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The sequel to Casino Royale (or part 22 of the Bond Franchise) does what – as we know since Scream 2 struck the cinemas – sequels are supposed to do: the body count is bigger, the death scenes are much more elaborate and there are more and bigger action scenes and explosions than in Part I. But in Quantum Of Solace, something is lost amongst all those fight and action scenes (even if there some good ones), and that’s the essence of James Bond which always was Girls, Gadgets, Adventure and Exotic Locations with just a pinch of violence, fighting and action. And megalomanic villains, of course.
There are Bond Girls in Quantum Of Solace, but James seems to not even think about making a move on main girl Olga Kurylenko (beautiful but wooden) who doesn’t bear a proper Bond Girl-name (she’s just called Camille), and Gemma Arterton (who wears a ridiculous coat that makes her look like an exhibitionist) is rather useless except for appearing in a modernized (it’s oil that makes the world go round these days instead of gold) version of an iconic Bond-moment (the death of Shirley Eaton/Jill Masterson in Goldfinger).
But there are no gadgets, there is no Q. and no Miss Moneypenny, and the adventure and the exotic locations have been stripped away and traded for fast cuts and furious action sequences. (Note to the producers: James Bond is not an action hero and the James Bond-franchise is not part of the action genre. It’s part of the Bond genre.)
The villain of Quantum actually would be much more scary in real life than any of the old nutjobs trying to conquer/destroy the world, and it’s admirable how they managed to squeeze in quite a lot of contemporary considerations about corruption, high-crime and the role of intelligence services between the action scenes, but James Bond is not part of the real world – in his world, the villains’ HQ should be located in a volcano, or at least in a submersible artificial island.
A Bond reboot was obviously necessary and highly welcome, and Casino Royale did a great job on kicking Bond into the 21st century, but the franchise survived longer than any other franchise because it was unique, distinctive and offered the audience exactly what it expected. As a simple action film series Bond would never have survived for more than 40 years, six actors and 22 films.
But Bond has survived “reboots” before (though minor ones compared to this one), and Quantum Of Solace may just be a transitional piece – Bond was (re)born in Casino Royale, got through his Sturm und Drang with Quantum Of Solace and will eventually become the familiar Bond, James Bond, again. Don’t be too surprised should Q. pop up in Bond 23.

New Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko as Camille  Daniel Craig/James Bond with new Bond Girl Gemma Arterton/Strawberry Fields 

Quantum Of Solace Movie Trailer

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