Quantum of Solace
Artist: David Arnold
Genre: Film Soundtrack
Year: 2008
Record Label: Sony/JRecords

737089 (2008). Original soundtrack recording from the 2008 James Bond film QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Music composed by David Arnold. Stereo. CD running time: 61:00

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Quantum of Solace continues where Casino Royale left off. Determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Vesper, Bond brings Mr. White to MI6 headquarters to interrogate him. However, the organization to which he belongs has even infiltrated MI6, and M's personal bodyguard, Mitchell, attempts to kill her and Bond. He fails, but Mr. White escapes during the melee. Forensic intelligence links Mitchell to a contact in Haiti, and Bond travels there seeking answers. However, a case of mistaken identity introduces him to Camille, the girlfriend of enigmatic tycoon Dominic Greene.

Greene runs a corporation called Greene Planet, but Bond discovers that, in reality, he is a high-ranking member of an organization called Quantum, which intends to take control of one of the world's most important natural resources—presumably oil. With his contacts in the CIA and the British government, Greene intends to overthrow a Latin American government, and claim within it an apparently barren piece of land.

Bond's mission to avenge Vesper is personal, and M tries to pull him back; however, Bond breaks away and seeks help from Rene Mathis, whom MI6 had mistakenly suspected of being traitor, and CIA agent Felix Leiter, who is ostensibly involved in a CIA deal with Greene. With their help, as well as Camille's, Bond discovers that Greene is not seeking oil but to control the supply of fresh water. In the South American desert, Bond takes his vengeance straight to Greene—and finally learns who coerced Vesper to betray him. He finds the man in Russia, and goes there to set things right at last.

Damned Rodan's Album Review

Rating (out of 5):

The critics were not very kind to Quantum of Solace, and without question it is inferior to Casino Royale, which set a very high standard for the new era of Bond films. To my mind, Quantum's most glaring flaw is Marc Forster's frenetic direction, particularly during action scenes, which are so dizzying that it's virtually impossible to tell what's happening on the screen. Also, there are lots of small, niggling issues that potentially create one big ugly wound, such as an ill-timed airplane chase (and an escape that's too much of a stretch for this more grounded, believable James Bond; as Roger Ebert remarked, "Bond is not an action hero") and a rather ridiculously imagined "hotel" in the desert loaded with flammable fuel cells. Some lament the lack of a larger-than-life, "fun" villain (I am not among them) and storyline that more resembles The Bourne Identity than classic 007 fare. While I agree with many of the criticisms, I also find the film's positive aspects more than adequate to make up for its shortcomings. If anything, Daniel Craig is even better as Bond here than in Casino Royale, and his relationships with the other characters—particularly Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) are masterfully rendered.

Weeks before the movie was released, I caught a video of the opening title sequence and song, and while MK12's visual work was interesting, if less impressive than Daniel Kleinman's opening to Casino Royale, I hoped—fervently hoped—that the song, "Another Way to Die," was some prankster's idea of a sick joke. Sadly, no. Written and produced by Jack White and performed by White and Alicia Keys, it is the most inane, sloppily performed, and nondescript bunch of noise ever recorded for a Bond film, eclipsing Madonna's Die Another Day as worst Bond song ever. Apart from a noteworthy opening and closing riff, the song is memorable only for its astounding mediocrity. With their flat, tuneless, and occasionally cacophonous vocals, you'd think neither performer had ever emitted a tolerably pitched musical note in their lives. When the Casino Royale soundtrack release came out, I was disappointed that it did not feature "You Know My Name," the title song performed by Chris Cornell. I'm just about equally disappointed that this album does feature the title song.

David Arnold's score, however, is another step up from his previous Bond work, and for the first time in his 007 scoring career, I find the majority of the score pleasing to listen to. Of course, there's just no tempering his themeless, percussion-punctuated action pieces, such as "The Palio" and "DC3," but on this album, the surrounding compositions are often melodic and distinctive. A number of the themes conjure up the unmistakable atmosphere of a John Barry score, but without the overt mimicry of certain cuts in Die Another Day and others. The haunting strains of "Greene and Camille," "No Interest in Dominic Greene," and "Night at the Opera" don't just complement the cinematic scenes; on their own, they possess unique identities as well as an undeniably Bond-ish atmosphere. Similarly, several of the cuts feature a modified Bond theme, which I believe is essential in this film, considering how much the movie tends to break with established formula. A portion of the feverishly paced opening track, "Time to Get Out," features a riff of the theme reminiscent of "Bond Meets Bambi and Thumper" from Diamonds Are Forever, while "Inside Man" plays on the Bond theme with a deep, throbbing cadence that is very brief but effective.

