Okay, if you're like me you love this new guy playing James Bond. If you're not like me, then you have lots of cats and you speak Portuguese. But that's besides the point. Bottom line: I have seen the new James Bond and I am here to confirm that it is a solid action movie.
"Quantum of Solace" is, as the title seems to indicate, a very British movie about vengeance. As an American, my idea of revenge is taking someone out to the NJ Turnpike and, well if you've seen "Goodfellas" you get the idea. Well, picking up right after the end of "Casino Royale," Bond is pissed but he's also single-minded. He wants to figure out why (or whether) Vesper Lynd betrayed him, and more importantly who put her up to it.
I won't go into detail about the plot any further than that, but I will say that you need to pay attention while watching the movie. Bond rapidly fills his passport with locales that blend together in a series of violent encounters. This movie is brutal. Bond comes out at the end looking like something not quite human. But beneath the dirt, blood and anger there is a focus and calm that is never lost. Daniel Craig solidifies his standing as one of the best (if not the best) actors to ever play this character. When Bond confronts M (after going "rogue!" Sound familiar?) following a particularly rough outing, we see Bond through M's eyes and we know that he is a necessary evil for her. While brutal and unpredictable, he is also dedicated and unrelenting. Craig sells this all the way.
How's the villain? Not great, not terrible, just someone you want to see get punched. Dominic Greene is kind of a "regional vice president" of terror. He is by no means the head of the secret organization Bond discovers, but that doesn't mean he should be spared a proper ass-kicking. Yet again, Bond's spy buddy across the pond, Felix Leiter, is given a nice (but too brief) cameo. And as for the Bond girls... they are magnificent.
"Quantum of Solace" is a good movie. It doesn't come close to exceeding "Casino Royale" the way "The Dark Knight" surpassed "Batman Begins." Even so, based on the plot, I get the feeling like we are going to get some real payoff in the next Bond movie. "Quantum of Solace" has a middle chapter feel. If anything, this is an entertaining action movie with a building sense of intrigue. It's an enjoyable Bond. Go see it.