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Quantum of Solace Reviews
"Cutting to the Chase,"
"Once More into the Cuisinart, Dear Friends"
When last we left James Bond, he was nursing a broken heart by the one way he knew to ease the pain--shooting someone in the leg with an assault rifle.
After the success of Casino Royale, the last complete James Bond novel not to be given an "official" film version, and the revival of the franchise with the casting of Daniel Craig, one had to wonder what the producers would do for an encore.
Or a sequel. "Quantum of Solace" takes place 30 minutes after the ending of "Casino Royale," (in mid-car-chase) with Bond going "rogue" and seeking revenge. It's the first "true" sequel in the Bond series--all of them previously being stand-alone stories, where for budgetary or scheduling the secondary characters --like CIA agent Felix Leiter--would be played by different people from movie to movie.
Here, things are consistent: Jeffrey Wright again plays Leiter, Giancarlo Giannini returns as Rene Mathis as does Judi Dench as "M." And the mysterious Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), behind so much of Bond's troubles last film is in the bumpy custody of MI6, where he drops the news that there's a world-wide criminal organization so "under the radar" that the world's network of spies--and in this film even Bolivia has a Secret Service--hasn't noticed. But that is just a wild goose chase to Bond achieving that quantum of solce about the events of Casino Royale.
One could go on and on with the trivial aspects of "QOS," but in broad strokes. no, it isn't as good as the last one; Casino Royale was one of the best film in the series, even after the perspective of a couple years.
Does Bond find out the answers to the questions he's seeking? Yeah, for all the good it does us. We spend 95% going down a blind alley--at 90 miles an hour, with a shaking camera pointed aimlessly and an average edit length of half a second. More on that in a moment.
The dialog is crisp and brief. The acting is uniformly good, with particular mention of Craig, Dench, and Giannini. Even the "Bond girls" can act: former model Olga Kurylenko is quite good, using a cat-walk scowl as the basis of her performance; and Gemma Arterton is pert, spunky...and sadly disposable. Mathieu Amalric makes the most of his reptilian looks, as a sort of bug-eyed Roman Polanski.
But the major problem with Quantum...--which dims the viewing experience--is the slap-dash way that Forster and his second unit director Dan Bradley (who stunt coordinated the "Bourne" and last couple "Spiderman" movies) have staged and assembled the action sequences--and there are a lot of them--on land, sea, air, and fire, by foot and all manner of motorized vehicles. These sequences are nearly incomprehensible, with a rapid pace that does not allow the distinguishing of any participant or the context of the action. A good action director allows the time to register surroundings and environment--who's doing what to whom and where. It's that information that provides suspense. Without it, it's just fleeting images that don't add up. What Forster and Bradley may be trying to do is put the audience in the same dizzying, disoriented position as Bond, but even then, there are times when there isn't enough context to inspire alarm.
At one point, in one of the hand to hand fights it becomes apparent that, suddenly, one of the combatants has acquired an axe. There was just enough time for me to register that, perhaps, the film would be better served if it was edited with one.
The shame is that a lot of work went into these sequences--QOS is the most expensive Bond film while also being the shortest--and a couple of marvelous shots that literally tumble along with Bond merely disorient, rather than thrill, as you're not allowed to see the original position from where these shots start. At the end of it all, you're left with a battered Bond but no idea how he got that way.
It's a major mis-step. These are suspense films, after all. But in pushing the envelope of how fast to take these action sequences, post-Bourne, the film-makers have reached the point where they are no longer telling a story, no longer communicating with the audience, at which point they've failed in their own mission.
I'm not even sure what is to be gained by seeing Quantum of Solace in a theater, even in the back row. The best way to get anything out of the action is to watch it at a slower speed on DVD.
And so, at the risk of being branded a heretic, Quantum of Solace is a rental.
| Well, I'm new here, so I won't go off on a tangent and wear out my welcome, but I didn't like it. Whereas Casino Royale had breaks between the action, QoS jumps all over the place. The villain was weak and most of the time the camera movement was so choppy I didn't know what the heck was going on. I actually did like the opening song of the movie, but wasn't a huge fan of the opening credits. |
Those who like a certain missing 'key' classic element will be surprised to see its inclusion in the film, though not where you'd expect it.
