After Daniel Craig's triumphant return as James Bond in Casino Royale, my family and I were really looking forward to seeing his sophomore effort in Quantum of Solace. We were among the guests at a Ford preview screening of the new Bond flick last night, and after we walked past the gorgeous Aston Martin DBS placed in the lobby (talk about product placement), the movie got off to a promising start. The opening chase sequence with Bond's DBS being pursued by a crew of Alfa Romeo 159s was classic 007. In fact, the first third of the movie was actually quite promising. Unfortunately, my wife, who is a film buff, noticed something during the opening credits that is usually a bad omen: three different screenwriters. That's typically a sign that other writers had to be brought in to fix the original script.

In this case there were a number of plot elements that seemed to pop up and then be forgotten, while others seemed to appear with no explanation. It's almost as though the three writers were each assigned one act to write and not allowed to read the work of the other two. Given that Ford hosted this screening, it should come as no surprise that Ford vehicles figured prominently. Fortunately, having multiple brands in the family allows for some extra variety in the movie vehicle fleet. While the Ford Edge dominated after the opening, Volvos, Range Rovers, and Jaguars also appeared. Now that Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jaguar have been divested, it seems unlikely that Ford will be a part of the next Bond Film. What about the stuff besides the cars? Read on after the jump.

Evidently the Ka and the multiple Edge CUVs were hydrogen-fueled, as evidenced by the hydrogen stickers on their hoods and the characteristic electric motor and fuel cell compressor whine that was dubbed in. Apparently, the antagonist, one Domenic Greene (green, get it?) was involved in some kind of alternative energy project. Unfortunately, the director/editor/writers never really explain any of this, leaving his history as one of those hanging threads.

One of the things my wife liked about Casino Royale was the decent character development and absence of the misogyny that has traditionally been a part of Bond movies. That change was short lived. Gratuitous violence against women figures all too prominently in this episode. At the same time, my wife was also disappointed in the lack of visible skin from Daniel Craig who showed off his assets to such good effect in the last film.

Overall though, the biggest sin committed by the creators of this film was that it was boring. A great cast featuring Craig, Judi Dench and Jeffrey Wright was simply wasted in this messy effort. Quantum of Solace proves once again that a great trailer is something completely different from a great movie. If you do insist on seeing Quantum of Solace, I won't ruin the ending for you by explaining what I think the title means.

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