Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quantum of Solace (2008) dir. Marc Forster

Quantum of Solace is disappointing at best.  At worst it ranks among the Bond movies that came out in the late 90s/early 00s.  I should have known I was in for a let down when I saw Marc Savlov's glowing review.

I suppose that trying to follow up on the success of Casino Royale is next to impossible.  One thing I really don't understand is why Casino's director Martin Campbell wasn't directing Quantum.  Marc Foster - directed The Kite Runner and Finding Neverland - just hasn't realized that waving a camera around like a spastic does not an action sequence make.  From the opening sequence to a frenetically edited foot chase to a bunch of crap on fire Foster prefers his camera work shaken not stirred - sumimasen I had to.  While the amount of action was satisfying and in some ways necessary I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on.  Is this how old people feel?  Who's that?  Why is he yelling?  What's going on?  Who's got my pills?  P.S.  If CGI is going to be used don't make it look like suck.  Hell, don't use it at all.

Okay, Foster has some solid shots - not in the action sequences - so he's a good director.  Next issue.

Quantum has many nudge, nudge "look it's a tip of the hat to that other Bond movie" moments.  For me they were distracting.

For a sequel or bridge for the rest of the Daniel Craig Bond films or whatever Quantum of Solace is supposed to be it falls flat on its face story wise.  The plot zips along perfectly reasonable and then about a third of the way in the stupid pills kick in.  What the hell happened?  I wasn't expecting a character study or any in depth but still the plot back slides into absurdity.  Dur, I can has junta in Bolivia.  

I think I figured it out.  I'm not a Bond fan except for: the books up until Goldfinger, Connery in Thunderball, Roger Moore in View to a Kill, and Craig in Casino Royale.  I was really excited by the idea of a new Bond - closer to the style of the early novels, fewer gadgets, and Bond as an alcoholic sociopath whose poor choice in women drives him over the edge.  Casino delivered.  Quantum did not.  Simple as that.

Oh yeah, and one of the chicks in the movie is named Strawberry Fields.  Gemma Arterton
is adorable but seriously?  Strawberry Fields?

On the upside:

Another Way to Die is Jack White & Alicia Keyes' Bond anthem.  You know what?  I like it. Alicia Keyes bangs out a tune with some Shirley Bassey brass.  

I was honestly surprised.  The rest of the score is well handled by David Arnold.  He's a big fan of the Barry brass flourish.  Personally I wish that someone would realize that Jesper Kyd was born to do a Bond score.

Olga Kurlenko is the Bond Girl in Quantum of Solace and since I saw her in Hitman she's been one of my new favorite actresses.  Apparently she's also in Max Payne as well so I have another reason to see that.  Only problem is in Quantum Olga is all weird and tanned and trying to pass for Bolivian.  I dunno, she's still hot.

All in all...meh.


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