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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Quantum of Solace
|By Sati.||Wednesday, December 5, 2012||007, 2008, Action, Adventure, Marc Foster, movie, Q, Quantum of Solace, review|
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