insecure but actually seems to want to destroy you, it's obviously the end. The Quantum of Solace stands at zero. You've got to get away to save yourself."

- Bond. James Bond

Our Grade: (explanation)



* awaiting product details






2 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)
2.5 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
65 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
58 Metacritic.com (of 100)




7.1 IMDB summary (of 10)
B Yahoo Movies





Box Office Mojo. It is in theaters as I write this. It will finish around $200m, off a lavish $200m budget. Opening weekend was $67m; first place.





  • Gemma Arterton was naked, face down, covered with oil. Unfortunately, not the Wesson kind.