My business partner and I decided to lock up the office early and take in a noon showing of the movie.
All in all, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. It wasn't stellar
, and it's nowhere near as good as Casino Royale
or other entries in the series, but it's far from mediocre.
Its biggest problem comes from its frenetic pacing and weak script. That it was turned in only a few hours before the WGA strike began is very evident. The plot is paper-thin and barely there, and the villains are pretty weak. In two minutes of screentime, Mr. White manages to be many times more interesting as either Greene or Medrano. The first 30 minutes or so of the movie, too, are pretty horribly paced, with 90-second scenes of dialogue existing simply to set up another 7-minute set piece.
While the movie does a lot of talking
about Bond's quest for revenge, it's never shown. There's very little characterization of Bond; rather than being on a blood-hunt for vengeance, he's simply tearing shit up left and right. You never get a sense, through dialogue or acting, that he's chasing after Greene and Quantum out of revenge, but rather he's interfering in their affairs because, well, he can tell that something's up and it's time to be James Bond and kick some ass. While the movie tells us Bond is out for blood, what it shows
us is the complete opposite. That (telling instead of showing) happens a lot throughout the movie. We're told that Quantum is a global network with its fingers in every pocket, but we never really see any of that. Heck, even at the very end, Greene says to Bond that he told him everything he wanted to know. Cool -- why not show us what was said? Let us know more! A huge opportunity was missed there when Greene was stumbling out into the desert, and Bond followed him. That interrogation scene could have been a perfect endcap. Instead, we got an awkward scene of Bond dropping Camille off in a villa.
Some of the action scenes were not
very well shot; Forster clearly didn't have much of an eye for action and instead relied on making everything as chaotic as possible. That said, the action sequences were pretty entertaining, despite some frequent bad shots and bad cutting taking me out of the experience.
I also have to laugh at the absurdity of a particular scene, which can best be summed up as, "Hey, you just came to arrest me, let's get in the car, welcome to this hotel that I just bullshitted my way into, oh, it's a big room, can you help me find the stationery -- want to fuck?"
While I'm criticizing a lot of the movie, that's because it could have been a lot better. At the same time, though, it's certainly not bad
. I was entertained throughout, but the movie just isn't all that memorable.