Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FILM: Quantum of Solace

*Posted November 13, 2008*

No shockers here, everyone is right. Quantum of Solace is not as good as Casino Royale. Before I jump into the breakdown, here's a couple quick thoughts.

-Thanks to the Star Trek trailer, we know that people in the distant future still say "Buckle up!" before a big adventure.

-The 2012 trailer tells you to find the truth by Googling ��.' Apparently Yahoo and MSN have lousy search engines. Nonetheless, if you Google ��,' the first item is about a possible Sarah Palin run in 2012, not the end of the world myth.

-I really like how the agents address M as "mum."

-The title sucks... a lot. Anything would be better. Leaving it Bond 22 would be better. Considering it's a sequel, I prefer Casino Royale 2: the Turn.

-Is it now expected that every time there's a car chase, we have show close ups of shifting gears and slammin' the gas pedal? Every time Bond changes gear, it warrants a close up. I think it's dumb, but all movies do it, not just Michael Bay ones.

DANIEL CRAIG - Same kind of performance as in Casino Royale -intense, resourceful, physical, and funny. I approve. This time around he is more of an angry assassin then a suave secret agent, so I have to say... POINT, CASINO ROYALE!

VILLAIN - Louie from 'Munich' is the head of a supposedly Earth-friendly, philanthropic corporation, but obviously he has shady motives. He has no physical oddities or deformities, and the final showdown with Bond is pretty laughable. POINT, LE CHIFFRE!

SUPPORTING CAST - Double agent Mathis is back, and he's a little pissed off about the torture he received in CR. Also returning is Felix Leiter (still very cool). ROME's Brutus is nowhere to be found, however. ***SPOILER ALERT*** The death of one of the above cool characters is very heartbreaking. I love character development, so POINT, QOS!!

BOND GIRL -Forgettable. At least she's hot, because there's really nothing else there. She's a far cry from the good acting of Eva Green, but also a far cry from the retarded overacting of Halle Berry. She has her own little substory with El General which goes to its predictable conclusion. The second Bond girl gets a cool homage to Goldfinger. POINT, VESPER!!!

PLOT - More confusing than Casino Royale. Bond runs around trying to find out more about the secret organization behind Vesper's death (even though she killed herself). The organization in Quantum, and they have been working to monopolize a natural resource more valuable than oil (ooooooooo!!!!!), but in the end, we learn nothing about them or their primary goals. At least Bond 21 had the card game. POINT, CASINO ROYALE!!

DIRECTOR - Marc Foster must be a fan of Chris Nolan. The action scenes, whether a boat chase, car chase, foot chase, fist fight, or gun fight, all suffer from shaky cameras and quick edits. It's really irritating. You don't have the time to see the big picture because the camera work is all over the place. This is also a ripoff of the Bourne series. Martin Campbell had big wide shots that let us see everything and we could easily follow the direction of movement. Easy choice here. POINT, CAMPBELL!!!

SONG - Jack White and Alicia Keyes replaced Amy Winehouse but it doesn't really matter. The song is hip hoppy and the credits are back to showing naked girls. This time around, the theme of the credits is sand instead of cards. Because I'm a Cornell fan, POINT, YOU KNOW MY NAME!!!

CLIMAX - This time around, QOS goes back to basics....lots and lots of explosives. It's not as refreshing as the sinking building in Venice, but it does bring about an interesting exchange between Bond and the girl. Not as interesting as a drowned leading lady. POINT, CASINO ROYALE!!!!

BEST MOMENT - Uhhhh, I'm really trying to think of one, and it's only been an hour since I left the theater. As I go through the action sequences in QOS, I realize that none of them stack up to CR. My favorite scene is probably Bond and Mathis sharing a late night talk on the plane. Much like Jason Bourne, Bond is on the run from his own government for a while, and Mathis is the only one he can trust. That's probably the only advantage of QOS. It's more of a thinker and it pushes to advance the relationships between the characters. Not as cool, not as funny, not as shocking or refreshing, but a better character piece. But against a rope to the balls, I have to side with the balls. POINT, ROPE TO THE BALLS!

Verdict - Casino Royale is easily an all around better movie, but it should be. I would rate Casino Royale at an A-, so it's pretty hard to top those expectations. QOS is still a solid movie, you just wish it tried to be more of a solid BOND movie.


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