Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric | PG-13
James Bond has more in common with Jason Bourne than just initials. In Quantum of Solace, Bond (Craig) looks and acts positively re-Bourne, dropping the cool gadgets, the punning quips, the predatory flirtatiousness and even the OCD specificity of his martini orders. In its place, we get a brooding Bond, a man of much action and few words. Though still dapper in his Tom Ford tuxedos, he doesn’t act like he’d laugh much in bed. He’s a lesser man for it, and so is this latest 007 film, a middling follow-up to Casino Royale.
In Quantum, Bond is all business, which would be okay if the business he was taking care of was more interesting—or even intelligible. The cryptic plot, about a slimy international broker (Amalric) trying to control water supplies, takes a long time to lurch into gear. Director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) gets the action scenes right but never shapes the film as a whole. And if Craig, a talented actor, wants to be a Bond for the ages, he needs to lighten up. James Bond shouldn’t be all work and no play.