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The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008)

 
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The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 10:27:41 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Apologies for the tardiness of this final review. I got bogged down with other things, namely US politics in the form of The West Wing.


Spoilers Within



After the refreshing reboot/kickstart/reimagining/restart of Casino Royale, we have the first true Bond sequel. While there are references to previous Bond films in, um, previous Bond films, none has been a direct sequel to the preceding film. Here however we do, and what results is a curiosity that I find hard to quantify.

After both times I watched the film I was left with the distinct feeling that there was something missing. And i don't mean Q, or the gadgets, or the gun barrel opening. I couldn't put my finger on it - the film was fast-paced, had plentiful action, the girls were smoking hot, there was an Aston Martin chase (why do they have to destroy such beauty?). It slowly dawned on me that what was missing was a plot. Or at least, a substantial one. The film is slight (a factor reflected in the shorter than average running time of the film) and almost one-dimensional. Bond is trying to find the people behind Vesper's death. We discover early on that this organisation is called Quantum. But Mr White, their biggest lead escapes while Bond chases someone who, while a deep undercover Quantum agent, is still small fry compared to the man tied to the chair. It seems poor to chase him (as spectacular as that chase is) at the risk of Mr White escaping, as he does.

Secondly, the secondary plot involving Amalric's Dominic Greene is exactly that, secondary, and it's treated as such. The quest for oil is not the main plot, yet it is treated as such but in a secondary manner. Let me clarify - the film focuses on this plot in a throwaway manner, meaning that while it is less important than Bond finding the bigger fish in Quantum (of which Greene admittedly is a member, although his power is limited) more time is spent on it. It results in a curious apparent absence of plot which, on consideration is there, albeit not obviously so. The entire process is best summed up in one of the closing scenes as Greene is heading out into the desert to escape. Bond says he'll catch up with Camille and heads off. The next shot is Bond dumping Greene in the middle of the desert, mentioning about Greene having told him something, and leaving him with a can of oil. While one could argue that this is editing for mystery's sake, and for some future reveal in the next film, it leaves the end of this film feeling as if there was a chunk edited out. A chunk that, had it been left in, would have restored the film to a similar length to all the other Bonds (ironically only Casino Royale bucks that trend, running 20 minutes longer than the usual 2 hours) and resulted in the film feeling less slight.

But there is much to recommend the film. The action rarely lets up. It's vicious, raw, and highly exciting stuff. There's inventiveness in the locations (the Tosca scene is a highlight) and a steely determination in Bond's eyes, even as he bonds with Camille, albeit in only a Platonic way, being as they are, 'damaged goods'. The Goldfinger reference with Fields' (keep an eye on the credits for the only time her first name is mentioned) oil-covered body is a welcome reminder of how good Bond can be.

Overall however, I have to say that Quantum of Solace is a disappointment. Not on its own merits, but by comparison with the preceding film. And, given its direct sequel status, it is impossible not to compare the two. Indeed, I suspect my opinion of the film may go up after seeing Bond 23, as the third chapter in this story. As it is, Quantum of Solace very much feels like a 'middle part'. It's a hell of a ride, it's entertaining, and it's action-with-emotion, but there's something vital missing from the formula. (Again, I don't refer to the 'Bond formula', but whatever formula makes a successful film in general.) This one will be due a reappraisal hopefully in two years, when Bond 23 should be out.


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That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
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Post #: 181
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 10:28:41 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Ah dammit I can't edit the first post! I was going to put "QuantuMmm... of Solace" 

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 182
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 11:25:24 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I thought QoS was rather dissapointing as well.

Well done on the end btw.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 183
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 11:26:49 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Your turn... I'm sure you have until say next May until QoS comes out on DVD...

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 184
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 11:27:43 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I have all the reviews written out dissapointingly. So there is an obvious reason why the thread as ground to a halt...

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 185
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 11:29:54 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
The Worst thing is that I even rewatched Casino Royale and Never Say never Again for inclusion.

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Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 186
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 5/12/2008 11:54:02 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Em, Homey, didn't OHMSS also run a long 2 hrs and 20 mins?

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 187
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 6/12/2008 12:12:09 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Oops, yeah it did, sorry.

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 188
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 6/12/2008 12:33:06 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
The greatest 2 hrs and 20 mins in Bond history.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 189
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 24/2/2009 12:13:24 AM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Just came across this. As you may have guessed by my nickname, I'm a huge Bond fan. I've got a few things to say :
quote:

As if to mark this, we get the first non-title-sequence nipple!  
Wrong, see DAF pre-title
Moving on to more substantial things:
I agree that Goldfinger is the best Bond film ever, and it's on my all-time favourite top 10. Thunderball, however, is very underrated. Fiona Volpe is the best Bond girl of the series, and Domino is the 2nd best IMO, which really sets the film apart from the rest. Plus, Connery is cool as ice (shooting a henchman with a spear gun and saying "I think he got the point").
Moonraker is actually Moore's best Bond film, IMHO. It has an amazing score (particularly the cue when the shuttle flies to the space station) and Moore truly enjoying himself. Plus Drax is a great villain.
Diamonds Are Forever is fantastic. Look at this dialogue:
"Hi, I'm Plenty."
"But of course you are."
"Plenty O'Toole!"
"Named after your father perhaps?"
---
"Heartwarming, Mr. Wint"
"A glowing tribute, Mr. Kidd"
---
"I have a brudda"
"Small world"

Also, Doctor No should be in anyone's villains top 3
It's great to see I'm not the only Bond fan here

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 190
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 24/2/2009 2:29:13 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Hey, thanks for resurrecting this thread! Well spotted on the nipple front, there. You clearly have a keener eye/are more pervy than I* [delete as appropriate]. 

