I really like what the James Bond people are doing with the Daniel Craig incarnation of the character. Casino Royale was good, but Quantum of Solace just might be the best Bond movie ever. Make no mistake, QoS is one of the most relentlessly action-oriented films I've ever seen, but it also manages to present James Bond as a deeply tragic figure. His friends and lovers almost invariably die, but his duty spares him little time for reflection. He's introspective enough, though, to recognize his qualities in others and sympathize. It's telling that this film, like CR before it, ends with Bond alone, and not in bed with a lover as previous incarnations always did.

This movie also completely avoids the silliness present in most bond incarnations. The villains are simply heartless and driven, not cartoonish. Bond uses his trademark puns to cover his feelings of failure, not to express his feelings of superiority. There is no gadgetry to distract from Bond's humanity, nor silly scenes with Q delivering it.

If you have any interest in Bond at all, but didn't see CR or QoS because you're not sure if anything new can be done with the character, I urge you to watch them.

2010.03.15 at 7:30am EST