Well, I'm surprised that they'd end two films in a row with the main Bond girl dying and Bond either threatening to resign or actually doing it. And the latter move would, of course, bring Bond right back to where he was at the start of CASINO ROYALE, i.e. new to the British secret service.
Indeed. It does have some strong echoes to CASINO ROYALE (although I imagine that, if this review is true, Camille's death would come off quite differently than Vesper's given their very different relationships to 007).
This story certainly feels like the straight sequel to CR that we were promised, but then it also seems like CR - The Second Verse of the Same Song, carrying strong, symmetrical echoes not only of CR but of the Dalton (LICENCE TO KILL) and Brosnan eras (Bond's endless feuding with M, Bond as a rogue agent).
I'm not sure I agree that it does sound like CR II. What we have here sounds like a much darker spy film than anything in the Dalton, Brosnan eras, with a more defined and distinctive character arc for 007 than any previous Bond story - Fleming or otherwise - has contained. There are certainly elements that seem like retreads (Bond's feuding with M is a big culprit here), but the overall shape of the piece strikes me as pretty interesting.
I just wish, though, that its (alleged) plot elements didn't echo so many recent Bond outings and that it didn't carry so many reminders of THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.* (For instance, of all the cities in the world they could have picked for 007's confrontation with Vesper's ex-boyfriend, why did they have to go for Moscow?)
Well, perhaps 'cause Moscow's the epitome of the Cold War. It really is the perfect setting for stuff like this. Now, it does, unfortunately, smack of a bit of BOURNE SUPREMACY just because that's in recent memory (though I'm more inclined to think of the spy flicks pre-dating SUPREMACY), but on the whole, I think QUANTUM will feel pretty Bondian in its own right.