Quantum of Solace : a review
Okay, so I am not one to believe I know everything about movies... certainly not James Bond... in fact, I know so little about 007 that a non-critical part of the story line continually left me asking "What do they mean by Vesper? Huh?"
What I do know is this movie was very well shot, choreographed, and designed to show all of the flawed imperfections revealed in the roughly lit cinematography; and actually it may have been the genius of videography which lent to the authentic realism. It is this same concept of revealing shortcomings which not only worked to enhance the visual appeal, but the story line as well.
I am not sure what critiques would call the techniques used to shoot the action scenes but I have decided to use the phrase "point of impact." Rather than pan out the shot out wide, so the viewer can see the entire scene, Quantum of Solace takes the viewer to the exact point of impact whether it be a head on collision, a crashing leap from one balcony to another, or a fiery explosion. It create a sense of being there side-by-side with 007 as he races through the crowds, jumps dangerous across hurdles, drives recklessly around tight corners.
One scene in particular left me feeling guilty as JB holds an agent down as he dies. It's uncertain whether he is choking the man, or just containing the spastic physical reaction of a dying body. Either way, I was thinking "Stop all already! Is this neccessary?"
And now, I think for Quantum, yes it was. Part of the beauty of the movie is that it exposes JB as fallable, which means it is important for the viewer to see the scars, knicks and bruises (which you do see in a shirt off scene... woo hoo!!). It is equally important to see the mars come from the hard blows his opponents successfully deliver or from the leaps miscalculated which end with 007 crashing into patio furniture or hanging perilously by one arm.
Now for those of you who know me... you know there is something I found unappealing. For QOS, there were two. First, because I was so drawn into the action, the jerkiness of the filming left me a bit disoriented about spatial relations. This actually left me feeling more secure in JBs fate, because I was not able to accurately gauge his peril, which took away a bit from the suspense.
Second, the final action scene was... hmm... I dont' quite know what it was. I don't want to say flat, I don't want to say boring -- because it wasn't. But there were certainly points where I thought "Oh, that line was delivered badly." or "Oh, now... really? What!?" But essentially, all stuff I could easily forgive.
So whether you are going to see the latest 007 flick, simply bored, or in love with the blue eyes of Daniel Craig you will leave happy you made the choice to get out of the house. The best thing is it has all of the great JB 007 qualities: great opening action scene, stellar opening credits, fights, cute gals, a great bad guy, and a really good looking 007. Okay, now for my gal pals - if the only reason you are going is for the good looking 007... well, I say GO NOW.... what a dream boat!!