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Cork: When I ranked the films in 2012, it landed at unlucky number 13. After so many complaints, why so high? I love the score. I’m in the minority, but I love Another Way to Die, which I think is a kick-ass song. It is brilliantly shot. The performances are great. Daniel Craig owns ever frame he’s in. Although it takes itself very seriously, it is a good casual watch in a strange way.

Green explains his ability to destabilize Bolivia in exchange for mineral and water rights, which is a wonderful device, but the scene somehow lacks the scale and scope of, say, General Orlov pitching his somewhat similar plan. At every turn, Amalric is undercut by the choices of others. In the middle of his brilliantly brutal attack on Bond with a fire ax while the desert facility blows up around them, we cut away to an emotionally intense scene between Camille and General Medrano, losing all focus on Bond and Green’s battle. When we come back, viewers have to reorient their brains to what is going on. The cutting is so fast that it’s often hard to know where anyone is, who just fell off the collapsing walkway, and as a result, what should have been a fight every bit as engaging as Bond versus Grant in From Russia with Love is barely remembered by fans.

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Lisa Funnell: Quantum of Solace is frequently overlooked due to the writers’ strike and its impact on the story line. However, the film occupies an important position in the Bond film canon. While previous Bond films are episodic in nature and contain limited references to prior films and events (with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service [1969] being a notable exception), Quantum of Solace is the first proper sequel in the franchise as the film picks up where Casino Royale (2006) ends with viewers being thrust into a dynamic car chase sequence without any exposition. It is the second film in the orphan origin trilogy (ending with Skyfall [2012]) which tells the story of how James Bond evolves into an iconic super spy. Like Casino Royale, it is a revisionist film as it reworks and reintroduces many key components of the Bond film. It suggests the rise of a new villainous organization, Quantum, with a global network comparable to SPECTRE, and highlights the global conflict over a new resource, water, rather than gold, diamonds, or oil which were featured in previous eras. Moreover, it explores how the violence experienced by Bond specifically through the death of his lover impacts him emotionally thus providing a justification for why Bond (or any secret agent) should not develop deep romantic attachments.

Cork: I had been invited to the World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square. It was one of the strangest evenings of my life. My seats were in the front row, and the visual energy of the often-confounding editing was exhilarating but exhausting. I was exceptionally busy with work, so the trip was brutally short, and I couldn’t tell if it was my jet lag or the editing or the illogical script that was keeping me from getting a good handle on what was unfolding. So much was so good, but so much of the dialogue seemed to be as if it were random lines from other movies, and so much of the action was cut so fast I had no clue what was going on. Did M just get shot? Where did Camille get that gun? Who is shooting at whom in this garage in the desert? But it was all very stylish.

Michael Coate can be reached via e-mail through this link. (You can also follow Michael on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

Funnell: It is not in my top or bottom three.

Quantum of Solace demonstrates that the Bond franchise still relays a British imperialist standpoint through its depiction of the global south and continues to rely on problematic politics of representation that draw into question whether the films of the Daniel Craig era can be considered progressive within the Bond film canon.” — Lisa Funnell, co-author of The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond

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