Weekend Review – “Quantum of Solace”

The latest Bond movie is here. How is it?

Cast and Crew Information

Daniel Craig as James Bond
Judi Dench as M
Olga Kurylenko as Camille
Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene
Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis
Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields
Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter

Written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade
Directed by Marc Forster

Premise

Picking up mere minutes after Casino Royale leaves off, we follow Bond on his mission to protect and avenge the women in his life. He does most of this without the approval of MI6, which causes some difficulties for him.

High Point

The action sequence production. Most modern action sequences are loaded with close up shots and lightning fast editing. This results in hyperkinetic sequences of film that feature lots of impacts and explosions, but which also get hard to follow. This used a lot of medium shots and more restrained editing, using actual rapid action to give the impression of rapid action while still allowing the viewer to follow what’s going on.

Low Point

This one’s very light on story. If you haven’t seen “Casino Royale,” you might end up quite lost in the conversations explaining why Bond is doing what he’s doing. This very literally starts right where the previous movie ended, and does very little in the way of recap. If you haven’t watched (or recently rewatched) Craig’s first outing as Bond, then you should make a point of doing so before checking this one out.

The Review

I give it originality credit for being the first continuation of a Bond story I’ve seen, rather than the usual distinct chapter. Aside from that, we’ve seen it before. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were very well done. This is a heavy, heavy action Bond flick, but they hit the mark here. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is minimal. All of the setup was covered in the last one; this just takes the action sequence at the end of that one and adds another 100 minutes to it. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is done well enough for a less than challenging script. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is excellent. They deliver great action and some excellent cinematography in various world locales, and they do it better than most. David Arnold continues the tradition of original but thematically similar music he started last time. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is derived almost entirely from the fun action sequences. There’s just not enough other stuff left in the movie to engage you in any other way. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’ll easily please fans of Bond action, but those looking for a character defining piece like the last one will be less pleased. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Quantum of Solace receives 31 out of 42.

9 replies on “Weekend Review – “Quantum of Solace””

  1. Timeshredder says:

    Source
    I’m curious. Does the film retain any of the original Bond short story (which is good, but entirely unsuited to becoming a Bond action flick)?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Source

      I’m curious. Does the film retain any of the original Bond short story (which is good, but entirely unsuited to becoming a Bond action flick)?

      Not according to the IMDB trivia. I haven’t read it myself to be sure.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Source

      I’m curious. Does the film retain any of the original Bond short story (which is good, but entirely unsuited to becoming a Bond action flick)?

      Heh, they stopped being bond movies a while back, now its just mindless action in Bourne ripoff mode.

  2. chad says:

    I liked it
    I liked the movie. It was much better than I expected it to be. Lots and lots of action. Bond is one bad mother.

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  3. Jethro says:

    BoJand
    Now I may be old-school here, but I’m perfectly ok with shots being longer than 4 seconds.

    I was timing it. Seriously. there were maybe 3 times where I counted a shot going over than that.

    And if you ARE going to have that shot of a shot average, at LEAST have the guys fighting wear different colour shirts!

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: BoJand

      Now I may be old-school here, but I’m perfectly ok with shots being longer than 4 seconds.

      I was timing it. Seriously. there were maybe 3 times where I counted a shot going over than that.

      And if you ARE going to have that shot of a shot average, at LEAST have the guys fighting wear different colour shirts!

      Frankly, I felt the shot length was spastic at best. The opening sequence and the sewer chase were nearly impossible to sort out. Other than that, I did enjoy the movie, but this whole Bourne Identity style editing has to go away. Watch some Hitchcock and learn how to create a scene with long, detailed shots.

  4. Kaki says:

    Thoughts.
    I thought the fight sequences could have used a good dose of long-shots to give the physical context of the fights. The boat chase was worthless b/c they could just make up the next set of boats to bounce off of and whatnot. A long shot showing the playing field would have made that kind of silly cheating less possible.

    But the story was good. They are trying get a bit more in Bond’s head. Which is a little tough for movies to do, since he isn’t one to really vocalize much of what he is thinking. But the particular arc about the baddies, that was happily much smaller than the silly orbital-space-lasers of old (back in the ridiculous-joke-Bond era), and yet still showed Quantum to be wonderfully insidious.

    As for all the bitching and moaning I’ve seen elsewhere about lack of gadgets or, of all the stupid things to complain about, the fonts for various locations… I think the change in Bond style with these last two movies has been almost entirely for the better. So, if they want to play with some fonts, sure, why not. Adds a bit of whimsy where it does no harm. Lack of gadgets was a plus in this one. It let us see him as the destructive maelstrom taking from around him and pushing his goal forward with whatever he is given.

    At one point he is sharing his coat with a cold lady and I couldn’t help but remember that he freaking stole that coat and the whole suit from some poor schmuck that couldn’t imagine what it had been through since.

    • octa says:

      Re: Thoughts.
      The lack of gadgets is actually a pretty big change to the series. I was a little dissapointed in it.

      • zocalo says:

        Re: Thoughts.

        The lack of gadgets is actually a pretty big change to the series. I was a little dissapointed in it.

        It’s a change sure, but at least it gets rid of the frankly ridiculous idea that Q could always provide *exactly* the right tools needed, in advance, no matter how random the gadgets. I wouldn’t have any problem with Bond being provided some gizmo to achieve a specific task if that was a known or likely objective, but let’s leave the rest of the more fanciful tech back in the Moore-Brosnan era, please!

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