Quantum of Solace
Director Marc Forster has said in interviews that he agreed to do Bond because the producers asked him to make an art house version. Well, if this is art house then the Pope is atheist, Quantum of Solace starts with a trademark action sequence involving cars burning rubber around narrow roads and then proceeds to jump from one thrill to another, while moving through locations like pages in a travel brochure.
Forster, whose work includes Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner and Monster's Ball always makes films about people coping with death, which is probably why he was approached to direct Bond 22, but here he seems compromised by the need to get to the action sequences and retain traditional elements of the Bond franchise, including sexy Bond gals (in the form of Gemma Arterton and Olga Kurylenko) and M (Judi Dench) trying to keep 007 under control.
The major plus is Mathieu Almalric's turn as the villain Dominic Greene. He heads an organisation that exploits energy resources for financial and political gain who are behind an American approved coup in Bolivia. Yep, screenwriter Paul Haggis continues the condemnation of American foreign policy that he touched on in his last directorial effort In the Valley of Elah.
The influence of Jason Bourne on the Bond series that was apparent in Casino Royale is continued in both 007's identity crisis and the tone and aesthetic; Forster has obviously instructed his editor to make more cuts than a manic hairdresser. Those that have not seen Casino Royale will be undone by the references to Vesper and her suicide as well as by the importance of some returning characters.
While the overarching themes are intriguing, some of the plot points don't make much sense and there's no explanation of what the hell the Quantum of Solace is. Perhaps confusing the audience is what Forster meant when he said he was making an art house picture.
General release from Fri 31 Oct.