No solace in a kiss, no comfort in the sigh, no good about goodbye... The one where
the bad guys try to steal a country's water.Quantum of Solace
is the 22nd James Bond
film, directed by Marc Forster. The title comes from a 1960 Ian Fleming short story
and means "a small degree of comfort". The story follows on from Casino Royale
, making it one of the few Sequel Episodes
in the Bond
Following the death of Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale
, Bond is out for revenge
against those responsible: an Illuminati
-esque crime syndicate
known only as "Quantum". His rampage eventually leads him to Dominic Greene
, a Quantum operative out to overthrow the Bolivian government through a corrupt general
named Medrano, and the mysterious Camille, a woman who has unfinished business of her own with the general.
Coinciding with the film's release was the video game adaptation, 007: Quantum of Solace
, notable for A) being the first Bond game published by Activision
, and B) adapting both this film and Casino Royale
The film uses the following tropes:
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Various, all pulled off very well.
- Agents Dating: After Bond seduces agent Fields, they attend a party Dominic Greene holds that night. There, she helps Bond escape by causing Dominic's second in command, Elvis, to fall down the stairs.
- All There in the Script: Fields' first name is only in the credits of the movie. It's Strawberry.
- Always Save the Girl: At the climax, Bond is faced with a choice between capturing Greene and saving Camille's life; he goes to rescue Camille. Justified by the amount of build-up it's been given about all the other people he's failed to save.
- And the Adventure Continues:
M: I need you back, Bond.
Bond: I never left.
- Angrish: Dominic Greene, in the climax.
- Attempted Rape: General Medrano attempts to rape some hotel waitress, before Camille enters the room and proceeds to send him to Hell. Especially significant due to what happened to Camille's mother and older sister.
- At the Opera Tonight: Bond + Tosca = awesome sauce.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: For all his cruelty, General Medrano does know how to fight.
- Ax-Crazy: Dominic Greene when he fights with Bond. Bonus point for fighting with an actual axe.
- Badass: Bond.
- Badass Longcoat: Bond wears it at the end.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The climactic fight between Bond and Greene takes place inside a burning hotel.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Zig-zagged. Camille does have a nasty burn scar from when she was a kid, but it is on her back and thus concealed by clothing for most of the movie. On the other hand, an ongoing theme of the film is psychological scars.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Dominic Greene and General Medrano. Subverted when Greene basically tells him that he'll be a puppet once they put him in power, and if he doesn't like it, Greene's partners will simply have him killed and put another guy in his place (maybe even his own bodyguard). Medrano is seriously annoyed, but reluctantly concedes.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Elvis, Dominic's henchman, is first seen speaking to his mother on the phone in Swiss German, talking about the hot weather in Haiti. The actor playing him and director Marc Forster are both of Swiss descent, and probably thought it quite an amusing in-joke.
- Mathis repeatedly telling the taxi driver "callate", which is Spanish for "shut up".
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Invoked by Mr. White.
- Bond Gun Barrel: Occurs right at the end of the movie. Originally, it was intended to show Bond gunning down Mr. White, but the idea was tossed out, and the gun barrel scene was left in.
- Briefcase Full of Money: The medium of exchange the meeting near the end.
- Brownface: Olga Kurylenko as Camille.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- In the opening car chase, Bond blasts the bad guys with an SMG that was never seen in the movie prior to his using it... but it was seen rather prominently in the final moments of Casino Royale.
- Collapsing Lair: A hotel. It's a Bond movie, what would you expect?
- Continuity Nod:
- Bond's SMG from the ending of Casino Royale makes an appearance at the end of the pre-credits car chase, Le Chiffre and his operation are namedropped, and Bond drops Vesper's necklace (just like she referenced "letting go" in the previous movie) in the snow at the end of the film. As a whole, Quantum is very dependant on themes and elements of Casino Royale, moreso than any other previous Bond film.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Bond leaves Dominic Greene stranded in the middle of a desert with nothing to drink but a bottle of oil. This is a fitting punishment due to his inflicting the impoverished Bolivians with an artificial drought, combined with how he murdered Fields by drowning her in oil.
