A Quantum of Bond

A Quantum of Bond

The villains have captured Bond and what follows then is pure torture. For the audience that is. The latest in the Bond franchise, “Quantum of Solace” is not only the worse Bond movie ever, it is also one of the worse high profile movies of this century.

First of all, it is very difficult to discern a storyline or plot. First, Bond and Mi6 are being challenged by a supposedly evil organization that is everywhere and higly secretive. But in reality, the villain seems to be rather tame: there are gangs in my town that are a lot more scary. There are two subplots:one in which Bond is trying to get to the guy who was responsible for the death of his love interest in the previous movie, and the second is of the “Bond girl” trying to take revenge on the murder of her family. The girl, however, is actually capable of doing it all by herself, thank you, and with little help of Bond. Bond is seen hopscotching from Italy to Haiti to Bolivia, but he might as well have gone from North Beach in San Francisco to Tijuana with much the same effect. The locales chosen for this film were just there to add color and a flavor of exotism.

Some of the characters were quite stereotypical: the corrupt Latin American general and the “bad” CIA guy are straight from a bad B movie, In addition, I have seen better acting by the girls of VH1’s Charm School. Some of the supporting charcters performances were forced, unnatural and stiff. Perhaps it was because of the dialogue they were given. High school students could have written better dialogue. Whereas we have come to see powerful Bond girls in recent movies, the current girl is much less interesting. And could they not have cast a Latina acrress in a Latina role? Daniel Craig’s and Judy Dench’s performances were fine, and you can get the feeling that Bond and M’s relationship is becoming special, but they by themselves they could not carry the movie.

The photography and especialy the action scenes were at the same level as we have seen in most recent action movies, though I could do without the excessive “handheld” camera effects. The motion on the screen was at times too jittery. In addition, the editing of the action scenes with quick back and forth cuts made me dizzy. There was just to much imagery to process. The combination of the wobbly camera positions and quick edits made some of the scenes a mess. It is as if I was looking at one of those modern paintings which appear nothing more than a splattering of colors and forms that make you go “huh, what was all that about?”. And in other scenes, the opposite occurred. Some shots and edits went on and on, and the scene itself did not add anything to the story.

As to the action: there is plenty of it, but it is rather predictable: the obligatory car chase, a boat chase, and then in the end, the total destruction of real property. The last item was truly unnecessay… we have seen in it all the Bond movies, and in this installment, was really not necessary. But I guess that a Bond movie must have its formulaic dosage of pyrotechnics.

And my final gripe… no special Bond gadgets in this movie. Aaww, come on, what is a Bond movie without some “wow” gadget. OK, the displays at MI6 HQ were neat, but we have seen that setup in other movies before.

In summary, I don’t think I would even want to rent this movie on Netflix. I’d say, wait to see it till it comes on TV. At least, at that time, you’ll have the option to switch the channel.