Views on the film and comparisons to the book
Dr. Benjamin Pratt argues that the Hollywood James Bond movies are really a different narrative than the overall story found in the Ian Fleming’s books about Bond. BUT, Dr. Pratt also found some surprising connections between the Quantum of Solace movie and the original short story of the same title by Ian Fleming.
Discussion groups will want to discuss the new Daniel Craig movies, because they are so popular these days. We’ve collected some interesting reviews here on the film. And, most important of all, we’re eager to hear your views.
Among the first spiritually minded reviewers…
…to weigh in is faith-and-film writer Ed McNulty, who we featured in an earlier conversation about movies. Most of Ed’s reviews are for his subscribers, including preachers and teachers, but he posted Quantum in a public area.
Essentially, Ed says that Quantum of Solace is a brutal action film, stripped almost entirely of the funny bits in earlier Bond movies. Austin Powers comedies pretty much have deflated all those old jokes, Ed points out. In Quantum there’s no hint of a quirky gadget master and no bitingly funny lines as counterpoint to the violence. But, Ed says, there are provocative themes here about forgiveness, the moral rationalization of violence and the bitter costs of following the temptation toward vengeance. Can we see these themes through the non-stop action? Well, you’ll have to be the judge.
Millions of us flocked to theaters:
Whatever reviewers say about the quality of this film, moviegoers voted with their hard-earned cash and set opening-weekend records. Here’s how the Internet Movie Database, which is rapidly becoming a vital movie-industry resource, charted the figures:
Best. Bond. Ever? 007’s latest adventure boasted the highest opening weekend gross in the franchise’s history as Quantum of Solace looked golden with $70.4 million. The debut beats Daniel Craig’s previous James Bond outing, Casino Royale, which opened with $40.8 million in 2006 and buries 2002’s Die Another Day, which held the record for the biggest opening weekend for a Bond flick with $47 million.
In the UK…
…where the movie opened on October 31, it was impossible to walk down a street in late October without seeing images of the new movie. Every newspaper and magazine carried Bond stories, including the Herald’s special section on Bond women, which is shown at right.
Here are some early reactions to the movie:
NICHOLAS BARBER for The Independent in the UK:
You could argue that this cold, brutal Bond is true to Ian Fleming’s books…and there’s certainly something admirable about Quantum of Solace’s shark-like sense of purpose. Casino Royale might have been knocked off course by its cringe-worthy banter about watches, and by its equally cringe-worthy dashboard defibrillator, but the new film, like its hero, is tough and taut, and it gets on with the job.
The Daily Mail in the UK gave mixed coverage. Big stories celebrated the film’s success, when it opened on October 31 across the UK. The movie broke previous UK opening-day records, knocking off the previous record holder, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The opening also “dwarfed” the opening of Casino Royale.
BUT, The Daily Mail criticized this film for its departure from the fun-loving, sexy Bond films of the past, warning:
Fans of the series will thrill to the action scenes, but the 21st-century 007 is in danger of severing all ties to his glorious past, losing the gadgets, double entendres and the charm—indeed, everything that made us fall in love with Bond back in 1962.
DAVID EDWARDS of The London Mirror also criticized the film for its departure from past Bond movies. At one point, he wrote:
What’s good? Well, Craig is as mesmerizing as ever, almost as if he’s sticking up two fingers to all those—including some on this very paper—who said he wasn’t the man for the job. It’s great to see 007 evolving as a character, growing darker and meaner and not once delivering his trademark line, ‘The name’s Bond…James Bond’.