Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Quantum of Solace

By Sati. Wednesday, December 5, 2012 , , , , , , , ,

When you are watching a movie that is a revenge story and it's boring, you know it's bad. But when the movie has not one, but two revenge stories and you are fighting to stay awake? Well, that's Quantum of Solace. The follow up to hugely successful Casino Royale is stylish, elegant and beautifully shot, but unfortunately it's one of the worst 007 films ever made. Is it worth seeing? The problem with the film is that it has several great sequences, but it's everything in between that is a problem.

After the loss of his beloved Vesper in Casino Royale, Bond wants to find people responsible. There is also an evil organization Quantum, which is involved in Vesper's death somehow and has spies everywhere. How do we know they are evil? Because they are sneaky people who meet in the opera? Because they have creepy looking members with weird laughter? Yeah, that's pretty much it because throughout the movie all they do is talk apart from one pretty cool murder, but I'll get to that later.
There is also a beautiful girl named Camille (Olga Kurylenko), who seeks revenge on a general who killed her family and who is doing business with Dominc Green, one of the members of Quantum. Her and Bond meet when she stops her car next to him and yells "Get in!" - Bond, does what every rational person would do and gets in the car. One must wonder - had the car been driven by Ron Perlman, would he get in?

While it's admirable that this Bond girl has a back story of her own, since in the franchise more often than not the women are just pretty faces, the script of the film is so weak and the characters so underdeveloped you really couldn't care less. The evil general is so cliched and stereotypical you forget about that plot even as you see it unfold on the screen. And Dominic Greene may just be one of the most boring Bond villains ever. The lack of the threatening villain and consistent and well planned out plot is one of the biggest issues with this movie.
Thankfully, there are some good things here - Craig's Bond just doesn't give a fuck. He lost the woman that he loved, who first betrayed him and then killed herself, and now he is just chasing after the truth, regardless of how many people die in the process. It's certainly something new, as Bond is running round killing people left and right and though his character is largely inconsistent here - when he sees agent Field's dead body his reaction is very cold, but when he contemplates suicide with Camille he is gentle and warm - Craig definitely rescues his character from the abyss of crap the script was attempting to send him into.

Agent Fields was another character that rescues the movie a little for me - she is played by Gemma Arterton, who is cute as a button, and although she doesn't have much screen time she is definitely more memorable for me than Kurylenko's Camille. She is charming and sweet and since she is the second girl in the movie - you know it - she dies. Her death is probably one of the most disturbing deaths in the franchise as she is just a girl, who usually works behind the desk, sent to get Bond back and she dies in a terrible way - she has oil poured down her throat until she dies. Of course we don't see any of that but what we see instead is her body covered in oil, in a homage to Goldfinger.
Judi Dench's M isn't given much to do but as Craig, Dench is a very capable performer so she is able to put a lot of charisma and magnetism in a dull script. Jeffrey Wright is pretty useless and the film would do well without him. I mentioned Dominic Greene before - he is played by Mathieu Amalric, who I hear is talented, unfortunately in this movie he has the charisma of crash test dummy.

The only thing worst than the script in this one is the editing. I usually don't care who edits the movie but the editing in Quantum of Solace is so horrible, I had to look it up - apparently Matt Cheese and Richard Pearson are responsible for this horrible mess. They also edited such gems as Muppets in Space and Get Smart, so I'm not surprised. Unfortunately, they are also editing World War Z which is also directed by Marc Foster, who directed Quantum. Yep, no longer interested in seeing that.
While the editing is bearable in slower sequences, the action scenes in the film are the worst I've seen in a very long time - the only goal here was to make them as fast paced as possible and in the effect you can barely see anything clearly, because the scenes are so chopped and you really can't follow what the hell is happening. I maintain that the opening car chase sequence could be used to induce seizures. Thankfully, the editing isn't horrible enough to destroy the wonderful cinematography - the film is beautifully shot, in a very stylish and simple way. Several sequences, especially the one in opera, are very smooth and memorable.

Another thing that worked is music, which certainly adds to the movie and unlike editing builds up the suspense. It's really a shame that the film failed, because with that score, cinematography and Daniel Craig who was very good here, this could have been so much better. I'd recommend it only to hardcore Bond fans or people who love Casino Royale so much they really need to see the closure for Vesper's storyline. Spoiler alert - it's very disappointing.

