( M) AFTER the rebooted Casino Royale , in which the brutally magnetic Daniel Craig made a grab for Sean Connery’s mantle of best James Bond, Quantum of Solace is a letdown. It’s more of the same that ends up being less. The title, which comes from an Ian Fleming short story not primarily about Bond, sounds as meaningless as if it came from the Random James Bond Movie generator ( www. kmoser. com/ jamesbond) and the plot is so perfunctory that you need a telescope to connect the dots, which is odd, as director Marc Forster ( The Kite Runner ) works at the worthier end of the film scale. The first Bond movie to take up where the last one left off, the story has 007 ready to avenge the death of love interest Vesper in Casino Royale , which puts him on a collision course with a wealthy environmental entrepreneur called, of course, Dominic Greene ( Mathieu Amalric). The so-choppy-it’s-hard-to-see-what’sgoing-on editing of action scenes, which seemed refreshing in Casino Royale , now makes Bond feel like yet another Jason Bourne clone; and Jeffrey Wright, who was so much fun as CIA man Felix Leiter in the previous movie, is reduced to a few scenes where he looks supremely annoyed. Quantum of Solace is no turkey; it looks stunning and Craig is a great, if surly, Bond, whose interactions with the fantastic Judi Dench’s M continue to delight. But it coasts too much on the goodwill generated by Casino Royale and you expect more from this series. Next time they’ll have to pull out something special.
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20th Century Fox ( 106 minutes) $ 39.95