Monday, 4 December 2017

Quantum of Solace (3½ Stars)

This is the second film in the New Bond series. It starts off with a plot device never used in Classic Bond: the story continues directly from the previous film. At the end of "Casino Royale" James Bond captured Mr. White. At the beginning of "Quantum of Solace" James Bond still has Mr. White tied up in the boot of his car. We don't see that straight away. The film begins with Bond in a car chase. It's not explained who the people are that are chasing him, but it's possible that they're associates of Mr. White trying to free him. I say "possible", because they're attacking Bond so aggressively that they could easily have killed Mr. White.

I enjoy car chases. They're part of the James Bond culture. Almost all of the Classic Bond films had a car chase. In the Roger Moore years the car chases became increasingly exaggerated. However, I don't like the car chase in "Quantum of Solace". It's the cinematography that bothers me. The camera is too close to the cars, so it's difficult to see what's happening. The cameraman would only have to back up three or four feet to show the car in the context of the road.

The "continuation" aspect is constant throughout this film. There are repeated references to Vesper Lynd, Bond's girlfriend who was killed in the last film. That never happened in Classic Bond. However close Bond was to a woman, emotionally or sexually, after the final credits she disappeared and was never mentioned again. Bond might not have done one-night stands, but he certainly did one-film stands.

While not necessarily a bad film, I find that "Quantum of Solace" lacks the freshness of "Casino Royale". It's also been two films in a row with no Moneypenny and no Q. That has to be put right in the third film!

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