It wasn’t until after the discovery of agent Strawberry Fields’ body, covered in oil on Bond’s bed, that MI6 chief M (Judi Dench) ordered her top agent to stand down.

“I think you’re so blinded by inconsolable rage that you don’t care who you hurt,” she said. “When you can’t tell your friends from your enemies, it’s time to go.”

And this complexity is what makes the audience stay, glued to their seat as they watch the characters reveal their true selves.

“Quantum of Solace” is unique: It’s the first James Bond movie to continue a previous film’s plot. In doing so, it allows Daniel Craig to build on the interpretation of Britain’s top agent that he began in 2006’s “Casino Royale.” His portrayal of Bond as a vengeful, unstable agent succeeds at making 007 relevant to a new generation of filmgoers. In focusing on nothing else but finding those responsible for the death of his former girlfriend, Craig displays emotions not seen in past Bonds.

But Bond isn’t the only character who has evolved to reflect the 21st century. As the revenge-seeking Camille, Olga Kurylenko ushers in a raw, honest take on the classic 007 femme fatale. In “Casino Royale,” Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd was a Bond girl who went toe-to-toe with James in intellectual exchanges. In “Quantum,” the Bond series pushed the role even further by making Camille just as tough as Bond and just as eager for blood.

The evolution in character type even extends to the villains. “Quantum” ’s Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) taps into the modern age’s fears by simply being practical. Greene, a billionaire philanthropist, seems harmless when he purchases land around the world through his nonprofit, Greene Planet. But Planet is just a front for his international syndicate to acquire the world’s water reserves. His understanding of this precious natural resource, accompanied by his desire to leverage it against world leaders, is an unnervingly real-world insight.

The actors in “Quantum” bring a new depth to their characters and add a new dimension to the James Bond series, solidifying the film’s spot among this year’s top movies. This is a Bond for our generation.