Monday, November 17, 2008

Note to 007 filmmakers: stop trying to make James Bond into Jason Bourne!!!!! If I wanted to watch a Jason Bourne movie, I would have stayed home and watched one. I go to a Bond movie expecting a sleek, stylish ride in an Aston Martin, not a turbulent jouncing in somebody's old Jeep. I realize the Bourne movies are fantastically successful, but that doesn't give you a reason to copy them -- Casino Royale was fantastically successful too, on its own terms.


So yeah, I went to see Quantum of Solace yesterday. And it had its fun points, for sure. The Wondrous White Pants made another appearance, to great effect. There was a motorcycle. Daniel Craig is 100% enjoyable as Bond. I like Dame Judi Dench so much as M, I want to adopt her as my snarky great-aunt.

But most of the action sequences were a big disappointment. I know the herky-jerky, in-your-lap camera style is supposed to make us feel like we're in the thick of the fight or car chase, but these were shot so close and cut so quickly that I couldn't tell what was going on a lot of the time, and that's not cool. Even in the second two Bourne movies, which this seemed to be copying, I can still tell what's going on. In Quantum's opening car chase, I could barely tell who was chasing who. And during the fight on the scaffolding, I literally could not tell which guy was Bond and which was the baddie. And that's not just uncool, that's bad directing and editing. Never confuse your audience like that, people! You will only annoy them.

Also, the plot was kinda scattered. I love the tight focus of Casino -- it feels like riding a racehorse through a tunnel. Quantum feels like running a three-legged race on a golf course. It's way shorter than Casino, but feels longer.

And hey! Beating the snot out of people using an everyday object is Jason Bourne's turf! I think the number one thing that bugged me about this movie was the fight where Bond kills the guy with a cuticle scissors. The whole thing, from the guy bursting through the window through the death-by-manicure, just reeked of copying Bourne. Grr.

And I kept wanting the bad guy to be played by Sam Rockwell instead of this Mathieu Amalric guy -- Rockwell could've pulled off the skeezy thing with more fun and zeal.

That said, it's a fun romp, and it served the very important purpose of defunking me out of a seriously cranky mood. And it had the Wondrous White Pants. But it gets two Warheads for dragging in the middle.


  1. Er... I finally figured out which guy you meant by the death-by-manicure scene, but when watching the movie I completely and utterly missed what he was killed with. I thought it was some knife thingy.

    So, yeah... that jerky, fast cut action stuff? Clearly, I am no good at processing it when I cannot even see how someone gets killed.

  2. At the very end of the fight, there's a shot of the cuticle scissors on the ground next to the dead guy.

    It wasn't until my second viewing that I noticed one of the trucks in the car chase that fell off a cliff proceeded to land in front of Bond's car a few seconds later. Badly done.

    The best action scene was the plane chase -- I could tell what was going on there!


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