Quantum of Solace

dir. Marc Forster

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Hunting down the members of a shadowy terrorist network, a vengeful Bond heads to Bolivia, where a sinister industrialist (Mathieu Amalric) is plotting to take over the country's precious water supply.

The team behind Casino Royale sought to repeat that film's winning formula — hard-edged physical combat, ostentatious cynicism and a more "realistic" feel — for Daniel Craig's second turn as Bond. Hunting down the members of Casino's far-flung terrorist network — now identified as a shadowy outfit called "Quantum" — and seeking vengeance for the death of his beloved Vesper Lynd, Bond is led to Bolivia, where billionaire environmentalist and Quantum affiliate Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) is plotting a massive land swindle that will give Quantum a monopoly on the country's water supply. Joining forces with the beautiful Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), who has her own score to settle with Greene, Bond sets out to foil Greene's plan and expiate his own demons. Although Craig's tight-lipped, badass Bond is still the rebooted series' best asset, the relentlessly flash-cutting action scenes and wonky plot of Quantum throw the almost perfect balance of Casino rather out of whack — although the film does offer a decent evocation of its predecessor's fantastic construction-site chase in a leaping and falling foot pursuit over the medieval rooftops of Siena.