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 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 movie franchise.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.
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.
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.
Awesome Yet Practical: Bond has a cameraphone able to take headshots from considerable distance in poor lighting in a crowd. When there is a group of bad guys having a secret conversation at an opera via radio ear pieces, Bond steals the ear piece, gets to a good vantage point, and announces himself to the currently anonymous group. When each member gets up to try and discreetly leave, Bond snaps a picture of at least three of them.
Ax Crazy: Dominic Greene when he fights with Bond. Bonus point for fighting with an actual axe.
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.
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".
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.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: M. Not only does she know a Bond One-Linerwhen 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.
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.
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).
Fridge Brilliance: Leiter cost the CIA his portion of their budget in Casino Royale, and Bond gave them La Chiffre's corpse. He's likely gotten this mission as part of a reprimand.
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) her first name.
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.
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.
In Haiti, she passes out while Bond is busy navigating the boat.
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 Bond again, claiming that it isn't her fight. She doesn't show up during the bar shootout 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.
Girl of the Week: Deliberately done differently. It's clear to both 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaking of that martini, it is made with a recipe from the original novels which would be impossible to follow when the movie was produced, due to one of the ingredients being out of production since the 80's.
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.
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.
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.
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 makeup. He's screwed up on the inside. Just like Bond.
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 Coverup: 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.
Aide: 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 thanthe 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.
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.
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.
Viewer-Friendly Interface: Sort of. Said touchscreens 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.
Wasted Song: This song was rejected as the movie's main theme. As if the people who hate "Another Way To Die" weren't already upset ...
We Are Everywhere: Quantum (see Paranoia Fuel, above). It must be noted that 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!
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.
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".