Quantum of Solace

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Suzie's Movies

Some movies are judged by what we come away with after viewing them. With a Bond film I think most people go in with certain expectations of what they’ll see, what they experience and how they will be left feeling after all is said and done. You expect action, intrigue, some really cool gadgets, some beautiful women and some great cars. That’s the formula. Well, this Bond film has the same formula but it’s been tweaked a bit. Everything is still there but in different quantities making a bit of a different movie. 

In this Bond flick  our boy James is out for revenge; set on evening a score with those responsible for the death of his last love, Vesper. The trail leads him to  Dominic Greene, a corrupt businessman out to seize the natural resources of third world nations under the guise of a sham environmental group. Villain – wise Greene (played by Mathieu Amalric) was a bit on the anemic side. Not near ‘dastardly’ enough.  Not much offered plot-wise either. But what we don’t get in story-line or intrigue we get in action… lots of action. Action action and more action. In fact, there is so much in the way of car chases, fist fights and explosions that there’s little else. It’s like rushing through a buffet line to get to a cheap dessert  and it is somehow not satisfying. We never have a chance to know any of the characters so we really have no motivation to root for anyone (other than Bond). There’s no pleasure in Bond trouncing the bad guys because we never really see how bad the bad guys are until very late in the film. To detract even more from the film, director, Marc Forester, uses the ever-so-popular hand held camera shoots intended to put the viewer in the action and instead just succeeds in irritating the audience. Forester also uses parallel  sequencing in almost every fight scene (showing alternate action scenes of the same time sequence juxtaposed against each other). Once was a good idea; twice means he just ran out of other  artistic ideas. 

Despite these blunders, the movie still has some redeeming aspects. The Bond girls are beautiful, smart and sexy without being trampy. The cars are pretty OK (an Alpha Romero, an Astin Martin and an aged Peugeot) and there’s a great old motorcycle that looks like either a Bultaco or maybe a Sherco. There are no gadgets in this Bond film but there is a fantastic computer screen made even more marvelous because the technology for them is already on the market . Think iPhone with a four foot screen. Very cool. 

All this is not to say I didn’t have fun watching Quantum of Solace. I did. There were plenty of references to other Bond movies as well as a few nods to Alfred Hitchcock to keep you entertained. And for me, Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever. ( And I thought no one could be better than Sean Connery. ) So all the Bond elements are there, just the proportions were a bit off.  Still, after it was all over and I was on my way home, I found myself unwinding my little Toyota full out in every gear while mentally making plans on where I would put my awesome four foot computer table when I got it. (Who am I kidding?!) In the end Quantum of Solace was a pretty good Bond film, just not as tasty as Casino Royale.
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