If the first Mission Impossible was Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible and MI-2 was John Woo’s Mission Impossible, Quantum of Solace is unquestionably Marc Forster’s James Bond movie. In fact, with its international cast of corporate, military and intelligence operatives, ogres, trolls and troglodytes, Quantum could be easily subtitled Ian Fleming’s Monster's Ball. Mathieu Amalric, award winning French actor and film director - perhaps best known in America for his lead role in the 2007 film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - plays the chief monster, gimlet-eyed Dominic Greene, an effete megalomaniac masquerading as a deep pocketed green warrior while Joaquin Cosio and Fernando Guillen Cuervo play cruel and sadistic as would-be tin-pot dictators and Jesper Christensen reprises his role as a chief cog in the sub secret evil cabal which shall not be named (Quantum).
Filmed in Panama, Chile, Italy and Austria, the movie begins where Casino Royale left off with Bond hurtling toward Sienna, Italy, the captured Mr. White (Christensen) in the boot of his car, and gun wielding henchmen in hot pursuit. Weaving in and out of heavy traffic on tight thoroughfares while his sleek Astin Martin is perforated with machine gun fire, Bond dispenses his pursuers in typical Bondian fashion and delivers Mr. White to his boss “M” (Judi Dench) and her interlocutors. The wily and unrepentant Mr. White escapes and this sends Bond careening around the world in hot pursuit.
Quantum of Solace is also co-screenwriter Paul Haggis’ James Bond movie. Quantum explores a Crash of competing world interests intersecting where Daniel Craig’s emotionally wounded
government agent seeks mortal revenge for the death of his lost love. It is not coincidence that linchpins of the story take place in such hot spots as Haiti and Bolivia, poor bereft countries with little to recommend them besides their utter defenselessness in the face of further exploitation.
While Casino Royale was full of surprises, ripe with rebirth and reinvention Quantum, for all its gorgeous vistas, dazzling car chases, roof top gamboling, explosive denouements and Bourne-like close quarter hand-to-hand combat, feels derivative – as if cobbled together from twenty other action-adventure movies. The movie is blunt and ruthless and there is much precision and artistry in its execution. Yet, you don’t feel exhilarated by Craig’s remorseless reckoning as much as you
feel pummeled by it.