Quantum of Solace 
(2008, 106 min)
Plot: Seeking revenge for the death of his love, secret agent James Bond sets out to stop an environmentalist from taking control of a country's valuable resource.
Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis
Stars: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko and Mathieu Amalric

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22 comments:

  1. Green killed that movie for sure. Least compelling baddie ever.

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    1. He was probably the most boring aspect of this movie for me.

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    2. By the way, did you want to exchange links?

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    3. I'd love to, I tried adding your url to the blogroll on the sidebar but it doesnt seem to work :/

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  2. "... beautifully shot, but unfortunately it's one of the worst 007 films ever made" Yep I'd agree with you. Such a disappointment after the excellent Casino Royale and oh, soooo promising!! I find the movie to be so dull and Kurylenko's Camille is about as interesting as the tiles in my bathroom! Oh well, at least Craig's third outing is a return to form.

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    1. Yeah, she is such a boring character. They really could have done something awesome here but the script was so weak I can't believe they actually went ahead and shoot the movie based on it.

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  3. This is one of my least favorite Bond films. I blame a lot of it on Marc Forster for the fact that he creates too many fast-cuts where I couldn't make sense of what was going on. I also felt it was too short. Too much action and not enough suspense. Plus, the villains were quite lame.

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    1. Exactly! I had such trouble to comprehend what the hell was happening in many sequences. Same here on the villains, utterly forgettable.

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  4. Great review! I'm a fan of the film, but it's not without its flaws. I love the story, but the script definitely could've used some polishing.

    And the editing is quite bad at times. I read somewhere that Marc Forster wanted these sequences to be cut quickly because viewers were looking in on a world that we don't normally see. That's an interesting idea, but the movie really suffers from the editing, for sure.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it does seem like they really didn't focus enough on working on the script with this one.

      The idea was interesting but it really failed in execution, the editing was horribly distracting here.

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  5. Definitely one of the weaker Bond films. I remember when I first saw it in the cinema and it ended, I think I might have said out aloud, "Is that it?". It felt abrupt. Just a series of set pieces strung together in the loosest possible way. The opening was great and there are aspects of the final set piece I loved. But the middle was very weak. And I was sad to lose Mathis!

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    1. It did feel short, probably because there was so little character development here and so many action scenes.

      Mathis's death was very sad :/ It did give Bond a nice moment, though, that is until he threw him in the dumpster...:)

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  6. Yep, agree with you on this one. I think my biggest problem is that I remember hardly any of it. It was just so devoid of memorable moments which, to me, a Bond film should be full of. I can remember almost all of Casino Royale, but hardly anything from this. Nice review :)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah I saw it few years ago and I didn't rememeber much from it, so decided to rewatch it yesterday. Turns out it's really not that memorable after all :)

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  7. The best thing about this film... it's title!! I still don't really know what it means but it sounds cool! But then again most Bond films do have unique titles.

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    1. Yeah the title is pretty neat! I thought it referred to Bond's revenge and how he needs to find a bit of solace to succeed, but it's still pretty confusing title :)

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  8. It's been a while since I last saw this, so don't remember many details, although I do know that I really wasn't a fan of it.

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    1. I'm not surprised, it's really a very forgettable movie.

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  9. I wasn’t crazy about Quantum of Solace but worst bond film ever made? No disrespect to Duran Duran’s brilliant theme song, but have you seen A View to a Kill?

    P.S. My comments never show up for some reason.

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    1. Oh, I think Quantum is one of the worst ones, but certainly not the worst one ^^ I saw a bunch of Bond films years ago so It's possible I saw A View to Kill but I have no memory of it ^^

      I have moderation option so I first need to approve the comments, maybe that's it, though sometimes Blogger puts a bunch of comments into spam folder for some weird reason.

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  10. You've captured most of the things I didn't like about the movie in your review. It just didn't work for me - too much Bond-in-a-Bourne-movie. I've loved Daniel Craig's films either side of Quantum of Solace but this one is one of the weaker 007 movies for me.

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    1. Thank you! Glad you agree, it just seemed like such a wasted potential all around, which is a shame because Craig was really great in it.

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