Saturday, 13 December 2008

James Bond Quantum of Solace movie review

I must confess to finding some of the detail of this latest Bond jaunt a little confusing. As such I won’t try and write a complete review. I will leave that for the more distinguished members of the Bond alumni such as old friend Veejay.
Some reflections then: Daniel Craig has ushered in a new Bond and with it none of the cool charm of previous incarnations. Gone are the scrapes but no bruises, the witty asides that cause the girl to go weak at the knees and the fawning of Miss Moneypenny and Q. This Bond faces a series of assaults that are anything but fun. He doesn’t sleep for days on end, is covered in welts from the various beatings, and manages to over compensate the level of force required by killing each possible lead, one after the other.
Apparently there is some international terrorist group called Quantum although we don’t get many insights into this throughout the movie. I assume they will rival Goldfinger when its all said and done but that must be for the next movie.
The Americans just want the oil and don’t care who they get it from. The Haitian coup leader is a nasty piece of work, and the French business man (Mathieu Amalric) will extort any or all. No wonder there’s trouble in the Home Office with M (Judi Dench) wanting to believe that Bond can sort it all out before the Minister outmanoeuvres her and closes their operation down.
I must say though, if nothing else, you must admire his “can do” attitude. Handcuffed in a lift surrounded by Secret Service goons? No worries. Just knock them out and away you go. Caught in a gas fired inferno with the roof crashing down around you? Don’t panic. Say a few quiet words to the girl your protecting, aim your gun at a cylinder and “Pow!” the wall explodes and out you jump. Apparently you don’t have to worry about the odd little thing like machine gun bullets too, either from a moving speedboat or motor vehicle. They can’t shoot straight anyway.
All the action sequences were filmed by “shaky hand Steve” with 2 second cuts. This made watching any of the chase or fight scenes very disorientating. My deeply held belief is that this kind of “kinetic”, “adrenaline charged” camera work is merely covering poorly choreographed action and they don’t want you to realise it! The rest of the film, you’ll be pleased to know, was shot perfectly normally.
It is also a great thrill with these modern action type films when they shoot on location, around the world. In Quantum, you have a little of Italy, Austria, Chile, Panama and Mexico.
Broadly I got what I expected out of a Bond film. Lots of big action and one superhero who can take them all down. The Bond franchise desperately needed a re-boot. Each Bond film was becoming a cliché of itself. This new series with Craig has given fans a gritty agent who really only wants to do it for “God, Queen and country.”


clockwise said...

I can't stand the shaky camera work when it comes to action scenes. You can tell it's done just to cover up the choreography, effects and general direction. It's an extremely sloppy fallback. Terminator 3 was a good example, terrible shaky camerawork. Most of the action scenes you couldn't tell what the hell was going on. There's just no comparison to terminator 2.

If the excuse is to make it more exciting, that's just rubbish - it just makes it annoying and you can't tell what's going on.

Veejay said...

Review is coming, apologies for the delay.....

In the meantime, some food for thought:
Is this the first Bond film to pay attention to a wider story arc, beyond a single film?