Quantum of Solace (2008)
I think it’s at the point right now when I wonder what I’m really looking for in these movies.
I thought this Bond was interesting in that it killed the old Bond ways. Casino Royale was good but it was transitional at best with the quips, gadgetry, Leiter, etc. being clearly reworked in drink choices, personalities, willingness to get dirty and so much more. Quantum of Solace was a nice sequel which is odd in Bond and then did its best to only leave the structural elements of Bond left standing at the end – no more baggage. I also think it’s interesting that they quashed the “secret society” instead of dragging it on in homage to SMERSH and SPECTRE. I liked that. You can see their willingness to go in new directions with Skyfall. Fleming did a great job with giving us interesting stories but they’ve all been practically done and he’s been dead 50 years next year. Where does it go from here? Well, Skyfall either leaves us with the possibility of gritty remakes or re-imagining the series for the future.
I suppose this one addresses the complicity of state governments and intelligence agencies in working with bad people to further policy or resource mandates.
It also contrasts a revenge movie (classically more notionally acceptable ethically) with the professionalism required of an agent who has lost those close to him who is admonished to be detached and pursue it with traditional covert espionage (not as accepted at least in real life).
It certainly emphasizes HUMINT at the expense of the others. I suppose all the Bond movies do however. Maybe that’s a lesson. We disparage and condemn covert human intelligence but it captivates our interest and attention more than the others. Maybe that’s because that’s what we think a spy is, have been trained to think anyways. Makes one wonder what we think of the analysts, librarians, office staff, managers, interpreters, researchers and technicians who do the bulk of intelligence work?