- Boskone — Boston February 17th-19th
- Helsinki Worldcon Agust 9th - 13th
- Bubonicon August 25th-27th, Albuquerque, NM
I just finished watching Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back. Guess what — Quantum isn’t a bad movie. The problem was that it was the second half of a movie that got broken into two parts.
Quantum seems to pick up like one day after the end of Royale, but for viewers two years had passed and by then we’d forgotten a lot of the details.
Bond is killing his way through people as he tries to find out who was behind Vesper’s death, but his rage and obsession don’t make a lot of sense if you don’t have a fairly detailed memory of Casino Royale. His casual use of women leading to their deaths and M’s reaction again only has meaning when you think about Bond’s confusion over Vesper — did he love her or did he hate her, is she the bitch that he labeled her or the love of his life?
The death of Rene Mathis with Bond cradling the man in his arms (I’m wondering if they copied it for the end of Skyfall where Bond is cradling M?) has no meaning or emotional resonance unless you remember that Bond erroneously accused Mathis of working for the bad guys in Casino.
The final scene of the movie has no impact emotionally or intellectually unless you remember that Vesper betrayed Britain to protect the man she loved. She believed he was a prisoner and she acted to protect him.
Now we get to the end of Quantum and discover that the man Vesper loved worked for this shady Quantum organization and used his charms to seduce female agents. We see him doing it to a Canadian agent and handing out the lover’s knot necklaces (which was such a telling symbol in Royale) like popcorn, but again if you don’t remember the necklace Vesper was wearing and her love for this man then the scene is just confusing. Who is this guy? Why should I care?
I did feel like the theme was muddled if not down right contradictory. With the young hispanic agent Bond is encouraging her to take vengeance on the corrupt police chief and find closure, but then he doesn’t kill Vesper’s duplicitous lover. Maybe because all the deaths that Bond has dealt throughout the money haven’t brought Bond closure and peace? Then why did he suggest it for Camille Montes as a way to lay her ghosts to rest?
I’m not saying Quantum is a great movie, but it is when compared the mess that was Spectre. Why on Earth did they think it was a good idea to have all the Bond antagonists from Royale, Quantum and Skyfall be the puppets of Blofeld? I digress. I think if you make Casino Royale and Quantum a double feature you’ll be pleased with the result.