Based on some comments on my box office post and on Scott's review of Quantum of Solace, people want to talk about this. I want to talk about it too. So would someone who saw Quantum over the weekend please explain to me why this random action movie was released under the "James Bond" banner?
You know, there was that scene in Casino Royale where Bond, asked if he would like his vodka-martini shaken or stirred, replies: "Does it look like I give a damn?" At the time I -- and most others, it seemed -- thought this was actually pretty cool, part of Bond's facelift for the new millennium. The franchise retained its essence in that terrific film, but Bond was a little different: a little grittier, a little tougher, a little less studied and exaggerated in his suaveness. Besides, this was supposed to be a prequel. Bond is still learning the attitude and affectations that will eventually make him Bond, James Bond. Not to mention the fact that he ordered that martini after losing a fortune in poker.
After watching Quantum, I think back to the Casino Royale martini scene, and I'm dispirited. Because the truth is, his one petulant outburst aside, James Bond does care how he takes his martini. And I'm worried that the people behind this new, fantastically successful incarnation of the franchise really -- wrongly -- believe that he doesn't.