Sunday, 2 November 2008
James Bond: Quantum of Solace!
I went to see the new James Bond movie, Quatum of Solace, last night and here are my initial thoughts on it! And please remember ... my initial thoughts! I tend to need at least three or four viewings of a Bond film before being able to make a proper assessment of it!
!! Spoiler Warning for those of you who haven't seen it !!
As of now, I felt that Quantum of Solace was quite uneven. Some things were really good, while others didn't impress me at all. I appologize if the review seems confused, but that is bascially because my impression of the movie was rather confused.
I really like the fact that it picks up right where Casino Royale left off!! Casino Royale did end with a cliffhanger, and it was great to see that cliffhanger picked properly! I also have to say I like the basic storyline - going after this very powerful organization nobody's heard of and know nothing about takes me back to the early days of SPECTRE ... and that is just to my liking! :) Also, the motive of Bond being almost a rogue agent is appealing! It has been done (or tried?) before, in Licence To Kill, (and to a certain degree in the beginning of Die Another Day) but I have to say this time, it's way better!
I also enjoy the fact that it is a true agent-story - we never loose that perspective which is really good. Since Bond really is on the verge of crossing the line, the questions of what happens when a secret agent goes over to the other side (since it appears that's what Bond has done) is really dealt with here, and dealt with in a very realistic way ... except for maybe one thing: Would the head of MI6 really travel around the world to check up on agents? In this movie we see M on at least two locations, and while I really enjoy Judi Dench's performance, is that really realistic?
Moving on to not-so-greats. My first impressions of the main title and the title song was: Terrible! I'm sorry to say it, but it didn't feel "Bond" at all to me! I wasn't thrilled about the main title in Casino Royale either, but I really like the title song - here, none of them appealed to me.
Also, while I think the action-and-fight sequences are impressive, without a doubt, they are much to long for me! I can't help but get the feeling the movie has come in short, so they have to add as much fighting, car chasing, boat chasing, chasing on foot, as they possible can, just so the movie will be long enough! Like I said, it is impressive, but when it goes on for too long, I just get bored with it ...Daniel Craig does make a nice James Bond, even though I wasn't quite comfortable with him at the start. There has been a trend of making Bond more "human", going back all the way to Timothy Dalton in the late 80's, but I think it's basically Craig that can pull it off ... Pierce Brosnan did a pretty good job of it in Goldeneye, when he ended up fighting his life-long friend Alec Trevelyan, but the opening of Die Another Day - which also was supposed to show Bond's more vulnerable side - didn't sit quite right with me. But Daniel Craig does bring something to the part when it comes the human side of Bond - very impressive!
I am less impressed with the "Bond girls" (yeah, I know it's not politically correct to call them that these days, but it's just old habit ... sorry) - to be frank, I didn't get the sense of their characters at all. Bond's first meeting with Camille (Olga Kurylenko) just felt very confusing, and even though we later on got some insight to her character, she felt rather flat to me. The other lady, Fields (Gemma Arterton), didn't make much of an impression either - although her part was rather small. I did like the way they portrayed her death - nice homage to Goldfinger!!
Dame Judi Dench as M is wonderful as ever! While keeping her in this "new" series does make things confusing, she certainly fits the part and does an amazing job with it! I also enjoyed seeing
Giancarlo Giannini again, once again a nice look-back to Casino Royale.
As of now, I don't want to make some definite statement on the movie, as I have to see it more times before - but like I said in the beginning: It felt quite uneven. Some things really good, some things, not at all so good.