Friday, 31 October 2008

Quantum Of Solace

Quantum Of Solace is one of those annoying films. Its okay, has good moments but is hobbled by certain decisions, the most problematic is the choice of director. Its very inferior to the terrific Casino Royale. As most of the reviews so far has suggested, Daniel Craig still in command of his role and carries the film, even though his direction is vague and some of the writing spare to being the point on non-existence.

The film itself is a fragmented revenge tale that obscures the revenge aspect for too long, the direction always too distanced, so that the idea that Bond is looking for revenge, is furious but will not acknowledge it never comes through enough. The director, Marc Foster, is unable to show what's going underneath Bond nor create a multi-faceted character, always keeps things one-note, which is annoying as it means that plot dominates. He also is focused one only one aspect of a scene per scene so if its an action scene then there's nothing but action, talk is nothing but talk. The film has no variation nor subtlety and the pacing is off, has little variation. You don't need that normally in a Bond film but as Casino Royale was good at handling the mix of styles I was expecting more of the same. I think it was written to feel out of control always but the director wasn't up to the task.

The plot itself has many side-tracks, which felt necessary for the hunt and for the idea of Bond going rogue, working against a complex organisation. It feels like it should work, has ambitions but due to the stiff direction never finds focus. Frankly there needs to be more dialogue. While they went for a fast pace there is a feeling that there isn't enough story, and a lack is felt where you feel there should be more talk. The film feels like a remake/remix of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and License To Kill, the early scenes of investigation having the pace and feel of the Lazenby film while the South American locale and Bond going rogue felt like the Dalton film. But the investigation in this film isn't as interesting as Majesty nor the revenge and the idea of Bond in over his head as personalised as License.

So its a film that doesn't quite work but is a lot of fun. I think the quality drop from the last film and the fact the Craig and a decent plot is squandered by a weak director irritates. But its still far superior to the Brosanan films.

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