Friday, November 21, 2008

New Review: James Bond Gets In A Traffic Jam

By Alec Horowitz

Two stars

If only James Bond knew the trash talk I was going to give him. I might become an enemy of the fictional British government and have a fictional gun to my head. Well, it’s OK because I own a fictional light saver Luke Skywalker gave me on my fourteenth birthday. It’s going to be quite a battle, but not one the readers needs to see so lets start the review: "Quantum of Solace" is a picture I don’t really know what to say about. The picture does have some positives including being beautifully filmed. Action sequences are well done. But it's really sloppy with the plot. In fact, it seems like someone just threw together some Bond scripts they had sitting around.
Daniel Craig is still good at his role, but I felt like this time around we really kind have of lost Bond. The film isn't as bad as a Brosna picture, but it's not anywhere as good at 'Casino Royale'. This movie becomes Bond basically following clues in a way that doesn't really flow. He goes to a lot of places. Though, we never really get a sense of any of the places he goes. He goes to way too many places. Too many fast cuts and too many subtitles telling the audience where he is now. In "Casino Royale" we did get a sense of where Bond was. Maybe it has to do with the new director being Marc Forster instead of Martin Campbell. Daniel Craig is a good choice to play Bond. He is a major improvement over Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan's 'Bond' felt like an action figure not the classic film noir character we had come to expect with Roger Moore and Sean Connery.
When Brosnan got to be Bond, Bond had become a fast car driving sex machine with no sense of plotting or suspense. 'Die Another Day' the 2002 picture was a messy picture that became about basically stupid product placement, pointless sex scenes and a theme song and cameo by Madonna. Daniel Craig is a return to form as he plays Bond as he was meant to be: a thug who killed people for his duty, but a thug that Craig played with class. It wasn't Brosnan's 'Bond', it was the classy old fashion Bond, who was cool in his suit and tie, smoking a cigarette at the card table, just giving the villain a look that said "You know your in trouble." The movie ironically doesn’t spend enough time with either the Bond girls (of which are two and I kind of wished they just stuck to one). Camille. (Olga Kurylenko) is the most boring Bond girl ever? Her only function throughout the movie is to tell Bond to get in the girl in times of danger but wait, there’s also this other Bond girl (model Cemma Arteton) who Bond constantly tries to save. She’s basically a girl in danger.
She comes in and out of the movie, making the plot kind of confusing. Hey, also her name is Strawberry Fields (all together now: huh?) The movie has way too many places. It almost felt like Bond was just raking up fliquent flyer miles. The movie seems to be cutting to way too many things for me to even quite get a sense of what his mission was. I guess it had something to do with the water supply but it could have been helped if maybe a sense or two were Bond unveiled what exactly he is fighting. The film has way too many fast music video cuts for the audience to really get a sense of just what Bond is doing.
I agree with Roger Ebert who has recently complained that they are trying way too hard to make Bond an action star when he is something different. He is a savvy secret agent for the British government who bends the rules with a sense of class, but will be a thug when he has to. I have a feeling the movie already set up for 2010 is going to be better. This film felt like a confused set up to the squeal. Within the first five minutes of the film when your in the mist of a car chase, you already feel like the film is headed towards a obvious squeal, which is a shame because that means this is a weak entry in the Bond library that can’t stand on it’s own. If Bond is anything, he is a man who can stand on his own and achieve his goals. This film is no Bond.

1 comment:

John Purcell said...

I feel they should have left the Bond series years ago when it sort of climaxed out. The classic Bond movies are the best and most of the newer ones disappointed my in plot and characters. James Bond was never a senseless action movie, so a lot of times they can't grasp the true feeling behind a Bond movie. I really wish they would just stop making new Bond movies, because I would much rather pop in an old one.