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Old November 17 2008, 03:12 AM   #125
Pro Populo
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Re: Quantum of Solace - Grading & Discussion

I saw it today and enjoyed it overall. As Bond movies go, it's above average. Not as good as Casino Royale, however.

I'll start with the negatives. First off, Marc Forster really can't direct action that well. A lot of people complain about the shakiness of the Bourne movies, but I never really had a problem with those because Paul Greengrass and his editors were still able to cut the scenes within the story in such a way as to make them coherent (Ultimatum even won an Oscar for its editing). But in QoS, there were some scenes that were simply incomprehensible. That's not to say that the movie didn't have its fair share of impressive action sequences -- it is a Bond movie after all. But in terms of making them work, it fell short.

Second, the villain's scheme wasn't really played up as much as in other Bond films. I know the focus of the Craig movies has been more on Bond's character, and I like that and welcome it. However, I do kind of wish that they had depicted Greene as posing more of a threat. The scenes of the Bolivian peasants' wells running dry were kind of effective, but didn't quite cut it for me. I'm not saying that we need another megalomaniacal Max Zorin "let's flood the mine" scenario, but a bit more menace would have been welcome, I think.

I really liked seeing Craig in the role again. I honestly think he's the best Bond since Connery, and is really defining the character for the 21st century. He's definitely the most physical Bond ever, and man, can that guy wear a suit. I want his wardrobe people. I also thought this movie had Judi Dench's finest performance as M since GoldenEye. And for the second movie in a row, I didn't miss Q or Moneypenny, though I wouldn't mind seeing that MI6 forensics guy take a more Q-like role in the future.

Olga Kurylenko is one of the best-looking Bond girls in a while, and her acting was decent, if not great. Actually, fortunately there were no truly awful performances in the movie (though the somewhat douche-ish CIA guy with the mustache came close). Camille was no Vesper Lynd, but her own vengeance quest did recall Melina Havelock from For Your Eyes Only. Also, Gemma Arterton as Fields looked like a '60s-era Bond girl, and I liked the homage to Goldfinger.

I'm a bit unclear on what the deal was with Yusuf, Vesper's Algerian boyfriend. Obviously he's working somehow with Quantum, so I suspect if their storyline continues in the future we may see more of him. They made a point that he was left alive, after all. I like how they're turning the Craig incarnation into a series in its own right, with an underlying SPECTRE-like nemesis that will presumably be brought down in some future film. I hope they can keep up the general intelligence level of the movies as well -- Craig is not Roger Moore, and they should not put him in a movie as if he was (like they did with Pierce Brosnan and Die Another Day).

Overall, QoS definitely goes somewhere in the top half, and maybe the top third of the Bond films, and I'll eagerly await Bond 23.
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