- Convection Schmonvection: Present in the climactic battle.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Medrano. He just looks like another fat tyrant from a Banana Republic, but he stands his own against Camille.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: M. Not only does she know a Bond One-Liner when she hears one, but when the CIA tells her that Greene is of no interest to them, she immediately concludes that Greene is of extreme interest to the Americans, based on who she was forwarded to in order to answer her inquiry on him. M was clearly placed in charge based on her finely-tuned Bullshit Detector.
- Darkened Building Shootout: More than once, including a darkened catacomb.
- Death by Irony:
- Mathis is apparently killed and his body is left in Bond's trunk for the police to 'find'. In Casino Royale, this same method was used by Mathis to get Le Chiffre's Dragon out of the picture.
- Greene deprives people of water and drowns Strawberry Fields in crude oil, so Bond leaves him in the desert with only a can of oil to drink.
- Deconstructed Trope: As per tradition, this film's (secondary) Bond girl, Agent Fields, does have a humorous Punny Name—but she refuses to tell Bond what it is because even she finds it ridiculous. As we learn in the credits, it's "Strawberry".
- Despotism Justifies the Means: General Medrano has no problem with Quantum engineering a drought in his own country if it means that Medrano will be the next dictator of it. He is much more annoyed when he finds out that he'll basically be a puppet and will further have to essentially hand over Bolivia's entire water supply to Quantum, but he decides its worth the price anyway. Granted, the threat of a bullet to the back of his head probably helped there.
- Deus Ax Machina: Dominic Green attacks Bond with a fire axe during the final battle.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Mathis.
- Dodgy Toupee: Dominic's assistant Elvis wears one.
- The Dragon: Elvis, nominally, though he barely does anything other than play assistant and die fast.
- Dramatic Landfall Shot
- Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fields is drowned in oil, and her oil-covered body is laid on Bond's bed, a callback to Goldfinger.
- The CIA is willing to look the other way for a bit of oil. Guess what flavor it is?
- Felix Leiter is a bit closer to the other flavor, although he doesn't really do anything about what his Boss is doing until late in the movie (but you can tell he's pissed).
- It should be noted that the British government (apart from Bond and M) isn't portrayed much better. It's that kind of world.
- Elevator Action Sequence: We get to see what happens when an unarmed, beaten-up Bond enters an elevator with three elite British agents carrying guns.
- Embarrassing First Name: Fields' first name is Strawberry. She refuses to tell Bond (or the audience) what it is.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Averted. During the opening car chase, various vehicles fall or roll down cliffs with nary an explosion in sight. Inverted during the climax. In an effort to get away from Bond, one of the mooks drives backwards, and ends up hitting a wall. The car itself doesn't explode - however, the wall has Hydrogen fuel cells behind it and upon impact, those do explode, ultimately causing the building to burn down.
- Expy: Q.U.A.N.T.U.M. along with their color designated code names are in no way like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and their respective number designated code names.
- Fan Disservice: Near the end, that poor waitress at the hotel. Yes, we do get a Panty Shot that would make Sharon Stone blush, but you can't really feel good about it since she's just come within a hair's breadth of being brutally raped by General Medrano.
- Fanservice: It's a Bond movie. Fanservice starts in the opening credits and goes on from there. It is, however, considerably less than most Bond movies.
- Faux Action Girl: Camille. She is supposed to be an Action Girl, because she dares shoot Bond, doesn't sleep with him, and has a fistfight with Medrano in the climax. In truth, she doesn't do anything. In fact, she's more of The Load to Bond.
- During the plane dogfight, she only clings on the floor as Bond pilots; worse, she bails out before Bond by taking the only parachute without even giving Bond a word.
- The night Bond is arrested in the hotel, she bails out from him again, claiming that it isn't her fight. She doesn't show up during the bar shoot-out either.
- The real kicker of all, however, is her fight with Medrano. Watch closely; it is she who gets her ass handed to her. It just happens that a shard is within her arm's reach after her last fall.
- Reality Ensues: Medrano not only has a significant height, weight, reach and strength advantage over her, but military training to boot. Against an opponent like that, it doesn't matter how much She-Fu you know, you're going to get your ass kicked.
- Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Casino Royale ended with Bond fighting to save Vesper Lynd from the bad guys in a collapsing building in Venice, and ultimately ended with her drowning in the canal. Appropriately enough, this film ends with a shoot-out in a burning building, where 007 actually does manage to save the girl.
- Once Dominic Greene is brought into the plot, there are a lot of shots that casually include water in the composition.