This film, if anything, made me grow even more tired of Dench's role as M. She is such a concerned grandmother in this film...it's just annoying. I'd like to see M changed to someone who might channel some Bernard Lee - he appears in the film as the foreign secretary, played by Tim Pigott-Smith. His words in the film were among some of the best, and considering how annoyed I was by that point in the film, they almost seemed to help parody the film.
The plot was thin...etc etc. The action was too choppy as I've already said. Many people are calling this a 'Bourne wannabe' and I can see their point - the second unit is comprised of some of the Bourne people.
| I liked it quite a bit. At first I thought this really didn't feel like a Bond movie as such until I sat and thought about it for a while. Since this is supposed to be a young James Bond and many of the Bond trade marks were not present can be explained. Such as the no gadgets present was because Q branch had not been introduced yet. Or the whole Bond James Bond that too had not been used because Bond had not yet met Sylvia Trench where he mocked her after she introduced her self as Trench, Sylvia Trench. And he followed up with well... you get the point. But I think it would be nice on Bond 23 to get back to the good old Bond again. |
| Why are they taking all the great stuff out of Bond? Dont get me wrong I loved Casino Royale, its plot, Craig's performance, everything that was in it. But its the stuff thats not in it. They took out Q and Moneypenny, and now in this one, QOS, theyre takin out his line "Bond. James Bond." and no more vodka martinis shaken not stirred. Who cares if they want to break from tradition, tradition is part of what James Bond is and is why the movies are so memorable and unique. Bond isnt Bond without Moneypenny and cool gadgets from Q. and his drink and his line are trademarks. Whats happening to the films?|
| t really would've helped to have a Moneypenny or a Q. One or the other, at the very end. They didn't do either one. Apologies if anybody considers that to be a spoiler...I think it's sort of on the line, maybe.|
This debate shown in the trailer about whether Bond was motivated by duty or by revenge -- it was a pretty silly argument to be having, wasn't it? Her Majesty's Government really didn't have a dog in the hunt. Some bug-eyed creepy dude is gonna starve a bunch of poor people out of their, uh, precious resource, and extort some fat smelly deposed-general dude out of a bunch of money...I don't even follow what any of this has to do with introducing Stephen Obanno to Le Chiffre. Or getting the money back when it goes missing.
I've complained before about those henchmen attacking Roger Moore in the belly-dancer's dressing room in Beirut, how the spoiler later on in TMWTGG entirely deprives them of purpose other than the "it's time for a fight" thing. That whole action sequence before the opening credits? That's kind of like more of the same. Those bad-guys didn't belong there, y'know?
I know we've been anticipating this thing for years, and it hurts to admit it, but someone's gotta say it...
1. It seems he didn't even sleep with his leading lady. That would be a first, wouldn't it?
2. The camera was shaky during the action scenes.
3. The villains were weak.
4. Generally, there were so many Bond elements missing that it ended up not having a great deal to do with Bond.
Any one of those four, or two of those four, could be overlooked partially or entirely. As a whole, they create a real problem.
The consensus that has emerged from Rotten Tomatoes is (and this is rare) an echo of my opinion. It's definitely "fresh"; it's a decent film. It does not rate as higly as Casino Royale, and in that sense, fails to satisfy. It is the nature of sequels to be inferior to what inspired them -- but I'm afraid this is something of a case of overpromising and underdelivering. Nice effort, Mr. Forster. Good-enough results. Adequate contribution. Didn't suck. Still and all, let's make this your one-and-only. I've got the impression your passions are invested in something else.
Having said that, Daniel Craig met, and surpassed, expectations.
| My Friends and I watched it on Nov 6. Great action scenes, lots of twists to keep any bond fan at the edge of their seat. |
Not a big fan of the missing characters (Q, Moneypenny) and the title sequence.
