Author Topic: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)  (Read 1327 times)

Offline TheMarvell

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« on: November 21, 2008, 01:50:33 AM »
So I went to see this highly anticipated movie the other night, and I unfortunately found it to be one of the more disappointing movies this year. The movie isn't bad in the truest sense, but more on a technical front. It's one of those movies where you can actually tell a good hour or so has been cut, and naturally it's the character development and exposition scenes that are sorely missing. The movie essentially felt to me like one action scene after another strung together by a very thin, underdeveloped, and incredibly disjointed plot.

It's especially disappointing considering this is a sequel to Casino Royale, which I thought was awesome. The whole movie was just one huge disjointed mess. I found myself being pretty lost early on in the movie as to what was going on, and it continued throughout because the movie never takes a breath to tell you what's happening. I found it confusing, and what little I did understand I didn't find all that compelling.

To give it some credit, the movie starts out really promising with a cool chase and interrogation scene that hints at something "bigger" going on, but the movie merely raises more questions than answers. Daniel Craig is still great as Bond, and Judy Dench rules as M. But every other character I found pretty forgettable, especially the new villain, a beady-eyed weaselly looking...geologist. Blood weeper Le Chifre (sp?) was a fantastic, sinister Bond villain. It's too bad they didn't up the ante for the sequel. *sigh*

Overall, a 6/10, and that's pretty generous. The film borrows too much from the Bourne trilogy, including a shaky, disorienting camera. Ugh.

Offline danhagen

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 06:02:32 AM »
Yes, I hated the queasy cam crap, too. Bond movies set the standard for action editing a long time ago, and it's sad to see this feeble effort in that area. I think the plot lines and emotional lines of the movie were murky, though the film has some suspenseful moments. And the ending is strangely muted for a Bond film. Daniel Craig continues to be a fantastic Bond, even though I missed Bond's sardonic sense of humor.

Offline stumpy

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 07:25:31 AM »
I didn't have quite such a negative view of the film, but I agree largely with the criticisms. The camera work did not bother me, but the lack of exposition was a problem. I think an extra five minutes of exposition during the transitions in the movie would really have helped. There were times when I wasn't sure when or why they had jumped from one continent to another, much less exactly what the bad guys were really up to and how it related to the whole "who can you trust?" plot that got Bond involved in the first place. And, the poorly-disguised editorial comments on foreign policy were naive and, frankly, tedious.

It was fun as an action film. It had an almost Jackie Chan feel to it at times, with all of the physicality and acrobatics. I really miss the Bond aspect of Bond, though. Where is the witty repartee? The attitude? The elegance and style that defined the franchise for most of forty years? I like action movies, but a Bond movie is supposed to be more than an action movie. It's supposed to have a certain flavor and QoS really didn't have much of that flavor. Daniel Craig is a very good Bond, but the lead in this movie could have been played by Vin Diesel with no loss. Overall, I enjoyed watching it, probably a 7.5/10; 9/10 for action and maybe 6/10 for Bond.

BTW, I'll admit that the separate issue of recent movie ticket price increases made me glad I saw a matinee. Ten bucks to see this once on the theater's schedule versus probably $15 to buy the DVD and watch it as many times as I like at my whim? And, I am single. If I were going with a family, the fact that I could wait on those tickets and snacks, then use the same money to buy the Blu-Ray disc and a new video game would really nix the deal. And at least special effects movies benefit from the large screens and nice sound systems at the theater. Who is paying full price to see High School Musical 3?!?

Offline doctorchallenger

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 08:20:59 AM »
I enjoyed it. Compare it to Die Another Day.  Or Tomorrow Never Dies. Or License to Kill.  It was excititing. It had mystery, and it had tension, elements that had been profoundly absent in most Bond films since - well, in my opinion - On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It had political intregue that was much more real to me, something that I feel a spy movie should have.  Yes it apes the Bourne series, but it does a good job doing so.  I like Craig's portrayal so far.  I think is the shot in tha arm the franchise has needed for years.

Offline bat1987

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 10:33:52 AM »
I liked it, it is an exciting movie. As doc said it actually feels like a spy movie.
I still like Casino Royale better, but I think Bond movies are heading in the right direction.

Offline Talavar

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008, 12:05:03 PM »
I enjoyed it quite a bit, and didn't have trouble following it.  My only complaint is that it feels like an incomplete movie - the beginning is in Casino Royale, and the major ending of this storyline doesn't come here either.

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 07:12:56 PM »
Its more an addendum to Casino Royal as opposed to being a complete movie in its own right. And I dont think they cut out the exposition, if anything I think they shot extra action (such as the TOTALLY unnecessary plane sequence) to pad the running time, as this was the shortest of any of the bond films I think.

Daniel Craig was still great as bond, they just didn't give him anything to do really.

