Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster) 2008

Finally, a movie I actually was willing to pay to see.  Would we get the same quality of reboot sequel we got with The Dark Knight?  Ehhhhh, not exactly.

QoS picks up where Casino Royale left off.  Bond learns from Mr. White there is a secret organization (ahem SPECTRE) that has infiltrated every influential organization in the world.  There are also covert plans for land in Bolivia but Bond is more concerned with cracking skulls.  As a wise man once said: you mess with the bull young man you get the horns.

QoS really shines when we are continuing the plot line involving Bond and Vespa.  That is really where the writing comes through and what we care about.  Frankly I cared more about that than the evil world domination plans. QoS came quickly on the heels of the success of Casino Royale and you can really tell they rushed out a flawed project instead of spending more time to smooth out the rough edges.  The Bond/Vespa storyline seemed fleshed out while, as I said, the evil plan seemed really rushed and scatterbrained.  There really is not much to talk about and it is more to piece together action scenes.  Its like blah blah CIA contact FOOT CHASE blah blah marked bills CAR CHASE blah blah traced cell phone BOAT CHASE blah blah informant PLANE CHASE.  I was truly caught off guard when I was sitting through an action scene expecting another 30-45 minutes of movie and I realized to myself THIS WAS THE CLIMAX.  It just happens.  I mean, with Casino Royale we had a clear picture of who the bad guy was, what Bond was doing to stop him, an exciting build up, with a satisfying climax.  I mean, I literally thought to myself “THAT’S IT!?” when Bond fought the main bad guy.  It is that sudden and that short a build up.  It will catch you off guard too I swear.  It also seems like the plot is kind of a hold over and more laying the foundation for bigger plots (ahem SPECTRE).

That kind of brings me to another issue.  The plot strings together a bunch of action scenes, however they too seem rushed.  Let me just say, for those of you that b*tched about the jumbled action scenes in the Bourne movies and in Batman Begins…you ain’t seen sh*t compared to this.  The camera shakes violently like the guy from Cloverfield is having an epileptic seizure and we have an editor who thinks Michael Bay movies are too slow.  The first chase scene I seriously didn’t know what the f*ck was going on: I didn’t know who was getting shot, where any of the characters were in relation to one another, and maybe at one point who was chasing who.  Note to the director, do not attach your camera dolly to a PAINT MIXER!  It does get better and more coherent as the movie goes on so it does kind of make up for early mistakes.  Bond movies are also known for having one big stunt or one memorable action scene.  Here, they are all good I guess but none are really memorable.

As I write this I realize how divided I feel about it.  Obviously I feel the movie has issues, however I can’t say I didn’t enjoy watching it.  I still love Craig as Bond as he is one charismatic son of a b*tch.  I still love the direction the movies are going instead of doing a stale retread or a campy romp.  True, QoS isn’t great but its trying to push the series in a new direction and shaking things up.  The plot is a mixed bag, but I appreciate the fact we are giving Bond an actual character and something to care about.  I think a good continuous plot thread is more interesting than one and done take over the world plots.  The action scenes do get better as the movie progresses and the witty banter between Bond and everyone else is enjoyable.  There are more things I liked about it, but because of no spoilers I can’t really get into.  And really, despite all the bile I’ve spewed, I still think I would recommend it to people.  Overall, its a good movie.  Not bad, not great.  I think my rant comes from more disappointment in that they rushed out a good product instead of investing more time and releasing a great product.  I guess you’re all wondering how I would rank it in the overall scheme of Bond movies?  I dunno. Maybe somewhere in the middle.  There’s better than QoS, and there is a lot worse.  Like I said, its good, nothing more.  It may sound fanboyish but I do think it deserves a little kudos after I ripped it a new a**hole for three quarters of a page.  I just hope all the set up makes for a good payoff.  Oh and if they are going to continue copying Bourne, then hire Paul Greengrass for God’s sake.  At least he can do it right.

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