Finally, Craig's first proper gunbarrel.
| I thought it was a great movie. I dont see it as being a "bourne wannabe" when it was nothing of the sort. Things were crazy and mixed up because they were supposed to be. Bond has been through into a world of chaos. M's part in the movie was great as well. There was life for M. she was no longer just sitting around in an office. I love how they utilized the gunbarrel although I wont mention what I mean in case others havent seen it but trust me you will know. This movie indicates that he is now Bond. He will have missions women, gadgets, cars, everything Bond has had before and I cannot wait until the next film.|
I would also like to mention that I loved the way ***SPOLIERS***** Fields was found dead. Anyone notice what classic Bond scene that looked like? Goldfiner...
| || I enjoyed QOS--it wasn't as good as Casino Royale, maybe not even at the level of most of the Connery Bonds, but it was ahead of most of the others. Definitely in the top 10. As one of the shortest of the films (one reviewer said THE shortest, but I'm not sure given Dr. No) it could have been great if it were 30 minutes longer and that half-hour had been devoted a little more to plot and character development. Story had potential, there just wasn't enough of it between the action sequences.|
I was a bit disappointed in the tight editing of some of the action sequences; it made the film appear that some of the stunts were "staged" during film stops, whereas other Bonds were noted for groundbreaking stunts done with wide angle shots so you could see the stunt was actually filmed and not a camera trick. I agree they were "Bourne" stunts, not Bond stunts.
Craig, however, is excellent--I'm convinced his mix of "cold brutality" and suppressed emotion is exactly what the original Fleming books intended for Bond and no film Bond has accomplished that since the first few Connery films. "Gadget" use was limited to some cool computer screens and a couple of electronic "bugs" small enough to fit on a business card, and none of those were undue "plot drivers." (I may never forgive the producers for the "invisible car" in Die Another Day--that was a low point in the Bond franchise.)
Still, even an "average" Bond is far better than most else that passes these days as an action flick. I was pleased--well worth the price of admission and eventually a DVD to own.
| So, I liked it too. I'm an out Craig fan, but did find the film lacking in a few areas. First, the good news. The chemistry between the players was great; particularly with M and Bond. The Bond girls were strong, but not exceptional. I thought the stunt work and cinematography was great! I also really enjoyed the Opera scene. The juxtaposition of events and music was great - and you got to see Bond actually do something clever. Finally!|
The bad. The villain story arch felt secondary to revenge - which I will admit was probably the intent. It was too fast with too little character development. I would have liked a little more traditional Bond in the film too. It felt more Bourne than Bond in the first half, but finally worked in some elements, including a great nod to GFinger, towards the latter half. Overall, great movie, top 5 Bond film.
| I just saw it for a second time and it diminished in my eyes a bit. Overall I think it's a top 7 film or so in the pantheon of Bond, but more than just the traditional elements were lacking. I think I got caught up in the fervor of the action in my first comments. |
First, off it was just too short. I can only imagine how much might have been left on Forster's editing room floor. More chemistry and banter with Fields? Those moments were such pure joy; perhaps as they were so fleeting. I would have like to have seen the characters developed more fully. The chemistry was there from the ensemble - each strong on their own; each made better when paired with Craig.
The action was terrific of course, but I agree with many of the criticisms of the held led camera work - just too choppy. And when did M get some bloody mobile? It seemed odd to have her on the road with Bond -; particularly the last scene. While I love the two together perhaps some more scenes at the MI6 would have been a better and more realistic backdrop.
|Okay somewhere down the road they may have dropped the ball for the movie somwhere. It may not be the best in the series, but it comes as a decient film in the series. The editing is really bad; mostly during the car chase, Bond in pursuit of Mitchell, the airplane chase. You know I could write a full review on the editing, but thats not what I'm here for. The camera angles were off a little and the major flaw for Craig's seconf adventure. It was to damn short! A Bond film is suppose to be a 2hr feature. Anyway, great acting by M (Judi Dench), keeps Bond in line. Olga as Camille, a great choice. I don'y care for Fields. Little up setting to know Mathis got killed, but hey its a Bond picture. Not the best villain in the world, but he did have a good scheme. Perhaps if Greene could have fought better and not scream like a girl, that would have helped. All in all, a great tie into Casino Royale. Craig again proves that Bond is a human and has no limits when it comes to duties.|
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