Quantum of Solace: the undermined Bond

Quantum of Solace: the undermined Bond

When the Bond franchise was rebooted in 2006, it was riding on the crest of a wave. Work eagerly started on the next film: Quantum of Solace. Although the film did well at the box office, it wasn't as well received. I remember feeling disappointed with the film along with many other people. Some years later, I watched it again and ended up actually liking it. Others also started seeing the light. So what went wrong in the first place, and how has Quantum become more accepted?

Casino Royale was a breath of fresh air. One could argue that Quantum had a lot to live up to. The biggest problem that faced the production of the film was the writers' strike of 2008. Daniel Craig and director Marc Forster had to step in and help with the writing while Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis jumped in on the strike. The story is good but was unfortunately underdeveloped because of this. It could also be the reason why the plot was perceived as convoluted.

Quantum was initially set for a summer 2008 release. Before Marc Forster was hired, Roger Michell was considered. However, Michell felt that without a script, it would be too tricky, so declined. The release date was later pushed back to October that year. I sense déjà vu as I can't help but be reminded of Danny Boyle’s departure from No Time To Die, which led to the release of Bond 25 being postponed for the first time.

Daniel Craig had sustained a couple of injuries during the making of Quantum, including his face and shoulder. He was even donning a sling while promoting the film.

One of the issues I initially had with Quantum was the action. Forster tried to emulate the intensity of the action sequences in the Jason Bourne series. Yet he ended up overusing the shaky camerawork technique which made it difficult to enjoy the action. I wasn't fond of the idea of having the classic-styled eerie score over the fight sequence at the opera house. To me, it just didn't suit the scene and made it less enjoyable. Funnily enough, though, I was able to appreciate the action more on repeated viewing than I could with Skyfall.

It turns out that watching Quantum on the back of Casino Royale works really well. It helped to understand better and appreciate the story and its continuation.

There have been several films which I didn't enjoy on first viewing but ended up liking them more on a repeat viewing. Quantum of Solace is one of them. If it weren't for the troubles that befell it, it would have been one of the best James Bond films ever made.

Amalan Karthigeyan

Amalan is a junior doctor living and working in Watford. He has been a James Bond fan since the age of 13, which led him to becoming a big film geek.

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