31
Oct 08

Quantum Of Solace 7 (as the poster says): An Appreciation

FT10 comments • 526 views

Here is a review from FT’s Bond-o-o-phile Magnus Anderson:

Quantum of Solace 7 is GREAT! It had plenty that I liked in Casino Royale, the weight and heft and sense of consequence. But it was better paced – I thought CR dealt with the card game well and it needed a final set piece, but they slowed and lengthened the movie. This is swifter and slighter.

However if you were not a fan of the last one you almost certainly will not be one of Quantum Of Solace 7 either. It’s an unrepentant sequel, and the story is never recapped despite being central. In fact, so much of the ballast comes from CR – the root of Bond’s mood particularly, but also the mesh of unresolved semi-betrayals – that I can imagine that in its absence QoS would seem like something of a chase to the finish. Albeit, I think, still an entertaining one.

This is a bigger development than the reviews I’ve seen have acknowledged – the common tricks of the series – replacing an actor for a character and so on – would have jarred horribly here. It feels more episodic, televisual even, as if CR was an establishing pilot, and QoS following on. This is a sequel in plot, sure, but its real function is locking down a vector, signalling that Bond will be developing like this for as long as Craig has the role.

Other things:

The fate of the villain is nastier but less graphic than is the stock of these films, and it’s hinted a couple of times that Bond is capable of being brutally unpleasant himself.

It is witty, but the light-hearted lines are delivered by supporting characters, a sensible choice in the circumstances.

There appears to be an over-arching villain in development.

If the near-silent fight scene at the opera house had really taken place at the same time as the scenes from Tosca it is cross-cut with, it would have lasted for an hour and a half.

I really really really enjoyed it, and want to see it again.

Although it would have been significantly improved if this was the theme tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMoJRLStD9c

Or indeed this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOH8_Vf_xIE&feature=related

Comments

  1. 1
    Tracer Hand on 31 Oct 2008 #

    haha you are cheeky Pete

  2. 2
    Kat but logged out innit on 31 Oct 2008 #

    Bwahahahaha! BEFORE I SHOOT YOUUUUU.

  3. 3

    so is the bond 2.0 franchise going to move up through the stories, version-ing them, in
    a: the book chronology? (assuming QoS bein a short story allows a get-out clause) — in which case “live and let die” is next, plz to use yaphet kotto again
    b: the film chronology — which makes dr no the next one they will remake (again using the short-story get-out clause)
    c: the internal narrative chronology (ok this is more or less the same as the novel chronology, isn’t it?)

  4. 4

    some notes towards a review:

    i: it was suggested in the pub afterwards that the commodity at issue was to be the obvious-to-the-point-of-being-dull [NO SPOILERS!] rather than, as we subsequently discover, [NO SPOILERS!] — and that the switch came late in the production
    ii: i am interested in the meso-economics of bond-world — is there some kind of trade-off, whereby when bond and pals (and foes) trash buildings in [non-UK NATO cities A and B] and [installations in second- or third-world countries C and D], this is offset (re A&B) against equivalent unfilmed trashing by , say, bond’s counterpart in the spanish or polish secret service, of say norwich; and in aid or directed treaties and trade re C&D? (obviously no trade-off required for actual designated axis-of-evil nations it’s ok to harm their economies; but allies and undecideds are a difft matter)
    iii: bond films were (almost) always impressively prescient about globalisation as villainy (as opposed to the russkis): after goldfinger, villains were third-way gangster capitalists and TURNCOAT soviets, as likely to laserbeam moscow as washington
    iv: when oh when will the radically unaligned bond-girl be driven to crime-empire revenge by the fact that her famiy’s livelihood was wrecked when bond’s aston martin smashed through their peasant market fruit-stall and sent oranges tumbling all over the street? this is u&k for honeychile rider in the versioned dr no

  5. 5

    another thing:
    we ran a piece in S&S, years ago, by a hollywood thriller scriptwriter called larry something [yes i *could* look it up], who claimed that the bond movies invented a particular flavour of in-action flippancy subsquently omnipresent in action thrillers (cf eg die hard)… well the craig bond very nearly dispenses ENTIRELY with this (admitted very tired) shtick, except in bond’s relationship with M (where he uses an elliptical version of them as a kind of euphemism, for when he’s actually gone and done the double-0 thing again, unhelpfully to her)

    ps there is one great “M stands from Mum” joke

  6. 6
    Pete on 2 Nov 2008 #

    M for Mum treats him like an oh-oh-seven year old.

    Thinking about the action flippancy put me in mind of proto-bond figures such as Hannay, The Saint etc – who have a degree of stiff upper lipped reserve in their action sequences if not the pithy one liners. In their world, and in the world of the unorthodox army captains of the war films of the fifties (think David Niven) the time for the pithy put down was usually against the pig-headedness of authority (which Bond still does).

    Another area to look at would be Westerns. You be able to deliver the cold pay-off, the hero needs to be unruffled. Craig’s Bond, whilst cool as a cucumber is also covered in masonry dust and out of breath. The pay-off line works well after a coldly efficient shooting – and for some reason the amoral callous cowboy seems to fit the role (did John Wayne ever spit out one liners)?

  7. 7
    Tracer Hand on 3 Nov 2008 #

    that the pithy bon mot seems to be falling away maybe isn’t surprising since they are wrapped up in bond-the-gentleman-spy, debauched sophisticate, a mode of being that seems to have rather quickly been usurped by the kind of ruthless yet conflicted killing machine that bourne and statham have made so much money with.

    my major disappointment with this movie is that the producers appear to have forgotten that bond isn’t jack bauer, he’s a SPY, with all the delicious pretending that is supposed to go with that word. bond’s insouciant “whatever”ing of his cover story was funny, but showed just how little the usual pleasures of spycraft seem to interest the franchise these days. i mean, bond thinks nothing of arriving at his swanky hotel covered in sand and blood! there must have been a washroom somewhere between the edge of the desert and the ritz.

  8. 8
    Tracer Hand on 3 Nov 2008 #

    to shamelessly follow myself up here, the contrast with casino royale is interesting. bond is re-presented as a pugilist outsider, a comprehensive school boy, who must LEARN HOW TO BE BOND. there’s a deep thrill in watching him put on that tuxedo, examine himself, and thinking “yeah – i could pass.”

    in this one, he pretty much just hunkers down to business and gets on with the job. there is indeed “something horribly efficient” about him. but all those role-playing moments have been lost. he seems to care very little about himself and still less about taking pleasure in life. so it comes as a weird shock when this new bourne-bond turns up his nose at the fleabag hotel in bolivia, demanding a more sumptuous suite. the bond of QoS wouldn’t really give a sh*t where he slept.

  9. 9
    Paula Woosman on 4 Nov 2008 #

    In reply to “pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør” (yeah – I cut and pasted, so what?)

    Quantum of Solace, the film, takes the following things from the short story: the title, and James Bond. apart from that they are unrelated.

  10. 10

    yes i know that paula — what i meant by “short-story get-out clause” is that QoS, by not being faithful to the written original, need not stop them doing a relatively faithful* version of live and let die (as per book canon) or dr no (as per film canon) next — so which will it be?

    *ie as faithful as the new casino royale is to the original

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