A Quantum of Patience

Alright, I’ve had a few days to digest Quantum of Solace now, time to talk about it. Let’s get down to brass tacks, I loved it. While I was watching this movie I knew right away that a lot of people were going to be put off by the film though. It’s not the same kind of experience that Casino Royale was. On the surface it appears deceptively aimless, but this is by design I believe.

This is a direct sequel to Casino Royale, but I would suggest that this is better thought of as the second half of Casino. The two together form a complete narative. Think of it like Kill Bill vol. I & II, they’re actually one film.  But enough of my impressions on how to best think of the film, let’s get to the guts of it.

The movie begins about 20 minutes after Casino Royale ends with a high intensity car chase. It’s a well staged chase, but the camera work here does a discervice to the coreography and staging of the event. The director has become enamoured of the intimate shakey cam for the action sequences in this film, and it works to the detriment of the story. I appreciate that they want to show us that it’s really Daniel Craig and not a stuntman, but it’s highly unnecessary. My disbelief is suspended, give me some long shots so I can appreciate the amazing stunt work and choreography on display.

The main thrust of the movie is Bond’s efforts to uncover the organization that calls itself Quantum. One gets the distinct impression that Quantum will become the SPECTRE or SMERSH of this new series. I really like it, and the sinister Mr. White of Casino Royale sets up the scope and menace of the organization quite effectively in his interrogation sequence. This is where that aimless sensation I was mentioning begins. Bond has to uncover Quantum, but has practically nothing to work with. 

I think this was a deliberate choice. Bond, despite the outward facade he puts on at the end of Casino, is emotionally shattered. He let his guard down and was destroyed. He’s lost in the world now. His drive isn’t just vengence, it’s a need to know the truth. Bond needs to know whether that experience was real or if he was just a pawn in some larger game. I think that the film intentionally nurtures this aimless feeling to underscore Bond’s inner turmoil. But the threads that connect everything are there, they’re just hard to follow. If the audience isn’t on its toes it’s easy to get lost. This is where Quantum of Solace is going to confuse people.  

I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone, so I’m not going to get in to many more details concerning the plot, I’ll save that for the blu-ray release of the film. So let’s talk about the new direction Bond is taking.

I’m a big fan of this incarnation of Bond. He’s charming, he’s witty, he’s funny, but behind it all he’s a cold blooded killer. He’s a dangerous man. It’s exciting to watch this Bond. There’s a reality to this version of Bond that has been lacking in the others, even the venerable Sir Sean Connery. Gone are the ridiculous gadgets, replaced with practical and considerably more plausible spy ecoutrements. Gone are the terrible one-liners and puns that permeated the series previously. Bond’s wit is now sharp and sly, and the humour comes from a clever turn of phrase or stinging observation. Goofiness has been banished from this series, I hope permanently. For anyone who misses that stuff, I direct you to the first 20 flicks in the series.

Quantum of Solace can be hard to follow at times because it really requires the audience to actively pay attention. This isn’t a passive Bond film where you can let everything just wash over you. The problem as I see it is that the high intensity action sequences are leaving the audience exhausted and disoriented, and this has lead to vital information slipping past as people recover.

This is not a perfect Bond film. My preference as a cinematic experience is Casino Royale. That said, I love this movie and seen in conjunction with Casino Roayle, Quantum of Solace completes the origin story for this Bond and sets him and the series up to move forward. I don’t know where the series will go form here, but I’m invested. I’ll be happy to watch the adventures of this Bond for a long time to come.


~ by Pagz on November 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “A Quantum of Patience”

  1. Is there shirtlessness? Or should I just pop in Tomb Raider if I want some hot Daniel Craig-ness?

    Also…have you seen the new Trek trailer? *melts*

  2. i think that sums up pretty much how i felt about it too.

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