Paying attention producers?/ What Quantum of Solace should have been./The greatest Bond cliffhanger ever.

Okay, so, I'll admit, I haven't seen Quantum of Solace, so there may be premature judgment in the following (isn't there always?) but I trust my friends to some extent, and when they all say a sequel is crap, it pretty much cements my generally correct opinion that if X is sequel, X will suck, especially if X is written after, and by a different team than A, the “original.” This conclusion seems to have held true despite my great respect and hope for Marc Forster, Daniel Craig, and Paul Haggis (especially his work on Crash), and my hope in the greatest title I think a Bond film has ever had (and there have been some good ones, IMHO). So, believing that all these could do better, I wonder what went wrong, and pitch my own idea of what should have happened.

The film opens, after lavish, water-themed opening credits, with the last of them melting into the desert, sizzling on the sands. Bond sits in the sand, back against his car, looking into the distance. He glances to his left. Over the distant dunes, a huge procession is coming, most on camels.
We flash back to Bond searching Mr. White's house. He comes downstairs. White is tied to a chair, and has already obviously been worked over rather badly. Silently, Bond gives him a grim look, and begins to beat him again. We return, mercifully, to Bond in the desert. The caravan is much closer. We flash in and out of the interrogation of Mr. White throughout the first act, learning that Mr. Bond is contacting this caravan because it has some unstated connection with the organization “SPECTRE”, which is not stated by Mr. White, but found on a single piece of notepaper – “SPECTRE, 25.039198, 50.019979 Nov. 3?” It is there that Bond waits now. During the flashes we learn that Mr. White has been taken back to MI5 to be under interrogation there. M begins to talk to Bond about revenge. During the flashes the caravan moves closer, until it directly in front of Bond. When the caravan is half-past him, all of them stop, and Bond is suddenly covered by dozens of guns. He is entirely unperturbed. One of the men comes forward to talk to him.
“SPECTRE?” Bond asks.
The man smiles. “You don't want SPECTRE.”
“What is SPECTRE?”
“To find out what SPECTRE is, is to join SPECTRE.”
“How do I find out more?”
“Go to Dubai. SPECTRE watches over Dubai.”
“Is that where you are going?”
“Can I travel with you?”
“No, we go too slow for your purposes. You may, however, dine with us.”

Bond dines with them, and, in the darkness around the tents, drives away after the dinner. Later, in the darkness surrounding the tents, he returns, and roughs up a few young men indiscriminately, questioning them about SPECTRE. One of them, he discovers, is a disguised Estonian spy, after she repels his attacks. Her name is Maria, she's the main bond-girl for the movie. She asks to go with him. They drive to Dubai. The second act is split half-and-half between Dubai, and Moscow. In Dubai, Bond-girl tells him where he can find Mr. White's handler. Mr. White's handler asks Bond, just before he commits suicide, if Bond is SPECTRE. This puzzles Bond, and Bond, searching the handler's apartment, is taken captive by a Dubai police task force. They take him, to his surprise, before the Emir of Dubai, who takes him for White's handler, and tells him, after Bond's credentials are cleared, that SPECTRE actually works with the government of Dubai, as well as the governments of Russia, Great Britain, and the United States. The Emir also tells Bond that SPECTRE says there were indications of Mr. White's handler having connections in Moscow. Bond goes with bond-girl to Moscow, to continue to research. There we brow more embroiled in a number of suspicions and paranoias, of Dubai, of the Emir, of the girl, of Moscow, of SPECTRE.
The beginning of the third act, Bond meets a self-described “SPECTRE” agent in Moscow, who tells him that he's “Not from the government, but here to help.” Bond learns more about the apparent structure of SPECTRE, how a number of government agents work with it, but none are allowed to tell of its existence to any others – essentially, the test to enter SPECTRE is to find it. Bond and Bond-girl have a couple more adventures, she could die (she's a Bond girl, she's expendable). M starts to doubt Bond's dedication to revenge, and tells him that Revenge is a quantum of solace – the smallest possible piece of solace, because revenge is always tinged with regret. Revenge means one has power- and probably had the power to stop the thing from happening which now must be avenged.. Bond just looks at her blandly, and tortures White more. White asks Bond if Bond is looking for revenge. Bond says yes. White says, well, that's easy, for that, you need to go back to where you started. Bond girl (if alive) goes back with Bond to the desert (either way, that's where Bond goes), where he tells the nomad (still camped there) he does want SPECTRE. The nomad smiles, and they join the caravan into the desert. If we want to do a classic Bond, they are making love in a covered camel saddle, or wagon, or whatever, when the caravan stops, at the apparently empty edge of the sea. A door opens in the sand, and Bond goes in. M's voice comes on over the loudspeaker.
“You know Bond, you were right. You may not have known it, but the quantum, while it is the smallest possible piece of revenge. But quantum is also a level, and once you get down to where those smallest particles matter, the big ones don't matter anymore. In any case, you're at the right place now. Welcome to SPECTRE.”

There we go. Leaves us wondering whether M is working for the greatest criminal organization ever, leaves us with a great jumping off point where Bond starts suspecting SPECTRE, and, to M's protests, teaches M a lesson about watching her friends. At that point, one could keep creating new Bond films, or return to the originals. Remake anyone? I'll write a script if Marc Forster, Daniel Craig, or Paul Haggis contact me... :)

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