Movie Review: Quantum of Solace ( 2008 )
Quantum of Solace ( 2008 )
Starring Daniel Craig
You always know what you’re going to get when you walk into a James Bond movie. Hot girls, clever puns and fantastic gadgets. No surprises, just a good, action packed movie. Well that’s how it used to work. The last Bond movie, Casino Royale shook things up a bit. The latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, continues this trend. Daniel Craig returns in the lead role in a movie about revenge, greed and espionage.
James Bond is on the hunt for those responsible for the death of his lover, Vespa. His quest leads him to a secret organisation called Quantum, so secret that the CIA and MI6 haven’t even heard of them. They’re planning a military coup in South America and Bond intends on stopping them.
I think I’m in the minority here, but I enjoyed Quantum more than Casino. I remember Casino feeling a bit claustrophobic, needing more action sequences, and dragging on a bit towards the end. So for me, Quantum was an improvement. However, I haven’t seen Casino since it was first on at the movies, so I really need to watch them both back to back to make a true assessment.
This movie is about two things: revenge and greed. Both Bond and the latest Bond-Girl are out for revenge. One for the death of his lover and the other for the death of her family. Revenge consumes them. They’re whole reason for existing and motive for acting is steeped in revenge. And at the end of the day, revenge is shown to be hollow and futile. Revenge is a reaction to being wronged. When bad stuff happens to us, our passions burn within us and we want to hurt something or someone. What we really need is justice, not revenge. We want the wrongs against us to be acknowledged and we want the perpetrator to be brought to account for what they have done. Revenge is not justice. Revenge is not about making things right but about making someone else hurt as much as you do.
We don’t need revenge. We need justice. We need someone who will take a step back, assess the situation and make it right. We need the one true God who saw all the bad things we had done. Who had seen how we had rebelled against him and brought pain and suffering not only to him but to our fellow man as well. We need the God who, instead of wiping us all out of existence and starting again, sent his one and only son to earth. Who allowed his son Jesus to die on the cross as a substitute for us. If God was a God of revenge, he would have wiped us out. Instead, he loves us and recognises that our sins need to be paid for. So because he is a just God, he poured out his wrath on his son instead. It is because of this “justice”, because of Jesus, that we can be right with God.
And we know there will come a day when sin will be dealt with once and for all. That sin will be wiped out and every wrong will be undone. For those who yearn for revenge, for someone to pay for the wrongs that have been done to them, this final day will be a great blessing. Because justice will be done. Sin will be dealt with. There will be no more need or desire for revenge. All will be right.
The second theme of the movie is greed. The Quantum group do what they do out of greed. They manipulate the world for their own personal gain. It’s not hard to see a connection here between this secret society and what’s been going on in the US economy. Not that I’m saying that a fictional organisation is responisible for our real world problems. And I’m certain that this plot was written well before the economic situation hit the fan. But it does show us how greed and power corrupt. How the desire for earthly possessions can result in a loss of love for ones neighbour. The Quantum group were happy to destroy the lives of millions to further feather their nests. This is not the way our God wants us to live. Love for our neighbour and love for God should always come before material possessions. To forget this is to forget who God is and what he has done for us.
One thing disturbs me about James Bond, especially in Quantum. Is Bond meant to be a hero? Are we meant to cheer for him and look up to him and hold him up as a paragon of virtue? Because as I watched this movie, I had my doubts. Here’s a man that is resourceful, intelligent, athletic. He does what he believes is right, even when it is not the easy thing to do. I support those qualities. They’re admirable qualities. But the way he goes about it is troublesome. Bond is a murderer. He’s not just killing in self defence. More than once his lethal tendencies are brought up. He is continuously being slapped over the rest for them by M. But he keeps on doing it. He even supports someone else’s attempt at cold blooded murder. And at the end of the day he is vindicated. There are no consequences to his actions. I have a problem with that. I don’t think I can support a “hero” that acts in such a way. I think we’re too willing to accept Bond as a hero and too slow to question why we do.