Offline Uncle Yuan

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 09:13:59 PM »
I haven't seen this movie yet, but I will take the opportunity to echo what others have said here.  I miss James Bond, Secret Agent and I am not a big fan of James Bond, Action Hero.  Sean Connery would NEVER have gotten involved in a foot chase with a Parkour artist slough the slums of an African city.  Today's Bond has too many guns, too many brutal fights and way, way too many explosions.

Don't get me wrong.  I do like Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt.  But James Bond is not Jason Bourne.  The current Bond has no subtlety, no grace.  He is not a secret anything anymore, just another generic action hero who shares a name with a more interesting historical character.

Offline Talavar

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 12:09:01 PM »
I've got to rain on this Bond pity-party: the 2 Daniel Craig Bond installments are head and shoulders above a lot of the James Bond movies.  Maybe they're not From Russia with Love or Goldfinger, but what is?

Offline danhagen

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 01:20:53 PM »
They're not Thunderball, Dr. No or On Her Majesty's Secret Service, either. Well, this one isn't. Casino Royale does belong in the top rank of Bond films.

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2008, 03:10:44 PM »
Quote
They're not Thunderball, Dr. No or On Her Majesty's Secret Service, either. Well, this one isn't. Casino Royale does belong in the top rank of Bond films.

I agree.
Quantum wasn't bad (in the same way Die Hard 4 was stupidly entertaining), it was just very empty. I don't mind the action bond if like Casino Royal they got the characterization right and there was emotional core to the action. Craig is way closer as a character to the bond of the novels than the others were for the most part -- the first couple of Connery outings notwithstanding -- its just they didn't give him a chance to BE bond in this latest one.

As an aside I was in a theater and someone behind me said Diamonds are Forever was their favorite bond film.
My head exploded.

Offline danhagen

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2008, 03:32:10 PM »
I know a couple of people who love Diamonds Are Forever. I'd say it's in the second tier of Bond films, along with You Only Live Twice and far ahead of the worst (The Man with the Golden Gun, for my money).

Offline BWPS

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2008, 03:36:59 PM »
GoldenEye was definitely the best of any of them. I like to look at the movies not for how Bond-y they are, and instead just for how good they are as movies. I really liked Casino Royale, and I'm going to try to see QoS today. From what I can tell, it's action-packed, so I should be good.

Offline danhagen

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2008, 06:41:13 PM »
I count Goldeneye as one of the worst Bond films, Pierce Brosnan being a kind of clotheshorse latter-day Roger Moore, and too scrawny to boot.

Offline Mr. Hamrick

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2008, 10:09:57 PM »
Dan, I wouldn't count Goldeneye amongst the worst.  It is better than most of the ones that Roger Moore did and I honestly prefer it to the Timothy Dalton ones.  Granted, I prefer Tomorrow Never Dies over Goldeneye but this is only because of the plot of the movie and the villain. 

As for Quantum of Solace, I have very mixed feelings about it.  However, it is not a bad movie.  It did seem incomplete but not for the reasons that some people seem to be citing in this thread. 

It's one of those movies that leaves the viewer wanting more, which is not inherently a bad thing, but leaves the viewer wanting it for the wrong reasons.  It's the shortest Bond movie ever and honestly, no Bond movie should be less than two hours, in my opinion.

This group "Quantum" is being set up as being a 21st Century version of SPECTRE and that's cool. 

Greene seemed like a second tier villain not a "main baddie" type.  This can't really be the guy who Mr. White was reporting to, can it?

And they need Q and Moneypenny!!

Offline Podmark

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2008, 11:05:59 PM »
It's funny how wildly different peoples opinions on the different Bond movies are.

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2008, 12:47:10 AM »
The Handy Dandy Overly generalized ripe with controversy guide to Bond Actors.
by Goggles Pizanno

People who like Sean Connery just like The Bond Character overall.
People who like George Lazenby... well they dont, but they like that his single movie was the most faithful to the book.
People who like Roger Moore like Bond the Movie Character but dont care about the novels.
People who Like Timothy Dalton Like the Book Character, but still dislike the movies.
People who like Pierce Brosnan like Action Movies and Remington Steele (or in my case, Dantes Peak).
People who like Daniel Craig like the Book character AND the movies.

Offline Mr. Hamrick

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2008, 01:24:44 AM »
The Handy Dandy Overly generalized ripe with controversy guide to Bond Actors.
by Goggles Pizanno

People who like Sean Connery just like The Bond Character overall.
People who like George Lazenby... well they dont, but they like that his single movie was the most faithful to the book.
People who like Roger Moore like Bond the Movie Character but dont care about the novels.
People who Like Timothy Dalton Like the Book Character, but still dislike the movies.
People who like Pierce Brosnan like Action Movies and Remington Steele (or in my case, Dantes Peak).
People who like Daniel Craig like the Book character AND the movies.

