Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I'm not dead! Just been uninterested in blogging. Post election depression or something...

Anyway, the new Bond movie.

First, let me say that I thought Casino Royale was awesome. It was a great reboot for the series, and gave it a much-needed dose of gritty realism. On top of that, Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery.

So it was with great anticipation that I went to see Quantum of Solace. The trailers looked cool, and I was eager to see where the filmmakers would go from CR.

In a word, I was disappointed. The story, while thin, was interesting and well-written. Craig is as good as ever, and his murderous tendencies in this film are darkly humorous. Mathieu Amalric was good as the elusive villain (his eyes totally creep me out), and Olga Kurylenko was a great Bond girl; not only is she gorgeous, but also more than capable of taking care of herself.

But where the film really falls flat is in its action sequences. Yes, this is yet another movie afflicted with the "shaky cam" disease. The opening car chase is pretty much incomprehensible, with its split-second editing and shaky camera. As is much of what follows. And there's too much of it. The pace slows down a bit in the second half, but the first hour is nothing but chases, gunfights, and fistfights.

I honestly don't know why they didn't stick with Martin Campbell as the director. Marc Forster simply doesn't have a clue how to shoot or edit action. He seems to be trying to imitate Paul Greengrass and the Bourne movies, but he fails. Not only is that style inappropriate for Bond, but this is a poor imitation. The Bournes are frantic, but not a blur.

James Bond will definitely return, but here's hoping that it will be with a director who actually understands how to shoot action scenes (and a better title song!).

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