With a gadget in one hand, martini in the other, and a beautiful woman standing close by, Secret Agent James Bond returns to the big screen in this week’s new release The Quantum of Solace.

This installment of the 40-year old franchise is someplace in the 20’s. I lost track of the chapters somewhere between him being in space or fighting Christopher Walken at a large scale equestrian event.

I will be honest, I have seen most of these films. I can remember my pre-pubescent days when I became very allured to the cheesy Roger Moore take on these action films. Then Pierce Brosnan caught my attention for a few films until he ended his streak as 007 to concentrate on more dramatic films, like Mamma Mia!

However, the Bond adventures have taken on a bit of a makeover, or should I say pumped with adrenaline and Viagra. With Oscar-winning writers behind the scripts, talented directors behind the scenes, and hunky Daniel Craig behind the martini, the Bond series has taken a turn toward astonishing.

The Quantum of Solace picks up directly after the last film Casino Royale and follows Bond on a journey of revenge after his soulmate was killed. The context of her murder is traced to a new international predicament, involving a lot of explosions and car chases.

Bond uncovers a plot designed by an environmentalist, ironically named Mr. Greene, to promote a coup to overthrow the Bolivian government, to acquire land in a scheme to make a lot of money. Along the way, Bond meets a gorgeous lady named Camille, and they try to prevent this coup and seek revenge at the same time. It is not Shakespeare, but what do you expect from a 20 something chapter of an action series?

Nonetheless, it really is an entertaining and well made film. The two films since the recent revamp, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, can actually be considered authentic cinematic treasures instead of simply annual eye candy that the last twenty years of Bond has presented to its audience.

The two stories are realistic, and the actors actually show emotions rather than only delivering silly lines of sexual innuendo. On the topic of actors, I know Connery had the charm, Moore had the jokes, and Brosnan had the voice, but Daniel Craig has the talent.

Craig is a real actor that pulls off the action sequences and delivers the human quality of the character that no previous actor has even attempted. I hope he can stick around for the next decade of Bond films.

I can make no prediction on how many of these British secret agent films there will be.

I still have not figured out how one agent, code name James Bond or 007, can age so well and look so different throughout the years? Do they pass on this identity to new agents every couple of years and it just so happened that Roger Moore got it for about twenty of them? Or are we honestly supposed to believe that James Bond goes from the age of AARP to mid-life crisis between an adventure?

So many questions about this ridiculous series; regardless, Quantum of Solace is a very enjoyable film.

My Grade: B+