Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace"

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Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace"

Post by Deviss on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:30 pm

Deviss wrote:"I really think you people should find a better place to meet."

  • Story: Four Stars
  • Acting: Four Stars
  • Directing: Three and a half Stars
  • Visuals: Four Stars
  • Overall: Three and a half Stars

Much like its predecessor "Casino Royale", this film came, had its theatrical run, and then went on its way without my ever noticing it. But that isn't saying I didn't notice anything for "Quantum of Solace" while it was around. I vaguely remember catching the odd television spot during commercials or seeing an online advertisement here and there. But it was all for naught because four years ago, I wasn't anywhere close to being the James Bond fan that I am today.

Besides that, in the days leading up to my first viewing of this film, I hadn't heard the best things about it, which I'm sure are due in large part to the prolonged writer's strike that happened a while back. I've said this before, but it's a miracle that "Quantum of Solace" turned out the way it did. It could've been a lot worse.

---

Can someone find solace in revenge? Resuming moments after "Casino Royale" closed, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is escorting Mr. White to M (Judi Dench) for questioning. After shaking his pursuers, and disposing of a surprise double-agent's attempt on M's life, Bond sets off to learn more about the shadowy group that Mr. White is a part of. Soon discerning that all roads lead to wealthy businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), and after aiding Bolivian agent Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), the pair attempt to stop Greene's plans to control of a country's most valuable resource. However, Bond still seeks revenge for the death of his love Vesper Lynd at the hands of the same organization that Greene is a part of.

The one thing I can recall the easiest whenever "Quantum of Solace" comes into a discussion is how I fell asleep during my first viewing. I'm not sure if it was due to me just being overly tired or if I really wasn't interested in what was happening on screen in front of me. After having just finished re-watching "Quantum" I'm tempted to lean more towards the "overly tired" side. Although, it partly could've been because of this film's opening credit sequence, which is something I overlooked in both my "Casino Royale" and "Skyfall" reviews.

Both the opening title sequence and the song weren't very good to me. "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys didn't have the hard, energetic rock and roll chords that "You Know My Name" had, nor did it possess the sultry air that Adele's "Skyfall" is so immediately recognizable. Also, where "Casino" and "Skyfall" were stylistically engaging and downright cool, the title sequence for "Quantum" just... fell flat. Perhaps it was the overuse of sand. Regardless, both things started out rather annoying to be quite honest. Sure it buffed out somewhere during the middle, but if you can't grab and hold onto a viewer's attention initially, then you might as well not even bother.

Thankfully things picked up after the title sequence was done and gone. While it didn't meet the same spot that "Casino" had left the bar previously, "Quantum" gave just enough to remind me that this was in fact another James Bond movie, albeit a tad disjointed at times. Whoever director Marc Foster put in charge of editing, or perhaps it was by his choice directly, should've used the quicker cuts more sparingly. As eye-catching and impressive as the opening car chase was, it was sometimes difficult to make out who was shooting at whom and where car A was actually going. I don't mean to judge every action scene in "Quantum" by that standard, in fact the subsequent rooftop chase scene between Bond and a surprising double agent was handled and shot very well, with a very impressive finish.

Another thing that was impressive was Daniel Craig's return as James Bond. As the movie played out, I thought that he did a good job of giving us someone who had recently lost their loved one but had it buried so deep that you wouldn't be able to tell unless directly called out. Craig also kept the characteristic brutish strength lurking just beneath a suave demeanor. Olga Kurylenko, while better in some other movies I've seen her in, came across as very one-note to me. She herself wanted revenge on someone who had done horrible things to her family… and that was it. We never saw the vulnerability that we did with Eva Green's Vesper in "Casino" and that oversight quickly became the character's detriment.

The only issue I have with casting and story choice is the character of Dominic Greene and the actor that portrayed him, Matheiu Amalric. Where there was Le Chiffre's subtle and confident menace, or Raoul Silva's obvious yet engaging craziness, there was next to nothing for Dominic Greene. As the movie went on I kept asking myself, "Why is this guy the villain?" Not once did he come across as threatening or imposing, not even when he had an axe in hand during the film's climax fight. All the Greene was to me, as he so eloquently put it, was an ant waiting for James Bond's heel to come down and crush him.

As is the semi-usual case with me, I'm listening to the soundtrack for "Quantum", which proved to be one of the film's few saving graces. The thing that I loved the most about it was the occasional interweaving of Vesper's theme during the Bond-centric moments, such as the cave/sinkhole scene between Bond and Camille. Whenever those notes fell upon my ears, I smiled warmly at the remembrance of Vesper Lynd, who's storyline was bookended quite nicely at the film's end.

Overall, "Quantum of Solace" is another slightly enjoyable experience in the James Bond franchise. Just don't count on this film hitting the same beats that "Casino Royale" hit.

This was a review by tMG. Would someone bring be a blasted martini already? I've been in that desert for hours.

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Re: Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace"

Post by foxrock66(Roadkill) on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:36 pm

And still a better love story than Twilight.

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Re: Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace"

Post by Denjie on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:28 pm

foxrock66(Roadkill) wrote:And still a better love story than Twilight.
Most things that I can think of are better than twilight.

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Re: Marc Forster's "Quantum of Solace"

Post by frang on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:14 pm

I'm with Den on this one.

Dev's review sums up my feelings about Quantum of Solace perfectly. But, damn, that title...coolest Bond title ever, just wish the movie had been as spectacular. Loved the title so much, I bought the original Bond book and read it. More of a collection of short stories, it's a quick read. Gotta say, Ian Fleming's idea of women is so antiquated, so retrograde as to make the original stories seriously un-fun. I can see why it went over so well sixty years ago, but now, repulsive.

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