I just watched the latest bond film, which I have been waiting exactly 2 years for since Casino Royale. I had seen the trailers for the last few months and I was really psyched about it. My hopes were high.
For just a plain action film, it was all right. For a James Bond film (especially after Casino Royale set the standards so high) it failed epically.
Firstly their was too much action. I know when most people think James Bond they think action, but one of the reasons why Casino Royale was such a well rounded film was that it spaced out the action very well and between the fights and chases there was an engaging narrative. Each event in the movie happens for a specific reason and advances the intricately crafted plot. This is definitely not the case in Quantum of Solace.
The film is introduced with a adrenaline fueled (excuse the pun) car chase in which Bond is trying to loose his pursuers. Personally I questioned introducing the film in this way, but I wasn't going to hate on the movie for that one reason alone.
After a 5 minute chase throughout the country side and cityscape, packed with gunfire and explosions he parks the car in a secret parking lot which is being used by MI6. He pops the trunk of the car open to reveal Mr. White, the man he tracked down and shot at the end of the last film. Now this was INTERESTING, it very clearly told us why the people were chasing him but also define how far apart the films were.
They begin an "interrogation" of Mr. White. Now I say "interrogation" because after having watched 24 a million times everything else just seems soft. If Jack Bauer stood in for James Bond in this movie it would be called;
OR My personal favourite;
MI6 doesn't actually get round to torturing him anyway. Mr. White tells them he is apart of a large organization and they have people everywhere. One of the MI6 agents double crosses them and kills two others.White escapes.
The action overload goes from bad to worse when Bond chases after the traitor and then fights and kills him. There is no pause between events, not even a shameless information dump for the audience. Nothing, it's just on to the next piece of action.
From out of nowhere MI6 is able to track one of the traitor's bank notes to an exact location in Haiti. Bond follows up on it. He walks into the contacts room and is attacked, they have a brief encounter and the contact ends up dead. This scene would have actually been cool if there had been a feasible gap between the last action scene.
The introduction of the Bond Girl Camille made absolutely no sense! Bond is walking down the street and she drives by in a car and shouts, "Get in." For some reason bond obliges. They take off together in the car and a guy on a motorbike follows them.
I just researched trusty old Wikipedia to find that apparently Bond was posing as Slate, the contact in Haiti. Now the reason this fails is because I'm pretty sure
Camille would have either a photo or know what he looks like. Maybe she just knew it was him because he had a briefcase. Oh! And it's silver. That settles it.
Camille asks bond if the man on the motorbike is a friend but he replies "I don't have any friends." He opens the recently acquired briefcase, which contains a gun and a picture of Camille. He says "looks like someone wants you dead." Out of nowhere she grabs the gun and shoots out the window. Apparently she was aiming for Bond, but she was looking out the window the whole time. Fooled me.
From then on it's just a list of action packed events with little attention to storyline.
The Opera Gunfight.
Trouble with the Police.
The Plane Chase.
Bond's escape from MI6.
The Attack on the Bar.
Revenge & Exposions.
The finale with Vesper's BF.
Action, Action, Action.
A Familiar feeling began to arise. The feeling of utter confusion which I received whilst watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Analyzing this feeling now I can see that it is a result of a number of things. The first, like I said is there is too much action and not enough back-story. There is no space between the action and it is very choppy. Either the director was on speed or he was watching too much Borne Ultimatum, either way it was ineffective. You are constantly hoping that the next scene will provide an explanation for what happened in the last.
Another reason why Casino Royale was so good was that its plot was clear and well rounded. All the little elements in the film came together to create a cohesive and extremely enjoyable experience. Quantum of Solace left me feeling very much raped in that they threw a dozen sub plots at you, half of which do not successfully link back to the over arching theme and to be honest distract from the main plot which was…I forget.
I don’t understand why they decided to cram absolutely everything they possibly could into one movie. There’s a car chase WITH GUNS, there’s a boat chase WITH GUNS and to top it of there is a plane chase WITH EVEN BIGGER GUNS. I remember certain James Bond movies such as Live and Let Die because of its unique boat chase and other interesting plot devices. One film should not have it all! And if it does, each portion shouldn’t be as large as the other. It doesn’t work.
I am completely blaming this on the director by the way.
Who’s fucking goofball idea was it to get rid of the legend who made Casino Royale???
Finally, one more thing to whine about. The touch panel computer they were showing off at MI6 headquarters. Seeing as James Bond is set in the modern day and always has been, this seems so out of place. Don’t get me wrong, James Bond has always had gadgets, decked out super cars and laser wrist watches, but this was like;
“Hey look, it’s the future! Oh wait…not really, well maybe looking at this sleek, pretty touch screen will make you forget how bad the film is.”
Whatever. I’m sick of whining about the one thing. All I hope is if they decide to make another one which I’m sure they will, they should get back the director from Casino Royale AND here’s the important part, get the fucking plot past the first round draft stage.