So, new James Bond movie, which is almost by definition cool and only really needs to be compared to other Bond movies. I liked it enough to have seen it twice, and yet I’ve been stuck on the review for a while now. I think it wasn’t until I realized that and thought about why that I was able to come up with something, but it does all kind of make sense now.
What I liked about Quantum of Solace is what they’ve done with the franchise. Not only was was it a direct sequel to Casino Royale, but there are strong implications that an underlying arc will continue through at least the next film, if not several more. I’m also pretty okay still with the lack of gadgetry in favor of more direct badassery, though I think I maybe want there to be a few more gadgets than approximately none. The plot, in which a shadowy organization has various irons in the fire whose goals are the acquisition of more power and resources with which to acquire more power still. Or, okay, to be specific, they are propping up a Bolivian dictator in exchange for control of certain resources. Or okay, to be more specific still, the water supply. Which is possibly silly, but appropriately grandiose for the archetype. It fits, anyhow, so I like it well enough to not worry about it.
What I didn’t like was the lack of an iconic villain. Casino Royale had a guy who wept blood, for crying out loud! This only has a guy with a bowl haircut, which, y’know: enh. And he’s just the villain’s cousin! And, okay, yeah, I’m coming around on the gadgets thing. Awesome car chases are necessary, but they are not sufficient. These are largely quibbles in the face of my joy over a Bond with both a plot and a character arc. But I’m pretty confident it’s possible to have and eat my spycake, so I’ll look forward to that in 2010.
 I’m pretty sure they’ve only ever done that once before, and the time they did it, it was just a few minutes at the beginning that had no bearing on the rest of the flick.