I will agree that the spear-gun kill in Thunderball is a cool bit (y'know, as cool as murder can be...). The rest of the film doesn't match sadly. It builds to the big action scenes and the whole thing slows down horribly.

So Rhu, when you finishing your thread?


_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 191
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 24/2/2009 2:53:55 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I actually might reboot it Casino Royale style, as a solo project, I'm not sure. Depends how bored I get

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 192
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 24/2/2009 7:41:44 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
I disagree on Thunderball. Here is a great fan review of it (not mine, I'll review it in April):Thunderball

It's safe to say that James Bond is back in action!

Sure, they said that about Goldfinger, but I believe Thunderball was far more exciting and more Bond-esque than Goldfinger was. Of the films following DN and FRWL, I also think that TB was the film that could most closely relate to those two. By that, I mean, Bond seems like the Bond he was in those films, the locations are again stunning, we've got beautiful women, tons of danger, and the return of another bunch of ruthless SPECTRE agents.

The locations in this Bond flick were nearly as gorgeous as the places we saw in Dr. No. Sure, at first we're stuck with Bond while he's at the clinic- what could be beautiful about that location? However, as we move on to Nassau, there's hardly an unattractive site. The water's gorgeous, the beaches are beautiful, the hotel is high-end and comfortable looking, and the streets are swarming with plenty of people. Then, we even get a look at SPECTRE's main meeting room- grand and diabolical seeming, thanks again to Ken Adam.

Barry delivers another superb soundtrack, with plenty of themes that fit right in with the underwater scenes, beach scenes, and the beauty of the locations. We also get a few Bond themes, which also add Connery's suave and stylish looks in the film. Not much to complain about here. My favorite piece is probably the Chateau Flight, which really enhances Bond's PTS fight.

Emilio Largo- I see him as a Dr. No 2.0. He's certainly a well-respected SPECTRE member, and even has the high rank of #2. He's a very serious man, even when he's joking around with Bond. By the way he treats Domino, and his fellow SPECTRE henchmen, it's pretty easy to notice that Largo will do anything to succeed with his plans and impress Blofeld.

I see Connery's performance in this film as one step below his performance in Dr. No. For me, that's his top-notch performance... but his acting in Thunderball doesn't fall far from it. Again, as he had in the past three pictures, he's got that natural Bond style, look, and attitude. Having viewed all of the Connery films this week, to me, it's safe to say that this man is the only classic cinematic James Bond. I don't think anyone can replace him.

The girls in this movie were gorgeous. We had Domino, Fiona, and Paula. Unfortunately, we didn't see Paula as much as the others, however she was a very pretty woman for Bond to be working alongside of. Fiona- definitely the best bad girl of the Bond series, and sexiest bad girl too. Then, Domino- an innocent, nice girl, caught up in one big mess, in my opinion. The gorgeous Claudine Auger played the part well, and she was certainly a memorable Bond girl.

Rik Van Nutter played a decent Leiter, I suppose. It wasn't great, nor atrocious. I certainly thought his Leiter could be taken more seriously than Linder's from GF. It further proves that no Leiter was as great as Lord, though.

Aside from those aspects, Thunderball offers classic Bondian action, romance, humor, locations, plots, and characters. The overall plot of the film wasn't too complex, and intelligent- much like the earlier films. The gadgets were kept to a minimum: Bond had the re-breather, which is probably one of the most useful Bond gadgets. The jetpack was good fun in the PTS, too. The rest of the gadgets seemed more like real spy gadgets- the watch, the camera, the tracking pill. I think they threw a realistic touch on the world of Bond gadgets.

There are a few choppy bits of editing in this film, however, it's not anything to get worked up about.

Other than that, Thunderball makes for an excellent Connery Bond film, and is a superb addition to the series. While I hold DN and FRWL higher than it, Thunderball is given a secure #3 spot in my Bond film ranking list. Also- perhaps Terence Young has to do with my liking of some of the early Bond films. So, I just thought I'd give him a nod here, as he's my favorite Bond director.

RATING: 9.5 of 10

Here's the guys site:
http://brownonbond.wordpress.com/

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 193
RE: The Bond Thread: 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008) - 4/11/2012 1:40:40 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Can't believe it's been just over four years since I started this thread.

I'll be sticking a Skyfall review in here once I see it again...

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 194
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