Quantum of Solace.
I think my general conclusion about Casino Royale was that it had breathed some life back into the Bond franchise, but Quantum of Solace seems to have breathed it out again. I watched bits of the film thinking that so much seemed so familiar. The boat chase sequence, for example, looked like a lot of old hat – and was. Even the storyline about Bond going off piste had nothing to recommend it because it’s nothing new. Even before revised Bond we had M telling him to turn in his badge because he was off the case. “But Lootenant…” protested Bond.
If they ever make another in the series, all they really need to do is splice together sequences from old Bond films: the car chase; the boat chase; the plane chase; the ski chase; the expensive party; the visit to Q’s lab (missing in this film); the early, but indecisive confrontation with the villain; the chase across the rooftops; the seduction; the fight with the main henchman; the fight with the villain; meetings with M; banter with Moneypenny; the epilogue where M interrupts Bond having a shag. As for the details of the story, it doesn’t really matter.
And what is this mysterious organisation with agents everywhere? I bet it’s the AA.
“No wonder they’ve always been one step ahead of us,” thought Bond as he looked along the line of cars. Almost all of them had a sticker with a black AA on a yellow background. He looked at the windscreen of his car. It, too, had the same sticker, but the impact was greater because it meant that he had been a member all along. The stickers were so ubiquitous that they were easily screened out of a person’s consciousness. It was a perfect form of camouflage.
Since the villain, a rather disappointing specimen, was the guy from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the whole thing might’ve been in his mind.