It was the very first James Bond movie that I saw in theatre; in the entire series of 22 films. All others were through video cassettes or satellite channels. And I have a DVD of the first Daniel Craig outing, Casino Royale. Unlike the first 21 films, there was just Bond, and his brawn.
Every Bond movie till Die Another Day more or less followed a predictable line: Suave and sexy Bond armed with gadgets and hi-tech car supplied by 'Q'; a mission; an anti-US, all-powerful villain; beautiful girls on each side; steamy scenes; final conflict climaxing in the demolition of the villain and his empire. The producers stuck to this formula from the days of Sean Connery. On-screen Bonds changed five times, from Sean Connery to Pierce Brosnan, but the formula never faced transition. Casino Royale was one hell of a transformation. And Quantum of Solace, though not as sleek as its predecessor, carries the new look.
A direct sequel to Casino Royale, the film shows Bond taking things personal. He wants to avenge the death of his girlfriend in the prequel. No out-of-the-world gadgets, no supercar. The villain is no terrorist or USSR/North Korean stooge, but an ambitious chairman of a multinational corporation. His object of desire: Water and the millions he aims from selling it from an undiscovered riverbed!
Bond doesn't walk away in style, exercising his licence to kill. He is made answerable to the murders he makes. The villain looks like any regular Hollywood extra, effectively symbolising the vices men have, even with their ordinary looks. And the most important thing: The British secret agent never ever uses the iconic catchphrase "The name's Bond. James Bond." That was the very last dialogue in Casino Royale. In Quantum, the famous bond theme music also comes at the ending, just like in Casino Royale.
Out of all bonds of stylebook, this Bond is down to earth. This Bond is believable.