Sunday, November 16, 2008

007: Quantum of Solace (Review)

I suppose, in naming the newest Bond film, the producers cribbed from -- ahem -- the Castlevania series of video games as well as from the Bourne movies. I can't wait for 007: Ammunition of Anger to be released in 2011, three weeks after Castlevania: Harpsichord of Hemorrhoids debuts for the Nintendo DS Anti-Gravity.

Is the new Bond film any good? I think so. Is it dumber than a bag of hair? No doubt; but what Bond film isn't? Is it poorly shot and does it rely on mindnumbfuckingly annoying shaky-cam in lieu of actual adept action direction? M-O-O-N: that spells yes.

How, then, can I recommend the movie? Because for as long as I've lived James Bond movies have always been either passable or suck. Usually suck. It's both a head-scratcher and a hat-tip how and why EON Productions have managed to sustain credibility and keep the Bond franchise alive for so long.

Word to Elton, never underestimate the power of a brand. The Bond franchise is the cinematic equivalent of Pavlov's dogs. "Shaken, not stirred," hooray! James beds a comely girl in danger/femme fatale, yippee! I could go on. The point is that it's safe to stick with the familiar when in comes to Bond. And I get it to a degree. After all, no one wants Spider-Man to be an overweight plumber from Michigan. But after nearly two dozen films, it's probably a good idea to stray from the formula, yes?

Apparently no, if you follow the general critical and audience consensus. That's not the Bond I know. He's too intense, not laid back enough. Plus, where's Q and the nifty gadgets?

Again, I get it. And I don't. Because while Quantum of Solace is by no means a great Bond film, it's a pretty good follow-up to Casino Royale (with cheese), easily the best 007 flick ever made*. I think, more than anything, audiences don't like the movie because they either didn't see Casino Royale or they saw it so long ago that they don't remember the plot. It's confusion and frustration more than anything that is turning off moviegoers, because, word to CSI, they're used to Bond in doses, not as an ongoing plot that stretches over from film to film. Mix that with poor direction -- Marc Forester does action like venomous snakes give blowjobs -- and you have what appears to be a disappointing film.

It is disappointing, and for a variety of reasons (see: exploding desert hotels**); but by no means is it a bad movie. Daniel Craig deserves the majority of credit for that. He keeps hypnotizing me with his azure eyes.

3/4 *_*

* Just admit it.

** If I'm ever in the Bolivian desert and I wander across a hotel(!), I hope every room isn't equipped to explode. Also: I hope I have my Master Card and my Orange Crush.

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