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Quantum of Solace (2008)

July 8, 2009

4/10 Mopey Hitmen

Yeah, Casino Royale set the bar pretty damn high for this movie, but what a disappointment regardless.

Quantum of Solace picks up where Casino Royale left off, with our guy James Bond interrogating and icing everyone in his path to uncover a high-brow terrorist scheme to create a monopoly on water in Third-World countries (or something like that) and figure out who his former lover was working for before she died.

Maybe it’s me, but that’s a pretty lame terrorist plot. What happened to the tried and true Dr. Evil formula of grabbing a nuke and holding the world hostage?

Water’s overrated. I’d go with the nuke.

The problem with Quantum of Solace is that it looks real pretty, but there’s not a single scene in the entire running time that’s as fun or exciting as that opening scene in Casino Royale where Bond is chasing down that guy through the construction site. James Bond movies are supposed to be fun, and fun is something that Quantum of Solace is seriously lacking.

The pacing of the movie is really off, it’s pretty boring for lengths at a time, and, to add insult to injury, the action scenes aren’t all that good. Even with the car/foot chase scenes, the camera moves so fast that everything just ends up looking blurry to the point where you can’t even make out what’s going on outside of “I think the first grey car is hitting into the second grey car.” An unfortunate snooze-fest of an action movie.

Let’s see, what else is wrong with this. Remember in Casino Royale how James Bond was reinvented into this total badass who made Pierce Brosnan look like a skinny, brunette bitch? Well that’s gone. Now Bond just cries and sulks the whole time, he’s not funny anymore, he has the personality of a turd, and he’s about as cool as parachute pants. Booo!

The story is also outrageously confusing and all the bad guys are about as terrifying as an environmentally manipulative version of Gordon Gekko. It’s one of those movies that you try really hard to follow for about half an hour but then you just give up and zone out because you realize that none of it matters, you’re still going to be confused as hell when the credits roll.

And I hate it, absolutely hate it, when the evil scheme in a movie is something stupid that gets passed off as “sinister”, like the evil pharmaceutical agencies in The Fugitive (good movie) and The Constant Gardener (not a good movie). People like to root against actual villians, not corporate greed. Who cares about a movie where James Bond saves the world from a drought? Lame.

I really have no idea what happened here. The script was written by all the same guys who put together Casino Royale and I don’t think you can blame Daniel Craig or a new director for sabotaging what should have been a great sequel to a revamped series. I blame whoever thought Quantum of Solace would be a good title.

But the fact of the matter is that Quantum of Solace is not a completely forgettable addition to the series, serving only as a reminder of how great Casino Royale was. I really hope these guys bring it around in the next installment and haven’t just pulled a GoldenEye and given us one golden egg then a handful of rotten follow-ups.

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