Action Movie Friday: 007, Quantum of Solace

It is time for Action Movie Friday, where I treat an action movie like an action movie and not like a drama and stuff. All movie reviews are subjective and while I may like something, you might think it’s shit, and vice versa!

Title: 007: Quantum of Solace
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release: 2008
Genre: spy, action, thriller
Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright, David Harbour, Joaquín Cosio
Director: Marc Forster
Writer: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Ian Flemming (Book)
Distributor: Columbia (Sony)
Budget: $230 Million
Box Office: $592 Million

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 65%

Gingersnaps Rating: two and three quarters cookies!

Summary:

Someone is trying to kill all the important women in Bond’s life and Bond is out for revenge. The organization behind Le Chiffre is everywhere, but no one knows about them. They are trying to control the world’s “most precious resource” but no one knows what that is. And it is up to Bond, out of control and hell bent on ripping the organization apart, to find out. The journey takes him all over the world and ends up in war torn Bolivia, ripe for a coup and suffering a drought. Will Bond find out the truth or will he lose everything he loves, including his job and his life?

Review:

Sequels are always risky, there is that dreaded sequel slump where the story might not be as good, the acting worse and the audiences not as receptive. Even in huge franchises such as Bond, this is a real worry. The good news is monetarily that Quantum of Solace pulled in about the same amount of money as Casino Royale. The bad news is that it did this with a budget that had been inflated by one hundred thousand dollars. A third Daniel Craig Bond film did get made, which was good because that film made almost as much as the first two put together.

Quantum of Solace picks up right where Casino Royale left off with what was supposed to be a thrilling car chase. From there we jump almost straight into a fight scene intercut with short bits of a horse race. Okay, I know this is cinematography and belongs on the bottom. But crap like this just makes my eyes water and my head hurt. I’m taking a bite out of the fifth cookie up here just because it annoys me so fucking much. I like to be able to see what is going on and shakey cam and these quick edit pieces makes that next to impossible and makes my eyes cross. I was so glad when the shakey cam fad finally died.

Anyways, the story stays coherent for the first ten minutes and then the rest of the movie is a bit of a mess. This organization, Quantum, which we don’t learn the name of until the end of the film, tries to kill M, Bond takes offense and goes on a disjointed killing spree trying to find out who did it. Look, the thing about the first movie that was great was there was an actual trail of clues that we could follow along with Bond. In a heist movie, you want to see how the thieves actually did it in one manner or the other. In a spy movie, you want to be able to see the clues that the spy is seeing in order to be able to follow the story! The story kept jumping from place to place with what felt like no reason. And at times, there was more exposition than showing us things. So, I’m taking a bite of the cookie.

Also, the dialogue wasn’t as punchy this time around. Another bite of the cookie.

So, half a cookie for the plot and dialogue portion.

Apparently someone thought it was a good idea to run a hotel off of hydrogen fuel cells. This was a set up for a hotel fire and explosion in order to make Bond into a hero for the girl. Was this necessary? No. Was this the right kind of unnecessary? No. Half a cookie.

The fights were entertaining. Bond keeps losing his gun and there was some rope work involved. They looked incredibly difficult to choreography at times. One cookie.

The treatment of women in Quantum of Solace really epitomizes what disregard for women that the Bond films normally have. M can’t save this cookie this time. In fact, as soon as I was done with this movie I wanted to put in Skyfall because Skyfall was better if I’m remembering correctly. Camille, Fields, M, none of them were characters with any flaws or even any agency. They rested on their laurels with M. Camille was driven by revenge but was then set up to be a damsel in distress for Bond to save. Fields was mostly an afterthought to look pretty and then get killed. It was a complete and utter waste of the wonderful Gemma Arterton. The whole bit with the waitress at the hotel was disgusting and yes, meant to show that this is guy is a horrible villain. But earlier in the movie, they can’t even have Camille say the word rape. I understand this is a PG-13 movie, just we either need to acknowledge the horrible ugliness of what happened to Camille’s mother and sister with the ugly word rape or just don’t bother to include it at all. Just, I can’t think about this without getting angry. No cookie at all.

I already took a bite of the cookie for the editing of this movie. Otherwise, I don’t have much to say about the world building. It remained in the same type of technology frame and physics as the first one. So, three quarters of a cookie.

Quantum of Solace unfortunately experienced sequel slump with an incoherent story and horrible treatment of women. Two and Three Quarters cookies.

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