Australian Council on Children and the Media

Quantum of Solace

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Not suitable under 13, not recommended to 15 due to complexity of plot, violence and sexual references.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Quantum of Solace
  • a review of Quantum of Solace completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 November 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to complexity of plot, intense sequences of action violence, sexual references and violence against women.
Children 13-15 Not recommended due to action violence, sexual references and violence against women.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Quantum of Solace
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Quantum of Solace begins hours from where Casino Royale ended. James Bond (Daniel Craig), pursued by villains in cars at high speed, brings in Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) for questioning. Bond and M (Judi Dench), interrogate Mr. White in a bid to uncover those responsible for Bond’s betrayal and discover that the previously unknown organisation that White works for is both powerful and worldwide.

An investigation of an MI6 traitor leads Bond to Haiti where he encounters the mysterious Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with her own agenda and vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) a ruthless businessman posing as an environmentalist for an organisation called Green Planet. We learn that Dominic is conspiring with an exiled Bolivian dictator called General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) to overthrow the current Bolivian government. He is also working with high up officials in both the British and US governments, who know that he is a villain, but choose to do business with him regardless.  
Bond chases the criminals across Austria, Italy and South America, becoming a renegade MI6 agent when he refuses to obey M’s orders to abandon the chase. Along the way Bond enlists the help of an old friend Rene Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) and then teams up with Camille, while contending with Agent Fields (Gemma Arterton) who arrives to escort him back home

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Secret agents; organised crime

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Quantum of Solace contains intense action violence throughout, dangerous and reckless behaviour, threats, intimidation and inferred torture. Several scenes depict more brutal violence, occasionally against women. Examples include:  

  • The opening scenes focus on a reckless car chase/shootout between Bond and several machinegun-wielding villains. During the chase the cars speed along narrow winding roads as the villains attempt to run Bond off the road, at the same time Bond and the villains are continuously firing their guns at each other. Police cars enter the chase with one of the police cars crashing over a cliff to roll down a hillside. Bond shoots a driver causing the car to crash over a cliff. When the chase comes to an end, Bond opens the boot of his car to reveal a battered and tied man.
  • Mr. White, who has a bloody leg, is bound to a chair during an interrogation. It is implied that Mr. White is being tortured during his interrogation when we hear M say, “The longer it takes the more painful we’ll make it.”
  • During the same scene, an MI6 agent suddenly pulls out his gun and without warning shoots several other MI6 agents. One is shot in the head and we see some blood splatter. Bond chases the assassin through streets with the pair shooting at each other and a pedestrian is shot (we see blood and the man falls to the ground). The pair fight it out in a bell tower with both falling through a glass roof and on to scaffolding where both men become entangled in rope. Bond shoots the other man.
  • Bond breaks into a hotel room and a man who is hiding leaps out and attacks him with a knife. The fight involves lots of knife slashing, punches to the face and body and the sound of bones being broken. At one point Bond head-butts his attacker. The pair crash through glass doors and we see Bond’s attacker lying dead on bloodied broken glass with a bleeding wound in his neck and his eyes open.
  • When Bond first meets Camille, she offers him a ride in her car and then tries to shoot him, but Bond manages to jump out of the car.
  • Dominic gives Camille to General Medrano to use for his sexual pleasure, telling him to kill her by dropping her over the side of his boat when he is finished with her.
  • In order to rescue Camille from General Medrano, Bond rides a motorbike in a reckless manner jumping over a number of boats before crashing the bike, Bond then steals a boat and uses the boat to ram General Medrano’s boat, and then rescues Camille. Camille doesn’t want to be rescued and punches Bond in the face and they wrestle. A boat chase follows with lots of machine gun fire, boats crashing into each other and exploding. Camille is knocked unconscious.
  • During a shootout in a hotel/restaurant between Bond and several criminals, a kitchen stove explodes with flames leaping into the air, we see restaurant workers hiding to escape the gunfire. At the same time images of an opera being played are mingled with the gunfire, with actors acting out a bloody stabbing on stage. We see repeated images of a woman stabbing a man and holding a bloody knife with the man’s shirt covered in blood.
  • Bond pushes a man off a rooftop with the man landing on top of a car. The fallen man survives, but is then shot dead in a ruthless manner by the driver of the car.
  • Dominic attempts to murder Camille by pushing her through a balcony rail, but Bond arrives in the nick of time to save Camille.
  • A female agent working with Bond trips one of Dominic’s henchmen causing the man to fall down a flight of stairs. When we next see the man he is wearing a neck brace.
  • Bond is approached by two police officers and a fight erupts. Mathis is shot by the police and in response Bond shoots two police officers. Mathis dies in Bond’s arms and Bond dumps his body in a dumpster.
  • In one scene Bond is flying a 1950’s cargo plane over the desert when a second plane attacks.   We see bullets ripping through the fuselage of Bonds plane, smoke pouring out of the engines and cargo inside the plane being flung about. The attacking plane crashes into the mountainside to explode in a ball of flames. Both Bond and Camille jump out of their plane before it crashes, but only Camille is wearing a parachute. Bond manages to follow Camille down and grab her, with Camille’s parachute opening just before the pair hit the ground hard.     
  • Camille tells Bond how General Medrano shot her father, and then tortured, molested and strangled her mother and sisters while she watched before he set the house on fire with the intent of Camille being burnt alive. Camille has a large scar on her back as a result.
  • A dead female agent lies face down on Bond’s hotel bed. She is nude and completely covered in oil. We hear that her lungs are full of oil.
  • Dominic threatens General Medrano telling him “you will wake up with your balls in your mouth”.
  • General Medrano attempts to rape a woman. The woman is lying on a bed with her hands tied behind her back and General Medrano attacks her, dragging her off the bed and ripping her clothes (we hear the woman crying).
  • While storming General Medrano’s army base, Bond shoots a guard at point blank range. Camille shoots two guards.
  • Dominic strikes Bond with a length of pipe and then attacks him with a fireman’s axe, however, Dominic misses Bond and planting the axe in his own foot, we see the axe chop into his foot and blood splatter out, with Dominic wrenching the axe from his own foot. Bond dangles Dominic over a balcony by his hair, then pulls him to safety.
  • Camille fights with General Medrano. Camille scratches his face and slashes the back of his leg with a knife. General Medrano throws Camille to the ground and her head crashes into, and breaks, a glass tabletop. Camille uses a shard of glass from the broken table to stab General Medrano in the back and then shoots him. We do not see the bullet hitting the general, but see him lying dead on the ground and blood on his shirt.
  • During a large explosion we see one of Dominic’s henchmen engulfed in flames with brief images of his clothes and chunks of skin being blown off his body.
  • Bond and Camille are trapped in a burning collapsing building Camille appears very scared and Bond proposes to shoot her in the head rather than letting her die by the flames telling her to close her eyes. However, Bond manages to shoot a hydrogen cylinder causing an explosion that provides their escape.
  • After promising to let Dominic go, Bond takes Dominic into the middle of the desert and abandons him, handing Dominic a container of oil. Bond tells Dominic that he will drink the oil after he has walked about twenty kilometres. We later hear that Dominic was found dead with two bullet wounds to the back of his head and a stomach full of oil.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some gruesome images that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A gruesome photo image of a dead man who had obviously been in the ocean for some time. It appears as if fish have eaten off the man’s lips and eyelids.
  • A brief image of a man’s clothes and flesh being blown from his body in an explosion.
  • Dominic’s foot being severed by an axe (including some blood and gore), with Dominic pulling the axe from his own foot.
  • General Medrano is depicted as having a very nasty, threatening, violent and intimidating manner.
  • Camille’s back is badly scarred, and we later learn that the scar is the result of Camille being burnt in a violent house fire as a young girl.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned violence and disturbing scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned violence and disturbing scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • A number of cars, mobile phones and computers

