movies: quantum of solace

Saturday, November 22, 2008

quantum of solaceSo it's no surprise (given that I've already mentioned it) that we went to see Quantum of Solace this morning...

Two things right off the bat... firstly, this is probably going to have slightly more spoilery bits in it than my usual movie review... and secondly I have to rant about the movie title.

WORST! MOVIE! TITLE! EVER!

In the grand history of Bond movie titles that don't really make a damn bit of sense (Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only, You Only Live Twice, Tomorrow Never Dies) we have a clear winner in the "What The Hell Were They Thinking?" stakes. Ever since I first heard about it, it's sounded monumentally stupid to me... nobody can really remember it (okay, maybe they do, but only because it's so dumb), nobody knows what the hell it means (yes, I realise that when you break it down to what the words mean it becomes clear, but I don't want to have to invest that much time in thinking about a movie title). In short, I started out hating it and have always hated it. I still hate it very much.

And here's where a bit of the spoilerness comes in... when you turn half of the movie title (the Quantum part) into one of the many and varied MacGuffins of the movie in the form of a plan or an organisation or whatever the hell it was supposed to be (I worked out later what it was but at the time it wasn't completely obvious) and you give the bad guys cute little Q badges in the same font as the movie title (Sidebar: I wonder if you can buy those... they were very stylish) then you reach the end of the movie and you don't resolve what it is or have a confrontation with it, you JUST LEAVE IT HANGING IN THE AIR... well, it's really fucking frustrating.

Some of the plot points were a little confusing too... nothing that really ruined the experience, but definitely something that means I'm going to have to see the movie again to work out who it was that he was working for and if he was connected to those guys or what...

But I may be getting off on the wrong foot... it's not that I didn't enjoy the movie, in a lot of ways I enjoyed it more than Casino Royale. It actually feels more like a Bond Movie than it's predecessor... this one is a sequel to the aforementioned Casino, but where that felt a lot more compartmentalised and "bitty", Quantum definitely holds together as one story.

I understand why people have been saying that this is "more Bourne than Bond"... particularly the pre-title sequence, it's all close-up and quick cuts and feels like something out of Bourne, as is his first big confrontation after the titles... but it slowly starts to feel more Bond-like (I did find myself thinking at one point "well, if Jason Bourne had done that he would have landed much better than that, and gone right through the window instead of stumbling like that").

If I'm being honest, the pre-title sequence was pointless... which I wouldn't have a problem with, so many of them are, but they weren't trying to be an essential part of the story... this one was pointless AND tried to prove that it wasn't right at the end of the sequence... sorry, close but no cigar...

Oh, and I know I've said it before... but Directors and Editors, please take note... putting cuts every second and lots of close-up, handheld, shakey camera work does not equal "exciting"... it equals "annoying and overdone" and it's getting to that point where it's becoming passe, so please cut it out now. Thank you.

And just when I thought I couldn't hate a title sequence and theme song MORE than I hated the ones in Casino Royale, along comes this massive steaming pile of crap with visuals by MK12 and the song by Jack White and Alicia Keys... *insert me blowing a big fat raspberry here*... whoever comes up with the titles for the next movie needs to be strapped down in a chair ala A Clockwork Orange and shown a reel of every single Bond title sequence on a loop (up to Casino Royale) until their eyes start to bleed. How hard can it be to come up with a decent title sequence people? Sheesh...

At least this movie has a villain with some balls... Dominic Greene (the very French, if slightly bug-eyed, Mathieu Amalric) is actually menacing and evil and you can imagine him going to town on you with, say, an axe... as opposed to Le Chiffre (or, as I like to call him, Le Shitsme) from the last movie who would just wheeze on you asthmatically before crying blood at you... so big check in the Evil Bond Villian column...

You can also check the Bond Girl With Silly Name column while you're there... sadly they don't mention her whole name in the movie, but when you see the credits roll you realise that Miss Fields' first name is Strawberry... that's right... she's a redhead called Strawberry Fields (played with much scenery chewing goodness by Gemma Atherton, who I last enjoyed in St Trinians)... so big check there too...

And the final scene with her very strongly brings to mind Goldfinger... and the image may end up being even more iconic (or that could just be me and the whole monochromatic thing)...

Sadly Mr Greene doesn't have a bigger than life henchman doing all his dirtywork... what he does have is a seemingly stereotypically gay sidekick with a toupe (I thought initially it was just bad hair, but no, it turns out to be a wig)... which was a little annoying I have to say... I mean I can forgive it in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever, but this is 2008 for crying out loud.

But I can hear you all thinking "What about Daniel Craig... is he still, as you started your Casino Royale review with, SEX?"... well, yes... and then again, no. I mean he's dressed far much more in this movie than in the first one (shame really), and he spends more of this one being all beaten up and battered and dusty and whatnot (so if that's your thing, knock yourself out)... but I only noticed his preternaturally blue eyes a couple of times. Tom Ford does put him in a pair of somewhat eye-catching tan pants for a chunk of the movie though, so that's a plus.

It was nice to see that Bond get a character arc (which is not always something you expect from a Bond movie)... it's kind of subtle, but if you look at the way he interacts with the first bad guy (after the title sequence) and the very last bad guy we see, then he definitely makes his way from brash roughness to the trademark Bond suaveness and detachment.

I'm not sure if the "hotel" featured at the end of the movie is a real place... I'm guessing not, given the amount of punishment it obviously takes, but somebody needs to get hold of the plans and build it exactly like it appears in the movie... without the possibility for explosions and somewhere more accessible, obviously... but it's one cool looking hotel. Actually the monochromatic hotel room earlier in the movie is pretty damn swish too.

It will be interesting to see if they turn this into a trilogy (the door is very much open for them to do so... bad guys still haven't been caught, secret organisations haven't been uncovered, that kind of thing)... but I think they need to bring in Moneypenny and Q next time around.

yani's rating: 8 monochromatic hotel rooms out of 10

1 comments:

Stu Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:32:00 pm  

I came away from the film feeling... a bit underwhelmed.
I can see the development of Bond across the film, but, I don't know - I just expected more...

Re the title song: I was annoyed last time that the title song wasn't on the soundtrack CD - this time I'm desperately hoping that they haven't put it on there! It's absolutely shit!

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Followers

search yaniblog

Loading...


On The Road template - Ourblogtemplates.com