Mark and I finally got around to watching Quantum of Solace this weekend. DirecTV had a two-fer special bundling that with Casino Royale for a good price, so we went that route and reminded ourselves what the Bond Reboot was up to and why.
I'm so happy we did.
Having watched these two movies within a few hours of each other, I'm very impressed with the overall storyline and character arc. I don't think either movie stands too well on their own compared to how they work together. I've never seen that happen so effectively in serial movies or duologies or trilogies. And it's a bit of a risk that the creators took in splitting that story up as they did. Granted, it's a bigger risk to have tried to bundle CR and QoS into one 4.25-hour-long film, and I don't think there's much I'd recommend cutting out of either movie to get that number down to something more manageable. But I don't think I'll ever be able to watch either CR or QoS on their own and be satisfied with the experience.
That being said, I think the Bond Reboot is effectively established at the end of QoS and that now the franchise can get on with more standalone stories that should offer more depth than the previously established idiom could allow.
Yay, Bond. You've finally found your way out of the Cold War without resorting to cartoonish scenarios and caricatures.