Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Movie Review : Quantum of Solace

We received some free passes to catch a sneak preview of Bolt tonight at 7:00. For some reason these free passes I come across are usually on Thursday evenings and I tend to work late on Thursdays. We get to the theater around 6:00 and check out the line for the screening and (as I should have expected) 80% of the line was under the age of 8. My wife, being a preschool teacher had a look of horror on her face and I believe the comment went something like "I just came from this and don't want to spend an evening out in a theater full of fidgety children." OK, new plan :-)

So we buy tickets for Quantum of Solace at 6:20 :-)

First I'll start the review as I'll start all of my reviews : Which trailers did you get? Star Trek, Day the Earth Stood Still, Yes Man, and a new Will Smith movie that I think was called Seven Pounds. I already discussed the Star Trek trailer here, Day the Earth Stood still looks pretty cool, Yes Man actually seems like it will be funny if they didn't just show all of the funny clips in the trailer and the Will Smith movie I was rather indifferent towards.

On with the actual movie. I love James Bond movies. My dad got me into them because he watched them and I have enjoyed them since I was a kid. Daniel Craig is incredible as James Bond and I really appreciate the way they are handling this reboot.

Much more action packed than Casino Royale we get a boat chase, a car chase, a plane chase and a couple of foot chases (nothing like the Parkour-heavy chase in Casino Royale though). The stunning Aston Martin DBS makes another appearance as do, strangely, many Eco-Friendly Fords. I notice these things because I'm a car guy and given the villain in the film, actually, the Eco-Friendly stuf works.

The introduction of the shady organization Quantum will hopefully be seeding many more appearances similar to the old SPECTRE in classic Bond films. The film was fast-paced and had it's usual share of Bond dry humor along with quite a few references to Casino Royale. I would recommend if it's been a while since viewing CR, give it a quick run through before going to see this movie because this one seems to begin about an hour or so after the last one ended.

Now, the disappointments (oh, come on you know there had to be some). Actually only three minor disappointments.

First, there is still no Q. I miss the scenes where Bond visits the Q Branch and gets his gadgets while unlucky Q Branch peons test out ridiculous and dangerous items in the background. Desmond Llewelyn, the original Q, was perfect in this role. The minute Bond walks in, he changes from hardcore superspy to kid in a toy store. Q's role is to guide 007 through the gadgets like a teacher guides a child with ADD. John Cleese did a very good job in the last two movies after the passing of Mr. Llewelyn and would be a good candidate for the new reboot. My friend Shawn and I were discussing this as well and we came up with two more potentials : Simon Pegg or Ricky Gervais. Each would bring their own flair to the role and would pull it off nicely.

Second, the title sequence. Bond title sequences are an art form all their own. Casino Royale's was brilliant. The song by Chris Cornell is powerful (I listen to it in my car) and the graphics were interesting and relevant to the movie. This one, not so much. The vocals are by Alicia Keyes, definitely not on my list of favorites and the song is fairly weak. The graphics have little to do with the film and are actaully kind of dull and blurry.

Third, the villain's plot. I won't give it away here but the villain's grand scheme could have been fleshed out a bit more or explained better so as to have a more impending sense of danger. It kind of gets blown over but I think this movie is more about revenge for Bond and the insertion of Quantum into the series.

Otherwise, great movie. Not the best Bond movie I've ever seen but it's definitely not the worst.

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