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A reference is made to Camille sleeping with a man so that she can gain access to another man.
  • Dominic hands Camille over to General Medrano telling him that she is part of the deal implying that General Medrano is to use Camille against her will to meet his sexual needs. Dominic then says, “Have fun you two.”
  • A woman in a bathing costume tells a man that she wants his hands on her skin.
  • While in a hotel room, Bond tells a woman “I can’t find my stationery, come help me look.” The implication being that he wanted the woman to come into his room and to have sex with him. In the next scene we see the woman sitting in Bond’s bed naked, her front covered by sheets, the implication being that they have had sex. Bond kisses the woman’s bare back.
  • Dominic tells Bond that Camille “won’t go to bed unless you give her something she wants.” He then says that she is quite good once she is on her back.
  • Camille tells Bond that she got to Dominic by sleeping with him and asks Bond if he is offended. Bond replies, “not at all.”
  • Camille tells Bond that General Medrano “did things” to her mother and sister (implying rape).
  • When General Medrano is served a drink by a woman another man asks the General, “You want something, how can I help you” the general replies, “Just a drink for now” while looking lustfully at the woman. The other man smiles and waves a finger at the General. The General then tells the woman to take his drink to his room.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • passionate kissing
  • numerous silhouetted images of naked women with sand pouring over their bodies during the opening credits 
  • women wear revealing dresses and swimsuits.
  • a dead naked woman lying face down on a bed, her body entirely covered in black oil

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • James Bond drinks scotch, beer, wine and martinis. We hear how Bond at one stage has consumed six martinis and are told in some detail exactly how Bond likes his martinis to be made. Bond appears only slightly intoxicated after drinking the six martinis.
  • A man smokes a cigar.
  • A man tells Bond that he has pills for everything; pills that will make him sleep and others that will take away pain.
  • People drinking champagne and other types of alcohol at bars and parties.
  • In one scene Camille appears to be intoxicated she staggers and slurs her words.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language and putdowns in this movie including:

  • cold bastard
  • arsehole
  • Christ
  • bullshit
  • piss off
  • piss on my parade
  • I don’t give a shit
  • move your arse
  • you’ll wake up with your balls in your mouth.   

In a nutshell

Quantum of Solace is definitely adult viewing. Unlike other Bond films, this film is dark and ruthless with Bond stealing, lying, manipulating and killing without hesitation or remorse. The plot is complex, making it difficult and confusing for viewers under thirteen and much of the film’s dialogue sounds muffled, or lacking in clarity making it difficult to understand.
The main messages from this movie are that

  • revenge is not as sweet as it may first appear, and does not provide comfort
  • governments accept corruption as a necessary ill, and doing business with criminals is part of the norm  

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • selflessness - Bond places his own life at risk to protect Camille
  • persistence -Bond never gives up in his pursuit of the criminals he is chasing.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • At the start of the film Bond is bent on revenge, but by the end of the film Bond comes to the realisation that revenge is an empty vessel without a quantum of solace. Parent may wish to discuss what leads Bond to this decision, and why pursuing revenge is destructive and negative. 

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