A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the second James Bond adventure starring Daniel Craig is, like 2006's Casino Royale, full of non-stop action sequences and has a darker, grittier tone than earlier Bond films. Unlike his predecessors, who barely broke a sweat while sipping their precious martinis, Craig's 007 bleeds real blood and gets into dirty, bare-knuckle, hand-to-hand fights. The violence includes knife fights, gun fights, fist fights, and fire fights. A liked character dies, a woman is tortured (off camera) in a particularly cruel manner, and dozens of characters die in explosions or shootouts. There are a couple of passionate kisses and one scene that obviously takes place after Bond and a woman have had sex (her bare shoulders and back are shown, and he's shirtless). Product placements are mostly cars, like Bond's signature Aston Martin, and language is relatively minimal ("s--t" and "bastard").
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What's the story?
In Daniel Craig's second outing as James Bond, the brilliant British spy's mission is extremely personal. Picking up right where Casino Royale ended, QUANTUM OF SOLACE finds Bond determined to capture those responsible for the death of his beloved Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). The search leads him to billionaire Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric, so memorable in Munich), a member of an international crime syndicate that has the money and power to destabilize economies, depose uncooperative dictators, and install corrupt ones -- all for a steep price. With the help of Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a beautiful Bolivian Secret Service agent, and CIA counterpart Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), Bond follows Greene around the world to uncover more about the mysterious "Quantum" group and ultimately avenge Vesper's murder.
Is it any good?
Craig continues to prove that his brooding, physical, broken take on Bond works wonders, even though he lacks a bit of the dashing sophistication so effortless in predecessor Pierce Brosnan. This Bond bleeds real blood, shows off a body full of scars, and feels deeply about Vesper's death. That doesn't mean he won't casually jump into bed with red-headed MI6 beauty Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton). But Craig's 007 isn't so much an unattached ladykiller as he is a tortured man willing to kill without much of a second thought. Some of his best scenes are opposite Kurylenko, whose Camille is also looking to settle a personal score with the Bolivian general negotiating with Greene. They're both angry and searching for the kind of closure that only a gun can bring.
Like all decent films in the 007 canon, Quantum of Solace has a heavy dose of explosive action, several humorous one-liners, and lots of horsepower -- although sadly, the signature Aston Martin gets trashed in the first car chase. There's even a cheesy opening credit sequence featuring Jack White and Alicia Keys' entry in the Bond flick theme song playlist, "Another Way to Die." But stock Bond elements aside, Craig's James seethes in a way that none of the earlier Bonds did, and after a while, it's actually a downer. Let's hope the next installment tones down the fury just a tad. Some of us prefer our Bonds the opposite of a martini -- stirred but not shaken.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes James Bond "cool." Is it his remoteness? His amazing physical prowess?
Does Quantum of Solace use alcohol and cigarettes to support or take away from Bond's appeal?
What makes James Bond so appealing (and enduring) in general?
How are different women portrayed?
- In theaters: November 14, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: March 24, 2009
- Cast: Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric, Olga Kurylenko
- Director: Marc Forster
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content
- Last updated: February 20, 2020
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