A quantum of mercy this is one of my favorite Bond movies. And I know this is not a popular opinion. On first viewing, I – like everyone else – was disappointed. Casino Royale built the character so well and looked so poised, and in comparison, his follow-up felt too heavily influenced by the Bourne films, too frantically edited, and had a plot that got lost in ricochets and machine guns. But re-watching has changed my opinion significantly.
To begin with, this is the first Bond film to be a direct sequel. Others hinted at the plots of previous films. Diamonds are forever It was actually supposed to be a revenge movie for the death of Tracy Bond On Her Majesty’s Secret Service earlier George Lazenby turned down the role and Connery returned, killing the idea. A quantum of mercy could easily be called Casino Royale 2: Revenge. This would make the series a saga rather than the usual episodic structure with a balance of amnesia and nostalgia. With Mr. White in the trunk of his car, Bond races through the Italian mountains just minutes after the events of the last film. It’s an amazing chase sequence, brilliantly shot and edited, I can only assume, on amphetamines. Author’s song Jack White and Alicia Keys it’s a knocking piece of rock. The ensuing foot chase in Siena across the rooftops teeters on the edge of the ridiculous before jumping in with both feet.
The discovery of a mysterious criminal organization called Quantum is reminiscent of SPECTER and will indeed later be folded into that organization. Mathieu Amalric the leader is Dominic Greene, a new old entrepreneur who talks green games but is actually out to conquer the world’s resource market. The desire to destroy the world is significantly lacking. In fact, the CIA is in bed with him, and one imagines that MI6 and Bond himself would not be so concerned if it weren’t for the death of Vesper Lynd. Bond’s revenge mission combines with Camilla’s (Olga Kurylenko), who is going to kill a general associated with Green because he killed her family. The story is written with Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, something about aquifers and water supplies, but due to a writer’s strike that shut down the script when it was only in a relatively early draft, the plot isn’t the film’s strongest point. But it may not necessarily be such a weakness. In the end, Bond goes from A to B to C with justification, and the wheels only come off in the final reel.
Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) and Felix Leiter (Geoffrey Wright) both return, and while neither can be called Bond’s friend – he doesn’t seem to have the emotional capacity to have friends – there’s a sense that Bond’s world is expanding. Mathis, in particular, has one of the film’s best moments – essentially his death scene. It shows an older version of Bond, and when 007 unceremoniously dumps Mathis in the dumpster, it continues Secret Agent Craig’s commitment to making no friends in the audience. 007 is leaner and tougher, as is the film itself, which is the shortest Bond film in the franchise – another big plus. In a way, he is a man trying to reinvent himself. According to M., his pursuit of his enemies is blinded by anger, but this anger, like the emotions deceived by a psychopath, can cover up an essential emptiness.
I admit that the movie is far from perfect. The hotel that explodes at the end makes literally no sense. And given the short running time, he could afford to slow down and let the characters fulfill their roles a bit. For example, Dominic Green could be given more work. But as it stands, the film is one of the most exciting entries in the franchise. Mark Foster keeps a frantic pace throughout and Daniel Craig Bond continues to develop into a character that, while not afraid to be unlikeable, feels more and more real. This is Bond with a real license to kill, an assassin who calmly feels a man’s pulse while he bleeds out in front of him. It will cause all kinds of collateral damage – Gemma Arterton comes to a Goldfingers finish through the oil – and go on without even looking back. One of the side effects of writing this blog was that I watched movies in a limited amount of time. Casino Royale and A quantum of mercy viewed together they make one great film, and thus collectively the best Bond films since Sean Connery put on a tuxedo.