Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I was blown away by Casino Royale. I was fairly well entertained by Quantum of Solace. Pretty good for what is essentially a revenge movie. In other words, better than Bourne II. Not as good as Casino Royale. Still a decent flick. I enjoyed it. If you either like Bond generally, or the Daniel Craig Bond in particular, go ahead and see it.

Here's the definition of "quantum" from that I think best fits the use in the title.
    (physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory)
Which to me means the smallest possible amount of solace that can be gained. This is not a spoiler, unless you've never seen a revenge movie before.

Right from the start, Casino Royale's chases were compelling and the intro graphics were clever. Quantum of Solace had an improbable and drawn out chase scene and uninspired intro graphics. The reason CR's first chase scene - though longer - felt more acceptable was that it was unique and fun. QoS's first chase scene was shot so close up, through close quarters, that it was mostly out of focus blur. (The reason I have not re-watched Bourne III despite liking the plot better than Bourne II - annoying camera shots.) Once the combat started it was impossible to tell who was who. While I think it was intentional, it made me tune out. There was the stop action right at the end of the scene that Daniel Craig did really well. But up to there, there was nothing to focus on. The intro graphics were female shapes. I've got no problem with that, it's a nod to classic Bond, but it was boring. And worse, not clever.

The movie got a bit better, but they kept shooting action and chase scenes too close so that it wasn't possible to see what was going on. This seems to be a trend in action movies. I'll take it over massive destruction for no good reason, but I'd prefer to see what is going on. Then, they kept putting Bond in large, rickety transports and having him go up against nimble, modern transports and outmaneuver them. A little bit Bond, but silly more than anything. Less believable than usual really.

Also, someone (still not positive who) kept planting evidence against Bond (the CIA?). At some point M went from skeptical of him to back to believing in Bond, but I never did figure out why. If you see the movie and figure it out, let me know. And the CIA guys mostly confused me. It felt like they cut out or just plain didn't write a couple of necessary scenes to keep the audience in the loop. Mysterious is one thing, unfathomable another.

So with all that blah, why would you see it? Daniel Craig does a really fine job even with a lackluster script. His female foil, who probably has a name, keeps him on his toes because she's not on anyone's side but her own, and she's (mostly) competent and interesting. They take some fine potshots at the state of the American economy and influence. And there's some character growth that winds through the story.

All in all, it sounds like I didn't like it. I did. I liked it. But I didn't love it. Still sold on Daniel Craig as Bond. He looks just strange in still photos, but in motion he's all that.


Alaskan Hellcat said...

and without clothes he is all that....

Beki said...

I also appreciate the man in motion. : )

Glad to hear the movie is good even if it wasn't great.