After scoring a resounding hit with Daniel Craig as the new, meaner, leaner James Bond in Casino Royale, Eon Productions was hoping for great things from this second instalment of the reinvigorated franchise.
However, for all the barnstorming action, speed and sheer explosiveness of Quantum, there’s something rather important missing – a plot.
Following the death of his girlfriend in Casino, Bond (Craig) is out for revenge against the shadowy organisation that brought about her demise. M (Judi Dench) warns him there is no place in international espionage for personal feelings, but Bond begs to differ and embarks on a killing spree that takes him from Italy to Haiti. Here he encounters the enigmatic Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who at first appears to be the disgruntled girlfriend of businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), but who could be something much more sinister.
From here the action returns to Europe via numerous car chases, boat chases, motorbike chases and even plane chases, before the finale is set up in the arid Atacama Desert in Chile, where Bond and Camille must both face their personal demons.
There’s no denying that all the millions of dollars spent on the production are most definitely up there on screen as the action whizzes by as smoothly and as slickly as an Aston Martin. In fact, with your eyes glued to the screen from scene one it may be ten minutes or more before you realise this movie makes absolutely no sense whatsoever – it is totally vacuous. Yes, Daniel Craig is all chiselled jaw and steely blue eyes, but he has become a one-dimensional assassin rather than a complex, multi-faceted secret agent. However, the biggest problem here is while the Bourne series made you care about Jason Bourne the man, while being thrilled by the action (Bourne’s chase across tiled rooftops is almost duplicated here), you really don’t care about Bond.
Quantum Of Solace is superficially thrilling, but it has no heart – and that combined with the lack of plot means that although this has plenty of boom and bang, there isn’t a satisfying climax.