- Greene was found with two bullets in the back of his head. Bond didn't give him a gun. Gasp!
- Friendly Address Privileges: When Dominic Greene and James Bond meet:
Dominic Greene: My friends call me Dominic.
James Bond: I'm sure they do.
- Fruit Cart: A truck containing a lot of cheap coffins crashes during the Haiti chase. In another scene, during a foot chase, a small dumb-waiter full of tomatoes is knocked to the ground.
- Genre Savvy: M knows what the Bond One Liners mean.
Bond: Tell her Slate was a dead end.
*message is relayed to M*
M: Damn it! He killed him!
- Girl of the Week: Deliberately done differently. It's clear to Bond, Fields and the audience that she's just a quick lay, and all Camille gives Bond is a quick peck before apparently leaving him forever. Deconstructed with Fields, since she's used to show Bond that his cold manipulation of the people around him can actually ruin or end their lives.
- Green Aesop: The CIA is willing to assist the Big Bad in attempts to get oil. The same Big Bad tells Quantum that they must take control of Bolivia because they have the world's most precious resource. Which is water, not oil.
- Heroic BSOD: Bond spends much of the film in the midst of one following the end of Casino Royale, due to Vesper's death. He doesn't really come out of it until the end of the film, and is back to his normal smugly wisecracking self in time for Skyfall.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Fields.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Subverted at the end, much to M's surprise.
- Hollywood Skydiving: The DC-3 sequence.
- Idiot Ball: When multiple members of Quantum are attending a performance of Tosca Bond taunts them by hacking into their communications. So naturally they promptly get up and leave, giving Bond a perfect opportunity to take photos of them. Mr White is the only one not to fall for it, discreetly pocketing his earpiece and remaining in his seat..
- I'll Take That as a Compliment: Which is a historically well-placed zinger. For example, in the 1860s, Britain funded both sides of the War of the Triple Alliance, which killed 70% of Paraguay's population and left a 4:1 gender ratio due to a deficit of males in the population and bankrupted Brazil due to all the money they borrowed from Britain. Brazil and Argentina would have split Paraguay as the spoils of defeating them, but Britain wanted it intact ... so it could pay back the money it loaned them. Oddly, Bond does not make the obvious retort that the United States also funded the Paraguayan War, and had invested considerably more than the British had prior to its outbreak.
James: You know, I was just wondering what South America would look like if nobody gave a damn about coke or communism. It always impressed me the way you boys would carve this place up.
Felix: I'll take that as a compliment, coming from a Brit.
- Immediate Sequel
- In Name Only: In the original short story, Bond is at dinner at an island governor's place. After dinner, the governor tells him the story of an airline stewardess' failed marriage. Bond re-learns that drama and tragedy don't have to involve master villains or gadgets. The End. Now a Major Motion Picture. The vast majority of Bond films are like this, but particularly in this case as there is a shortage of Fleming titles that haven't been used yet.
- Instant Seduction: "I can't find the... um, the stationery. Will you come and help me look?"
- Internal Homage: A shot where a crate of fruit is knocked down several storeys as Bond is chasing a villain is functionally identical to an earlier shot in Casino Royale. But with girders.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The chase in Siena takes place during the Palio.
- It's Personal: Bond's comment to Vesper's ex-boyfriend (while the female intelligence agent is watching): "This man and I have some unfinished business."
- Jitter Cam
- Karma Houdini: Mr. White.
- Karmic Death: Greene. He drank the bottle of oil Bond provided before Quantum executed him.
- Kitchen Chase: After the confrontation at the opera.
- Le Parkour: The Siena chase.
- Malevolent Architecture: See Made of Explodium.
- Made of Explodium: Whatever engineer thought that placing pressurized hydrogen storage tanks into the parking level and suite walls of a hotel was a good idea should probably not be working with volatile substances.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Quantum Group to Mr. Greene.
- Mercy Kill:
- Bond prepares to shoot Camille, as they are trapped in the burning hotel with no escape and she is reliving her childhood trauma of having the General burn her house down over her head. Fortunately an escape presents itself before it's too late.
- Quantum's execution of Dominic Greene may have partially been this, along with You Have Failed Me.
- Mobstacle Course: The chase at the Palio is this left and right.
