So, of course, after a great movie like Casino Royale, they have no idea how to follow it up. Instead of just taking this newly established Bond out for some other mission and coming up with a bunch of new unrelated stuff for him to do, they decided to have it take place directly following the last movie, and be all about Bond going after the people responsible for Vesper’s death. As a result, the whole thing just feels like a long epilogue to Casino Royale rather than it’s own movie. It opens with a car chase through Italy, where Bond has Mr. White in his trunk after shooting him and delivering that awesome line at the very end of the last one. Then after the credit sequence we get a scene that’s obviously trying to be the parkour scene from Casino Royale and fails miserably because of tons of shaky cam, quick cutting and CGI. Yeah, let’s talk about the action in this movie. It’s not good. There’s so much goddamn handheld shaky cam. I hate it when movies do that. It’s like they couldn’t actually replicate the close up quick gritty action from the last one so they just figured if they moved the camera around so much that you couldn’t tell what was going on, you’d maybe be tricked into thinking they pulled it off. It doesn’t work, and as a result every single action sequence is a confusing boring mess. The plot basically involves Bond tracking down this one specific guy associated with Quantum, the criminal organization that Le Chiffre was working for, I guess because they still didn’t have the rights to Spectre back yet. He’s got some scheme involving oil and the desert and buying up land or maybe it has something to do with water or whatever who cares. As a character, he’s kind of just a generic slimy European man, pretty lackluster and uninteresting. He sort of reminds me of Le Chiffre but without the eye thing and played by a more forgettable actor. There girl this time is a Bolivian secret agent with a big nasty burn scar on her back, who’s also trying to get the villain for personal reasons. There’s a lot of dicking around in exotic locations, a fight in a fancy opera house, a girl who gets killed by being covered in oil in a visual reference to Goldfinger, and a plane crash where they jump out with a parachute and pull the chord legit like 15 feet from the ground and are totally fine. There’s also a subplot where the Americans are after him, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and is really just a chance to give the new Felix Leiter some screentime. The big climax takes place in the bad guy’s desert hotel, in which he put giant explosive gas canisters in every room and was like “eh, there’ll probably never be a gun fight here”. He’s wrong, and the final fight takes place while the whole thing is blowing up. There’s a fight between him and Bond involving an axe which I would probably call the best piece of action in the movie, though it’s brief. Then they just leave him to wander the desert till he dies of thirst, which is pretty brutal and awesome. The final tacked on end scene is where Bond finally goes and finds Vesper’s boyfriend, who in the last movie she thought was kidnapped by the bad guys, so she did favours for them in exchange for his life, or something like that. It turns out he’s actually working for Quantum and that’s a thing he pulls on a lot of agents. Bond decides not to kill him, instead bringing him to MI6 for questioning, proving to M that she can trust him, and completing his arc of no longer wanting revenge. Even though they ended the last one with him moving on from Vesper’s death by sealing himself off more and focusing on his work, and a whole movie of him out for revenge kind of undermines that entire arc. Overall, this movie isn’t the worst thing ever. Daniel Craig’s Bond is still a total badass and there’s a couple of fun moments, but it was just such a disappointing and forgettable follow up to such a great first movie.
Overall Rating: Filler Bullcrap/10