Spies: Quantum of Solace and Get Smart

This last weekend worked out to be spy weekend for me. I took the opportunity Saturday afternoon to watch Quantum of Solace and as Get Smart just came out in DVD and was available at RedBox, I picked it up for free on Monday.

Quantum of Solace

With Casino Royale being, in my opinion, the best James Bond film so far, Quantum of Solace had a pretty high bar to meet if it was to be at least as good as its predecessor. I knew that Quantum of Solace was intended to be the sequel to Casino Royale, with Bond searching for the person behind the death of Vesper Lynd, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high.

The movie opens with Bond bringing in a suspect to question about the circumstances involving the end of the Casino Royale. But they only discover that there is an organization out there which even has people in MI6. Bond locates the apparent head of the group in South America, working to bring a new military ruler to power with part of the deal getting the deed to desert property which contains the main water supply to the country. Unfortunately, the CIA and others are helping the bad guy without knowing what he’s up to, so not only does Bond have to handle looking like a rogue who’s gone off on a revenge trip and being looked for by MI6, he also has to stay out of the way of the CIA.

Bond runs across the path of a beautiful local ex(?)-agent who is working to kill this same soon-to-be dictator because he’d killed her family. They work together and successfully remove the military ruler and the leader of the organization. I missed how, but Bond also finds the guy who was Vesper’s boyfriend and put her in danger in the first place. One thing I liked about it is that the main Bond girl survives at the end where traditionally about 50% of other Bond girls don’t.

I didn’t find Quantum of Solace quite as amazing as Casino Royale, so I’ll probably wait until I find it at Half Price Books like the rest of the Bond series I have yet to collect (I’ve got about half so far). Nevertheless, it was a reasonably good James Bond film. Daniel Craig is growing on me as one of the better actors who has played Bond. He certainly earned it in Casino Royale.

Get Smart

I missed seeing Get Smart in the theater, so I had to wait until it was available on DVD to see it. As a movie version of a TV series I never saw, I imagine that fans of the show may be somewhat disappointed similar to even the best book movie adaptation being disappointing. The movie is the story of bumbling Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for the secret spy agency CONTROL and his much more competent, experienced and beautiful partner Agent 99 as they battle the forces of KAOS.

Smart is an analyst who has been trying for a long time to be allowed to become a field agent and only is promoted when it is discovered that KAOS has found out the identities of many agents and is killing them off one-by-one. After investigating and attempting to destroy a nuclear weapons factory run by KAOS, agents 86 and 99 work to avert a KAOS nuclear demonstration which would kill the president of the United States as well as discovering a double agent.

I enjoyed the movie, which successfully combined the comedy and spy genres together. Not that it wasn’t a bit cheesy here and there, but it didn’t seem to take itself particularly seriously and somehow Smart was able to figure out things through his analysis of what was going on despite his apparent lack of skill. I probably won’t get the DVD, unless I happen upon it rather cheap at Half Price Books.


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