- The Mole: M's bodyguard, who reveals himself to be working for Quantum during Mr. White's interrogation. For the rest of the film, M is paranoid about who she trusts with information because of what happened. Later on, Bond comments that the Canadian intelligence agent has a leak in her department before telling her to leave.
- Mythology Gag:
- Bond drinks his Martini shaken. It is explicitly not described as "shaken, not stirred". This is also a callback to a similar bit in Casino Royale.note
- Fields' death is a homage to that of Jill Masterson in Goldfinger. There's also a few others, like the villain grabbing an article of Bond's clothes to avoid a deadly fall.
- At one point, Mathis muses on the nature of heroes vs. villains, and how the line between the two blurs as one ages — Bond does something similar in the novel of Casino Royale.
- Ax Crazy French villain attacking Bond with an axe? Check.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: Quantum.
- Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: Individual members of Quantum each have their own corrupt gig going on. Big Bad Dominic Greene, for instance, is the head of a Greenpeace-style organization that is actually in business with a lot of shady corporations and criminals.
- Never Gets Drunk: James is so wired that he consumes six "Vesper" vodka Martinis without getting drunk.
- No Name Given:
- Not Hyperbole: Quantum really do have people everywhere.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Dominic Greene. He has no fighting training whatsoever, and for the most part of the movie he runs away while his henchmen kill enemies for him. Still, he stands his own against Bond.
- Oh, Crap: Bond and M's reaction when Mr. White is being interrogated, and he reveals that M's personal bodyguard is working for Quantum.
- Paranoia Fuel: In universe; Quantum says they "have people everywhere". Like, in the same room. M is noticeably twitchy and distrustful the rest of the movie, since the traitor in question had been her personal bodyguard for years. Taken Up to Eleven with Greene's speech to Mendrano:
Greene: You should know something about me and the people I work with. We deal with the left and the right, dictators or liberators. If the current president had been more agreeable, I wouldn't be talking to you. So if you decide not to sign, you'll wake up with your balls in your mouth and your willing replacement standing over you ... if you doubt that, then shoot me, take that money and have a good night's sleep.
- Parental Substitute: Bond tells Camille that (among other things) Greene tried to kill a friend of his — a woman, "but it's not what you think". "Your mother?" "She likes to think so."
- Pet the Dog: Bond spends most of the movie a cold and emotionless bastard. He is, however, notably angry when Fields is murdered, and then informs M that Fields showed true bravery and he wants that noted in the report.
- Pun-Based Title: Applied retroactively (given the In Name Only nature of the adaptation from the Fleming story) by naming the villainous organization Q.U.A.N.T.U.M.
- Punk in the Trunk:
- Mr. White at the beginning of the movie.
- Mathis in Bolivia.
- Rape as Drama: Several times, although in Camille's case, it's against her family, not her.
- Reconstruction: On the surface, Quantum of Solace is much more like a typical Bond film than Casino Royale (arguably a Deconstruction as much as an origin story). But this one folds all the elements introducted in Casino Royale into the formula: few gadgets, the Stale Beer elements, Bond's rough-and-tumble approach, the emphasis on characterisation in the script.
- Red Right Hand: Deliberately averted. The actor playing Greene would have been fine with it, but the director demanded that he should not be given any kind of unusual physical features via make-up. He's screwed up on the inside. Just like Bond.
- Relative Button: Camille's family were murdered by General Mendrano.
- Retirony: Mathis, in a variation. He would have been fine if he stayed retired, but agreeing to help Bond on one last job got him killed. Once he left his happy little villa (and hot girlfriend), you knew he wasn't going to get to go back to it.
- Revealing Cover-Up: Minor example when M contacts the CIA about Dominic Greene. They claim they are not interested in him in any way.
M: *hanging up* He's a person of extreme interest.
Tanner: But he just said that he—
M: Tanner, I asked about the man and [the secretary] transferred me to the section chief of South America. How would she know to do that if they weren't tracking him?
- Ripped from the Headlines: The movie's a pretty clear reference to the "water wars" in Bolivia in 2000, when water rights were sold to a corporation which sharply increased the price beyond the ability of many Bolivians to pay for it, inciting demonstrations that forced the government to reverse the decision. The US agreement in the movie to support a coup in order to get oil also recalls America's swift support for (and possible involvement with) the attempted coup against Chavez in Venezuela in 2002. Interestingly, the evil plot from the movie is less evil than the real-life one, as the intended price hike is less than the one that really happened.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Possibly Bond, for the entire film, not that he'd admit it to anyone (an alternative explanation is that he just repeatedly screws up at capturing people alive).