I think it's a credit to the soundtrack that, having listened to it now several times, it actually increases my appreciation of the film. Some might say the movie needs all the help it can get, but despite its shortcomings, Quantum still stands up as a decent Bond film. I think it's safe to say that its weakest moments still rise many levels above the foolishness of entries such as Moonraker and Octopussy.

If only an artist with an ounce of talent had provided the title song...

12/27/12 16:40

Film Credits
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson
Executive Producers: Callum McDougall, Anthony Waye, Gregg Wilson
Director: Marc Forster
Cinematography: Roberto Schaefer
Film Editors: Matt Chesse, Richard Pearson
Casting: Debbie McWilliams
Production Designer: Dennis Gassner
Art Directors: James Foster, Mark Harris, Paul Inglis, Chris Lowe, Marco Rubeo, Mike Stallion
Set Decorator: Anna Pinnock
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Title Designer: Daniel Kleinman
Original Music: David Arnold
Title Song Written by Jack White; sung by Jack White and Alicia Keys
Film Running Time: 106 minutes

James Bond: Daniel Craig
Camille: Olga Kurylenko
Dominic Greene: Mathieu Amalric
M: Judi Dench
Mathis: Giancarlo Giannini
Strawberry Fields: Gemma Arterton
Felix Leiter: Jeffrey Wright
Gregg Beam: David Harbour
Mr. White: Jesper Christensen
Elvis: Anatole Taubman
Tanner: Rory Kinnear
General Medrano: Joaquin Cosio
Colonel of Police: Fernando Guillïan Cuervo
Lietenant Orso: Jesus Ochoa
Gemma: Lucrezia Lante della Rovere
Mitchell: Glenn Foster
Guy Haines: Paul Ritter
Yusef: Simon Kassianides
Corinne: Stana Katic
Mr. Slate: Neil Jackson

CD Tracks

  1. Time to Get Out (3:28)
  2. The Palio (4:59)
  3. Inside Man (0:38)
  4. Bond in Haiti (0:35)
  5. Somebody Wants to Kill You (2:17)
  6. Greene & Camille (2:13)
  7. Pursuit at Port Au Prince (5:58)
  8. No Interest in Dominic Greene (2:44)
  9. Night at the Opera (3:02)
10. Restrict Bond's Movements (1:31)
11. Talamone (0:34)
12. What's Keeping You Awake (1:40)

13. Bolivian Taxi Ride (0:49)
14. Field Trip (0:41)
15. Forgive Yourself (2:26)
16. DC3 (1:15)
17. Target Terminated (3:53)
18. Camille's Story (3:58)
19. Oil Fields (2:29)
20. Have You Ever Killed Someone? (1:32)
21. Perla de Las Dunas (8:07)
22. The Dead Don't Care About Vengeance (1:14)
23. I Never Left (0:40)
24. Another Way to Die (4:23)


Another Way to Die

Written and Produced by Jack White
Sung by Jack White and Alicia Keys

Another player with the slick trigger finger
For Her Majesty.
Another one with the golden tongue
Poisoning your fantasy.
Another bill from a killer
Turned a thriller to a tragedy.

A door left open, a woman walking by,
A drop in the water, a look in the eye,
A phone on the table, a man on your side,
Oh, someone that you think that you can trust is just
Another way to die.

Another tricky little gun
Giving solace to the one
That will never see the sunshine.
Another inch of your life sacrificed for your brother,
In the nick of time.
Another dirty-money, heaven-sent honey,
Turning on a dime.

Well, a door left open, a woman walking by,
A drop in the water, a look in the eye,
A phone on the table, a man on your side,
Someone that you think that you can trust is just
Another way to die.

It's just another—Hey! Another way to die!
Another way to die.
Shoot 'em, bang bang!

Another girl with her finger
On the world singing to you
What you wanna hear...
Another gun thrown down and surrendered,
Took away your fear.
Hey! Another man that stands right behind you
Looking in the mirror...

Oh, a door left open, a woman walking by,
A drop in the water, a look in the eye,
A phone on the table, a man on your side,
Someone that you think that you can trust is just
Another way to die.

It's another way!
Shoot 'em up, bang-bang!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Another way, another way—
Yeah! Another way, another way—
Bang-bang, bang-bang!