Film Watch – 137. Quantum of Solace

Fast Facts

Title: Quantum of Solace
Director: Marc Forster
Year: 2008
Run time: 1hr 46

Background Info

We watched the first Daniel Craig Bond film very recently, to mixed result. I liked the good bits, but it was far too long. This one, by being less than two hours, is already better. The trailer made it look good, but I was slightly concerned that it was a sequel. Bond films should be standalone, no?

Live Blog

00:02:03 – A fabulous Bond-style start to a film, but is he chasing or being chased?
00:03:56 – Ooh, a massive tunnel! I want one for our bunker.
00:05:21 – Wooohoo, Judi.
00:06:33 – Don’t think much of this Bond theme. Alicia Keys, eh?
00:10:21 – Mr White, always good to be laughing in the face of torture. It worked for Bond last time.
00:11:36 – He’ll never be able to keep track of him amongst all those people.
00:13:57 – What is it with Bond and construction sites?
00:17:33 – It’s like a Microsoft Surface table.
00:19:03 – Wherever Bond goes, broken glass is sure to follow.
00:22:44 – He’s got to stop killing people, or Judi will be annoyed.
00:26:42 – Beautiful blue seas. If you ignore the dead bodies.
00:31:48 – How many boat crashes can you rack up in the space of two minutes?
00:34:30 – They have a Surface table and a Minority Report wall. Coool.
00:41:49 – Bond at the opera. This can only end well.
00:45:09 – I like this. Fighting with the background of soaring opera music.
00:47:51 – That’s Miranda’s friend!
00:51:05 – It didn’t take much to convince Mathis. He must miss the action.
00:56:28 – I mean, that’s quick work even for Bond’s standards.
00:58:35 – I just pondered where the other girl had gone and there she was. Where has she been? I thought that guy wanted her dead.
00:59:58 – He clearly does.
01:01:14 – “There is something horribly efficient about you.”
01:03:51 – Genuinely touching. I didn’t know Bond had it in him.
01:11:03 – That’s brilliant. Plane straight up, parachute straight down.
01:19:40 – Like he’d give up that easily. Don’t underestimate our James.
01:26:23 – Those fancy new roads look weird in the middle of the desert.
01:32:29 – How do you fight someone wielding an axe?
01:41:40 – He can forgive her all he likes. I still don’t.

Conclusions

Oh, so much better than the first one. All the action – perhaps even slightly too much action – but no drawn out gaps with little story. My worries about the standalone story didn’t seem to matter too much – I suspect you could get the gist of what was happening without having seen the previous film. They also left the door open for the story to run and run, although I think the studio troubles may have put pay to that.

Craig was still excellent, showing sides of Bond I didn’t think existed. Plus there was bonus Sarah Hadland. What’s not to like?

Rating: 4/5


Be Kind, Rewind – Oct 2015

In our quest to work through all the James Bond films, we decided to keep going through the Daniel Craig ones we’d already seen – just to finish off the series. What was bizarre, is that clearly first time round I didn’t care for Casino Royale, but really enjoyed Quantum of Solace. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

This time round, I’m more knowledgeable, and let’s be honest, thinking straight.

It’s a terrible film. There are a few good action sequences, but they take place for no rhyme or reason, with so little dialogue it’s almost painfully silent. We all know the writer’s strike did this film no favours, but the mess it ended up being is incredible. They changed it from a standalone film to be a continuation, which must have needed extensive rethinking on its own. Then they send Bond off to be nothing more than a hired thug, beating his way across the globe in search of… what? Revenge? Redemption?

It’s not really clear.

Such a waste, too, because some of the locations were exceptional – the opera (a fight with loud opera music over it to mask the lack of speech), the incredible hotel in the desert (big ol’ fire then long sequence walking through the desert with, you guessed it, no dialogue!).

4/5 is far too generous, I’d push it down to 2/5 and that’s still on the high side.

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