- Sequel Hook: Greene tells Bond everything he knows about the Quantum Group before he's left in the desert with a can of oil. He's later found with two bullets in the back of his head.
- Although Skyfall doesn't continue with this storyline, instead taking place an unknown period of time after Quantum. Then again, Bond dealt with SPECTRE in From Russia with Love before fighting Goldfinger, so it remains to be seen whether Bond 24 will continue with the Quantum storyline or not.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way out on the cynical end; both the British and American governments are happy to let the coup take place as long as they get their oil, and Bond and Camille are both motivated to stop Greene for revenge rather than any higher ideals.
- Though it's worth noting that Bond, Felix and Camille all express disgust for what Greene and Medrano have planned for Bolivia, even if they're guided by more pragmatic considerations.
- The Stoic: Bond. Though when White starts talking about Vesper, the camera cuts to Bond and you can see just one muscle working in his cheek. There's also a barely visible Single Tear when Mathis dies.
- Storming the Castle: Bond and Camille to Greene's mansion.
- Super Cell Reception: Bond's phone is able to transmit tons of high-res, multi-angle head-shots from the Austrian Opera theatre to London MI-5 almost instantaneously.
- The Syndicate: Quantum.
- Theme Tune: "Another Way To Die", the first duet in the history of Bond movies, done by Jack White (one half of The White Stripes) and Alicia Keys. Does not include the word "Quantum" in the lyrics, but does have "solace" and "of" in there.
- Torture Always Works: M, although she doesn't get the chance. "You will eventually tell us everything about the people you work with, and the longer it takes, the more painful we'll make it."
- Tragic Keepsake: Vesper's necklace, discarded at the end of the film. This is a touching callback to Casino Royale, where Vesper takes off the necklace because (as she put it) sometimes you have to let the past go.
- Two Decades Behind: See also the entry in Casino Royale. Lillet stopped making Kina Lillet in 1986, but it is mentioned by name yet again in this movie as Bond is boozing it up on "Vespers" in the plane.
- Unfortunate Names: Fields. Strawberry Fields.
- Unusual User Interface: MI6's magical touch-screens. One could say that they were running on a Q OS.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: Sort of. Said touch-screens do nothing that couldn't be accomplished with papers and a regular computer. In the tie-in game, they definitely qualify, running some strange combination of DOS and that weird GUI. So intelligent is this interface that when Bond describes Greene's surname as having a 'double-E', the computer inserts a W before he's finished saying it, then replaces it with the two Es. Why such a feature is in place is completely unknown, especially when one factors in that Bond should have been using the phonetic alphabet anyway.
- Unwitting Pawn: Poor Vesper. Her boyfriend was a Quantum agent who was using her to get information, then faked his own kidnapping to force her to betray her country.
- Vapor Wear: We're not shown what, if anything, Fields is wearing under her coat.
- Villainous Breakdown: Greene at the end.
- We Are Everywhere: When someone says "We've got people everywhere", you expect it to be hyperbole. Lots of people say that, florists use that expression. It doesn't mean that they've got somebody working for them inside the bloody room, like M's bodyguard.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- M calls Bond out on killing every lead he finds (to the point that he's blamed for the death of a henchman who was killed by The Dragon, not Bond). At the end of the film, Bond finally shows some restraint when he leaves Vesper's boyfriend alive to be interrogated.
- Camille drops this on Bond when he throws Mathis' body into a dumpster, having just cradled him during his dying moments.
- M also calls Bond out on indirectly killing Fields due to his actions, and orders him handcuffed and escorted away by MI6 agents. Not that it stops him from escaping, though.
- We Have Waysof Making You Talk: See the quote from Torture Always Works.
- Wicked Cultured: Quantum higher-ups love their Tosca. Though Mr. White is the only one to stick around for the whole thing. Seeing his companions leave in droves (and thus get caught on camera), he quips "Tosca isn't for everyone".
- Word Salad Title: Subverted. Even though the title seems meaningless, it actually means "A (very) little bit of comfort" (possibly referring to Bond's movie-length Roaring Rampage of Revenge) as well as making it a Pun-Based Title.
- You Must Be Cold: After Bond and Camille crash in the desert.