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Quantum of Solace

In the trailers before the new Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, began, there was a promo for the new Tom Cruise film. In it, he might play a German, but he seems not to have any kind of accent going; he does have an eye patch, though, and he is trying to kill Hitler.

Well, I thought, it couldn't be worse than that.

Two hours later, I emerged, fairly sure I had been wrong in that simple assumption, and unable to tell you why the Quantum of Solace was important to the film.

I like to think I'm an intelligent guy. I get by. But other than the vague suggestion that the Quantum of Solace was a shadowy group of powerful, international figures who enjoyed replacing world leaders without any moral compunction so they can make money, I had no idea what they wanted, what they were doing, or why the guy in charge seemed to want to bank up water in poor countries and then install puppet dictators and make them sign agreements to pay for the Quantum of Solace to sell them water. Perhaps the Quantum of Solace was just about selling water and making everyone feel that the environment was important. Or perhaps the Quantum of Solace didn't really have much to do with this project. It seems financially unsound: destabilise a country so you can get control of the water board. I mean, destabilising a country is costly, I'm sure. Just as sneaking in with dynamite and blowing up rivers to create a catchment to do this. Also, you know, that sounds as if it would go a little noticed.

Not, y'know, that Bond seemed to care.

In fact, I'm sure that if someone had caught Bond, in the middle of the film, and tortured him about the Quantum of Solace, the conversation would have gone something like this:

We must torture you, Mr Bond, to know what you know.

Did you kill Vespa?


Who?

The girl in the previous film?


Good lord, James, you can't be serious? Women are like objects to you, and that film was ages ago, and seriously, didn't you kill the guy involved there?

No. I took him to be tortured.


Oh.

How'd that work?

He said he had people everywhere and suddenly he was rescued.


Oh.

Um.

Don't suppose he told you about the Quantum of Solace?

The what?


Seriously now, I have a hot poker and your genitals are showing.

Dude, man, I have no fucking idea what you're talking about.


What have you been doing for the last hour and and a half?

Running, shooting, a car chase. I think I might fly a plane soon.


...

You know, tell you the truth, I don't really know what I'm doing. I think I started off trying to find the killer of Vespa--


Seriously, again with her?

--but I seem to be, I dunno, walking round with this shirt that has blood on it.


So, Quantum of Solace?

Doesn't ring a bell.


Oh.

Well, perhaps we'll just let you go then. Sorry for the inconvenience.


It's okay. I know how it goes.

Incidentally, I had a girl, once, who died in this line of work. Broke my heart. Could I perhaps be of service to you, maybe point you towards the killers?


Is that what I'm doing here?

Isn't that how you started?


I suppose so.


I liked Casino Royale. I thought it was easily the best of the Bond films I'd seen, and while that might seem like a backhanded compliment, I did enjoy it, and I'd missed going to a cinema, so I thought the new one would be at least a safe bet for a Sunday evening.

I was wrong. It's an awful film, plain and simple. The actors in it are decent, but the whole thing doesn't make any real sense, and what sense it does make requires you to remember the previous film a lot better than I did. In addition to that, the action scenes are poorly directed, and there's no real sense of what's going on the moment Bond isn't in a vehicle of some sort (though he does have fights in cars, boats and air planes, which I suppose is something). Worse, however, is that there's no real engagement in any of the politics that seem to be lurking in the background. The greyness of world politics? The poor people Bond walks past in his suit and with his attractive girl? The environment?

No.

But then, I suppose, Bond was never meant to address such concerns.

(crossposted)

Comments

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angriest
Dec. 9th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
The criminal organisation is simply named Quantum. They could have called it SPECTRE like the Connery movies did, but there seem to be some lingering legal shenanigans hovering over that from the Thunderball/Kevin McClory days.

The title clearly refers to Bond's search for resolution over Vesper's death - he is seeking a "Quantum of Solace". Yes it's a silly title, but I thought they did actually manage to let it make sense - besides, it's the only title they have left from Fleming, except for Risico, The Property of a Lady and 007 in new York.

Was it as good as Casino Royale? Definitely not. Was it awful? Definitely not. Was it better than the majority of the old Bond movies? Absolutely. I liked it.
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
no way? the quantum?

this film made noooo sense, man.
frogworth
Dec. 9th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
Yup, agreed 100%.

Who needs sense? It was entertaining action from start to finish.
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
i'm going to quote this at you one day.
mondyboy
Dec. 9th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Normally I don't agree with your twisted tastes Mr Peek. But on this I couldn't agree more. It's a confused movie, with no clear motivations, no clear plot and a bunch of meaningless action scenes that seemed cool and fresh a year ago but now have that dated feel. There was a nice, if not slightly obvious joke, about the martini though.
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
yeah, i thought the martini joke was funny, in a lame kind of way.
catsparx
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
I fuckin loved it.
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
you on crack.
catsparx
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
nope, but right now I'm indexing a book entitled 'Drugs and law enforcement'. Is that close enough?
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
close enough
ext_135212
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
I saw this yesterday. I hadn't seen Casion Royale, so I think I was confused about his motivations and shit...Vespa? He was avenging his scooter? (this I can understand, because I have a Vespa hehe).

Also, the action scenes were annoying. I am so sick to death of directors shaking the camera around to make sure we don't see how poorly choreographed their action scenes are. The bit in the interrogation room...I thought Judi Dench got shot, but evidently she didn't. Because of the shaking camera syndrome I had no idea what happened.

And...Bond made next to no quips or puns. And he wasn't the slightest bit sexist!

Here is what they need to do for the next few Bond movies:

1.bring back Connery, but as a villain

2. make Shirley Bassey sing the theme song (yay Shirley!)

3. have a plot involving a whole heap of jilted, ex-Bond girls hatching a plan to get back at him for his rampant womanising over the years

4. restore some modicum of campiness and crappy puns

5. make it FUN instead of painfully biege!
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
i think it should've been called 'james bond, in my scooter'. that would've fixed everything for me.
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Dec. 9th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
no, it seems not.
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