Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Sometimes the old ways are the best."
Sort of flip flopped on this one, as I do recall being absolutely blown away in the theaters to a couple years ago when I began to feel cold towards this. Now it's been a couple years and I can safely say this is top-tier Bond. I prefer Casino Royale, but I think the payoff here is absolutely tremendous and kicks this up to be a step above most Bond flicks.
Coming off a very personal quest Bond set himself on after the events of Casino Royale, you can see his growth after Solace, yet his grizzled look serves to give the film a sense of impending doom, something that not many Bond films have. After a mission goes awry, Bond retires to an island until he's called back after a bombing at the headquarters of MI6. Bond sets off to the East to find Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent who was left for dead.
While Solace probably wasn't the best Bond outing, it served as a good "part two" to Casino Royale, and this also proved that you could still get a kick out of the rebooted Bond without making it seem like Bourne 2.0. There's still plenty of great Bond moments, filled with humor, thrills, and beautiful women. Javier Bardem was terrific as Silva, for sure one of the better Bond villains. I really enjoyed in the way this was self-aware as well, with Q's quips about his gadgets and a central idea of if MI6 was useful at all, when you think how it really references to itself. It's kind of meta, and I really like that.
Of course, it would be criminal to leave this at that if I didn't mention the climatic set piece. I watched this in 4K and my goodness, it's quite a sequence to behold. It was like seeing it in theaters again, though not quite as close regarding the sound system with my 4K TV but let me tell you, the 4K disc is a must-own. It's a beautiful film, and it helps that it's a truly fantastic one too.