I have to disagree with you on two points here, Googles.

My liking three of the four movies that Pierce was in had nothing to do with Remington Steele or Dante's Peak.  I thought Dante's Peak was awful actually.  And really, Pierce was not that bad in the role but more on that in a moment. 

Timothy Dalton's two movies were not bad and had another of the Bond actors been playing Bond in them (with the exception of Lazenby) then they would've been quite good.

A better way of looking at it perhaps is "who played Bond better".

1. Sean Connery - he originated the role as most viewers know it.  You will not surpass that . . . period.  "Nobody does it - better."
2. Daniel Craig - managed to capture the role in the manner of which he is being asked in the context of the stories being told and still managed to capture what is loved about Bond when Connery did it.  The one thing he lacks thus far is the wit the Bond had even in the Connery days.
3. Pierce Brosnan - he gets Bond's style and wit.  Like Roger Moore, he suffers from similarities to a role he has previously played.  However, he overcomes this via the plot of the films and from the strength of the writing and the cast supporting him.  In addition, he plays a more serious Bond than Roger Moor did.
4. Roger Moore - He gets the style of Bond with no problem.  However, the humor and wit comes off being as corny as some of the plots.  Granted, he got better over time.  However, most of Moore's outings as Bond came across as being rather cheesy and not to be taken seriously, a camped up version of Bond if you will.  His version of James Bond is what Adam West was to Batman.  In addition, the similarities to his portrayal of Simon Templar in The Saint were often noticeable if you were at all familiar with the earlier series.
5. Timothy Dalton - Possibly the most wooden Bond.  The humor present in every other Bond movie was nearly absent in Dalton's two outings.  Ok, I may be a bit biased here as I do not care for Dalton as an actor.   However, I will say that his performance was still better than . . .
6. George Lazenby - How did this guy even get cast?

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2008, 02:15:39 AM »
Quote
My liking three of the four movies that Pierce was in had nothing to do with Remington Steele or Dante's Peak.  I thought Dante's Peak was awful actually.  And really, Pierce was not that bad in the role but more on that in a moment.

* My Pierce Brosnan description was actually a joke, but since you ran with it...  Dantes Peak, while truly being a "bad" movie, is so awesome in its badness that you cant help but love it.  :D

Anyway, my issue is that I have a huge love of the books so I always approach it as a balance of both because I cant completely separate the character into two different persona's (book vs. movie.)

- Connery is clearly the most balanced of all of them.
- Daniel Craig really nails the hard edged world weary bitterness of the character from the books -- and is my preference for the  bond character -- I'm liking the break form the 'wit' personally.
- Roger Moore ( as you indicated) is a complete cinematic creation and corny interpretation of the bond character that I hate (with the exception of perhaps The Spy who loved me and For your eyes only).
- I agree Dalton was a bit wooden, but he also went for the more serious not so silly version that Daniel Craig Mastered. So for that I kind of like him, though I will disagree with you 100% in that License to Kill was one of the worst Bond films ever... Bad acting, Bad writing, Bad stunts, Wayne Newton!...  bad everything (good plot though)... Ugh. No Actor could have saved that one.
- Pierce Brosnan was always played Bond the way I wanted Roger Moore to be. Cheesy but not dumb, fun but serious etc...

Offline danhagen

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2008, 07:27:27 AM »
I liked Dalton, who did anticipate the welcome "grittier" Bond we're now seeing. And I, too, judge the movies by how closely they evoke the 007 of Ian Fleming's novels. And therein lies a problem. I still have trouble with the time lapse, thinking that we're into the Sherlock Holmes in World War II kind of absurdity here. Like Holmes, James Bond is completely a man of his time a WWII veteran, a 1950s sexist, tough and sardonic with the sentimental center that many of those men had. Men really have changed, and that's the problem. We now have the bizarre situation of a Bond who WASN'T in the Cold War.
From Pakistan with Love?

Offline bredon7777

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 12:47:21 AM »
Actually, 'The Living Daylights' is probably my favorite bond flick, followed by 'Diamonds Are Forever'

Offline Tyveka

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Re: James Bond: Quantum of Solace (spoilers)
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2008, 04:07:55 PM »
Weighing in, I would have to say that Lazenby was actually one of the better Bonds.
And I like Daniel Craig as Bond either on par with or only slightly more than Connery.

My rankings would be:
1.  Lazenby
2.  Craig/Connery
3.  Brosnan
4.  Dalton
5.  Moore

Dalton had the chops for the role, just was ugly and had terrible writers for the films.  Not what I imagined James Bond would ever look like.  Oh well.  Every one is different.  But I honestly thought that my On Her Majesty's Secret Service was/is the best Bond film out there, with Casino Royale coming in a very close second and Goldfinger tied with Casino Royale.

Hence, my rankings.