It’s the least loved of Daniel Craig’s four James Bond movies, the so-so follow-up to his fantastic debut. Yes, Quantum of Solace underwhelmed when it released back in 2008, but it seems to be getting a reassessment now, as Craig’s sophomore spy outing has cracked the Netflix Top 10 most-watched films chart, currently sitting in the #2 spot. Could it be that audiences initially underrated it?
At the time, probably not. As a sequel to Casino Royale – the pic that catapulted Bond into the 21st century so spectacularly – Quantum of Solace was an unmitigated car crash. It boasted esoteric plots about South American eco-industrialists, brutalist colour grading and truly horrifying editing (more on that later). No wonder we all turned our noses up at it.
With the distance of time, however, Casino Royale’s shadow has grown less imposing, while initial disappointment no longer factors into how one evaluates a now half-forgotten movie. Today, increased awareness of the production grindhouse that the film went through places what we saw into some context, but even that may not have been enough to prepare us.
Quantum of Solace has the most calamitous editing you will ever hope to see. It’s staggering, and, I must stress, completely fascinating. Editing this bad is a rare thing to behold (that is, unless you watch a lot of cheap action movies). The opening sequence alone is enough to impart whiplash on unwitting passers-by.
Still, there’s a scatological joy to be found amongst the wreckage and looking back on it now, the film does possess some exciting set pieces and comes off as one of the more challenging and unique pics in the franchise, offering up more than enough entertainment along the way. If you want to join in on the fun, Quantum of Solace is currently living it large on the Netflix Top 10.