Friday, November 21, 2008

Review of Quantum of Solace

This is gonna be hard.

Usually when I review films I spoil them to a massive degree. However, I do want to try to review a film without ruining it.

I am going to start with something that most reviewers save to the end: See it. If you enjoyed Casino Royale and specifically Craig as Bond, then this film is for you.

All across the world I have been reading a large amount of negative reviews of the film. Personally, I think these people just don't get it. So lets start with a few ground rules one should consider when watching this film:

1. Ignore every other Bond film except Casino Royale. The reboot of the character and franchise is so deep that the previous 20 films should be considered their own thing. This Bond is new and different.

2. Quit bitching about the lack of Moneypenny, Q, gadgets, etc... this falls right back to number 1.

3. "All the fast editing and cuts are too quick to understand what is going on" This is a filming technique. You either like it or you don't. I can't change that. However, I want to put this forth: quick action edits are not made for the big screen. Watching films like this on your home screen is the proper medium to view these films. Consider the Jason Bourne series or Batman Begins. All complaints about not being able to see things in the theater are not present when watched at home.

If you keep those things in mind, nothing should stop you from enjoying the film.

This film literally picks up an hour after the end of Casino Royale (CR). This makes it a first for a Bond film to be a direct sequel. However to me, Quantum of Solace (QoS) is just the second chapter of the same book started by CR. Even with the action in CR, it is mostly a cerebral film to me. QoS is the pure action side to that coin. While it was looking like at the end of CR, Bond was fully becoming the "ultimate Bond" QoS offers up a few more steps that Bond must go through before he is the best. The plot gives us more of a glimpse into the mysterious organization (resurrection of SPECTRE as far as I am concerned) as Bond stops one more of their plots for "world domination."

While I find the film very enjoyable, it is not without its faults.

-The aforementioned quick cuts. While I have no problem with them, I feel each "fast action" scene could have been a little beefier.
-The run time. This is the shortest Bond film ever. While I did not walk out of the movie feeling that I didn't get enough, I felt there could have been more. I have a feeling the director (who has done some awesome work) was shut out of the editing process and Ms. Broccoli herself edited the film.
-Bond does a lot of globe hopping in this one and the movie feels the need to throw up text where ever he goes so we know where he is. For the most part I have no problem with it, however each location uses a different font to "localize it" and also they try to hide it in the film (like making it look like it is writing on the street in London or on an old Marquee in Bolivia) while it was a nice idea, it totally pulled me out of the film.

Overall Rating:
8.2 out of 10

(for comparison, I give Casino Royale a 9.5 out of 10)

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