The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

James Bond

Watched Quantum Of Solace for the first time last night. Thoughts.

It’s not much like the short story, which is an unrepentantly misogynist tale of why women should not be allowed to join golf clubs.

The guy playing the villain was excellent. Reminded me of someone I know. And the henchman in the toupee, hilarious.

Couldn’t follow the plot at all. This isn’t unusual, I can never follow the plots of James Bond films, but it would’ve helped if what exposition there was wasn’t mumbled, drowned-out and thrown away. No idea why Bond went to Haiti at the beginning. No idea what was going on with the CIA and ‘Guy Haines’, a character who seems significant but doesn’t actually appear in the film.

It’s kind of a rule that all Bond’s second movies will be a mess because they are rushed into production before the script is finished and have to be cobbled together in the edit. Quantum is no exception to the rule, but it’s not another Tomorrow Never Dies.

But I can’t remember the last film I saw which was so ruined in the editing. It’s dreadful. Rather than giving us interesting dynamic camera moves, it’s all about switching between different viewpoints. Or even more distractingly, endlessly cutting away to sports events, opera performances, someone having their toenails painted. The grammar in the action sequences is all over the place. No idea who is where or what they’re doing or why. It’s all breathless and frenetic – which is good – but if you can’t follow what’s going on, it becomes tedious.

As an example, at one point James Bond does something ingenious with an anchor to stop a speedboat. What he does, I do not know. I even rewound the DVD to check but still haven’t a clue.

1 comment:

  1. Bond goes to Haiti to meet Mitchell's contact (Mitchell being the MI6 traitor/Quantum agent), who in turn has been paid to kill Camile.

    Guy Haines is special advisor to the PM and a Quantum agent (presumably if they are planning on building a hollowed out Volcano lair he can put it on expenses. Ha ha. Satire! Take that Jacqui Smith!). He's mentioned to show that Quantum have got people at the highest levels of government.

    As for the editing... it's the Marmite of stylistic choices obviously. I thought it suited the type of story they were trying to tell and had no problems with it. But I understand others hated it with a passion usually reserved for Torchwood or Paris Hilton.