One of the joys of having a Stan subscription is their full collection of James Bond films. From Dr No to Skyfall. My all time fave Bond is probably still Casino Royale because you gotta love a rebooted origin story. It was one of the first things I watched on Stan. (I think Breaking Bad might have been the first).
Casino Royale still looks good, and Skyfall remains the most sucessful of all the Bonds, but I was plesantly suprised on rewatching Quantum of Solace how much I enjoyed it. Solace has some real problems, mostly attributable to the writer's strike which affected production. You can see the producers defaulting to what they know. Stupidly over-the-top stunts, forershortened narrative arcs, wild jumps over sudden plotholes, character sketching rather than development.
And yet... I enjoyed it a lot more than expected.
If you replaced the silly gymnastic fight on the scaffolding at the start of the film (after the attempt on M's life), and substituted a short, brutal but realistic fight, possibly with M's life held immediately in the balance, you'd go a long way towards getting Solace off to a much better start. A few other cuts and tweaks here and there, all to advance the story and flesh out the characters of the supporting players, and you'd have a film that could hold its head high next to its modern siblings.
(Example, when Bond hires the plane and explains the guy will sell them out, you need to see they were in the air for an hour or so before the Bolivian airforce – all two aircraft, the Aermacchi turboprop and the helicopter – attacked them.)
The Quantum/Spectre story arc is a great one. The final scene in Solace, where Bond tracks the Spectre agent who lured Vespa into a honey trap, was every bit as good as the black and white prologue to Casino Royale. It felt like the producers remembered they were making a spy drama, not a special effects and stunt driven action film.
I'll probably watch all three again before Spectre comes out at the end of the year.