POLITICS
12/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

New Bond Film Is Attack On Imperialism (SPOILERS)

Liberals and conservatives alike seemed to have picked up on a distinctly anti-imperialist strain in the new Bond film "Quantum of Solace." A warning that there are minor spoilers below.

via the liberal Juan Cole:

The reviews of director Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace" have complained about the film's hectic pace (reminiscent of Doug Liman's and Paul Greengrass's Bourne thrillers), about the humorlessness of Daniel Craig's Bond, and even about the squalid surroundings, so unlike Monaco and Prague, in which the film is set (with many scenes in Haiti and Bolivia). They have missed the most remarkable departure of all. Forster presents us with a new phenomenon in the James Bond films, a Bond at odds with the United States, who risks his career to save Evo Morales's leftist regime in Bolivia from being overthrown by a General Medrano, who is helped by the CIA and a private mercenary organization called Quantum. In short, this Bond is more Michael Moore than Roger Moore.

The plot of the film was developed by producer Michael G. Wilson during the filming of "Casino Royale." New York-born Wilson is from a show-business family (his father, Lewis Wilson, was the first actor to play Batman on screen, and his step-father, Albert Broccoli, was long the producer of the Bond films). But Wilson did a law degree at Stanford in the 1960s and worked for a while at a firm specializing in international law. Outrage at offenses against international law are as much at the heart of this film as the more personal vendettas of Bond and Camille (Olga Kurylenko).

and over at the National Post, this aspect was cited with annoyance:

Too much Naomi Klein in the plot line. When I was a kid, James Bond fought the Soviet Union and prevented terrorists from blowing up nukes. In Quantum of Solace, the villain ... wants to privatize Bolivia's water supply. When the camera starts taking in poor Bolivian villagers moaning helplessly as the villain shuts off their water pipes with one of his dams, I felt like I was reading one of Klein's columns in The Nation.