By Michael S. Goldberger, film critic
After injecting the 007 franchise with a novel bit of leaner, meaner James Bond in “Casino Royale” (2006), Daniel Craig’s second assignment in producer Barbara Broccoli’s service finds its way home to the same old wenching, spying and killing. Which can be good or bad, depending on the mix of said elements. Here it is just so-so.
Unnecessarily complicated, “Quantum of Solace” would like to think it has sewn a thread of mystery through its rambunctiousness. But “The Usual Suspects” (1995) this is not. And too often in the early going, when James is spinning like a pinwheel down elevator shafts, jumping across rooftops and chasing up alleys, we don’t quite know why.
Oh, we assume the rat our cat is pursuing is involved in an unspeakable nefariousness. But just knowing who the evildoer in the lead speedboat is, without the niggling quandary of identity and motive distracting us, could make the splashing derring-do so much more enjoyable.