Saturday, November 22, 2008

Movie Review: Quantum of Solace

I haven't seen a decent movie ruined by direction in a long time...not since John Woo was in his prime.

Shaky-camera, over-spliced action scenes should be used sparingly, if ever. It's chaotic, I get it. Instead, Marc Foster (I looked up his name so that I can avoid any movies he directs in the future) thinks every action sequence should be filmed this way. There was a scene where two people were shot, and I'm still not exactly sure who they were. Another scene where a plane crashed and I can't tell you why.

Also, splicing back and forth between an action sequence and a horse race, or an opera, is not a clever statement that elevates you to the directorial elite. It's a sophomoric film student trick that bores the average professor to tears.

The entire movie seems to be thrown together in a blender. The plot gets nearly the same treatment as the unwatchable action scenes. Bond goes to a hotel to find someone named Slate, or Slade, presumably to get information. As he enters, he's attacked. I'm not exactly sure if it the attacker was Slate, but it didn't seem to matter to Bond or anyone else. There was some over-edited wrestling, a lot of furniture broken, and suddenly the generic bad guy had a fatal gash in his neck. Bond finds a briefcase, washes up, and moves on.

Even the fluff between the action was choppy. Bond couldn't walk down a flight of stairs without three camera angle changes. I don't think there's a single shot in the movie longer than six seconds. I suppose this is designed to make me feel anxious or something, but it has the same effect as listening to a 200bpm song for 90 minutes straight: utter desensitization. It made me feel tired. If there would have been a token attempt at characterization, or some well-developed dialogue, I'm not sure I would have been interested enough to follow it.

Here's the movie in a nutshell (no spoilers, nothing to spoil):

Awful Alicia Keys race...wrestling...boat old friend...something about water...plane chase...tinderbox hotel...roll credits.

It's amazing that after Casino Royale worked so well, you'd take the franchise in another direction again. And such a generically bad one too. Blah.


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