Well, I thought, it couldn't be worse than that.
Two hours later, I emerged, fairly sure I had been wrong in that simple assumption, and unable to tell you why the Quantum of Solace was important to the film.
I like to think I'm an intelligent guy. I get by. But other than the vague suggestion that the Quantum of Solace was a shadowy group of powerful, international figures who enjoyed replacing world leaders without any moral compunction so they can make money, I had no idea what they wanted, what they were doing, or why the guy in charge seemed to want to bank up water in poor countries and then install puppet dictators and make them sign agreements to pay for the Quantum of Solace to sell them water. Perhaps the Quantum of Solace was just about selling water and making everyone feel that the environment was important. Or perhaps the Quantum of Solace didn't really have much to do with this project. It seems financially unsound: destabilise a country so you can get control of the water board. I mean, destabilising a country is costly, I'm sure. Just as sneaking in with dynamite and blowing up rivers to create a catchment to do this. Also, you know, that sounds as if it would go a little noticed.
Not, y'know, that Bond seemed to care.
In fact, I'm sure that if someone had caught Bond, in the middle of the film, and tortured him about the Quantum of Solace, the conversation would have gone something like this:
We must torture you, Mr Bond, to know what you know.
Did you kill Vespa?
The girl in the previous film?
Good lord, James, you can't be serious? Women are like objects to you, and that film was ages ago, and seriously, didn't you kill the guy involved there?
No. I took him to be tortured.
How'd that work?
He said he had people everywhere and suddenly he was rescued.
Don't suppose he told you about the Quantum of Solace?
Seriously now, I have a hot poker and your genitals are showing.
Dude, man, I have no fucking idea what you're talking about.
What have you been doing for the last hour and and a half?
Running, shooting, a car chase. I think I might fly a plane soon.
You know, tell you the truth, I don't really know what I'm doing. I think I started off trying to find the killer of Vespa--
Seriously, again with her?
--but I seem to be, I dunno, walking round with this shirt that has blood on it.
So, Quantum of Solace?
Doesn't ring a bell.
Well, perhaps we'll just let you go then. Sorry for the inconvenience.
It's okay. I know how it goes.
Incidentally, I had a girl, once, who died in this line of work. Broke my heart. Could I perhaps be of service to you, maybe point you towards the killers?
Is that what I'm doing here?
Isn't that how you started?
I suppose so.
I liked Casino Royale. I thought it was easily the best of the Bond films I'd seen, and while that might seem like a backhanded compliment, I did enjoy it, and I'd missed going to a cinema, so I thought the new one would be at least a safe bet for a Sunday evening.
I was wrong. It's an awful film, plain and simple. The actors in it are decent, but the whole thing doesn't make any real sense, and what sense it does make requires you to remember the previous film a lot better than I did. In addition to that, the action scenes are poorly directed, and there's no real sense of what's going on the moment Bond isn't in a vehicle of some sort (though he does have fights in cars, boats and air planes, which I suppose is something). Worse, however, is that there's no real engagement in any of the politics that seem to be lurking in the background. The greyness of world politics? The poor people Bond walks past in his suit and with his attractive girl? The environment?
But then, I suppose, Bond was never meant to address such concerns.