Quantum of Solace is one of the most technically accomplished films you’ll see this year, it’s just a pity they forget to write a plot, writes Paul Fennessy.
After Casino Royale, even the most jaded Bond watcher was forced to admit that the film provided the perfect return to form for the franchise. Sadly though, the atrociously named Quantum of Solace does not repeat the success of its predecessor.
The utterly forgettable theme tune over the opening credits, which is reminiscent of a bad White Stripes song rather than a classic Shirley Bassey or Nancy Sinatra number, is an apt precursor for this embarrassing mess. Thereafter, Quantum of Solace continues, at least thematically, from where Casino Royale left off.
At the outset of the film, Bond is disillusioned but dogmatic. He predominantly wears a glum expression, while insisting upon prevailing with his own maverick working methods, much to the chagrin of his staunchly by-the-book employers at MI6. Where the film goes from here on in is anyone’s guess, as it descends into a barrage of frenzied action set pieces and not much else. One of the most glaring flaws of Quantum of Solace is that for all Daniel Craig’s acting gravitas, the audience is never given a reason to empathise with the perpetually moody protagonist.
‘‘While the film certainly possesses some of the chutzpah of the masterful Bourne trilogy, it lacks its entertainment value’’
Consequently, the viewer spends the film merely going through the motions, as the ever indefatigable Bond gets the glamorous girl, drives lavish cars and defends the world from all those conniving foreigners, all the while giving the impression that he’d rather be off talking to a psychiatrist somewhere.
Quantum of Solace’s inadequacies are all the more frustrating when you account for the considerable degree of talent involved. However, perhaps this is also a primary reason for the film’s disastrous result, as Craig, along with director, Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) and screenwriter, Paul Haggis (Crash) are more celebrated as purveyors of acute drama rather than exhilarating action flicks.
It’s hardly a surprise though, given the reported problems with the script, that these acclaimed filmmakers felt the need to adopt a special effects fetish and base the film around it.
While the film certainly possesses some of the chutzpah of the masterful Bourne trilogy, it lacks its entertainment value. Additionally, unlike Paul Greengrass’ exceedingly thoughtful efforts, Quantum of Solace displays the intellectual Filmcapabilities of a highly unintelligent six-year-old.
Forster and his friends probably realised this and hoped the film’s financial superiority would mask its flaws.
Unfortunately, audiences will no doubt flock in their droves to see this overblown extravaganza and will most likely emerge from the theatre wondering what all the commotion was about in the first place.
This is one of the primary deficiencies of modern cinema in that no matter how incredulously rubbish a blockbuster turns out to be, its marketing clout will render it a commercial success regardless.
Ultimately, the best comparison for the film is to one of the innumerable exotic girls that Bond briefly romances before swiftly consigning to his exorbitant list of ex-lovers. It’s perfectly fine to look at, but not something that you’d want to spend two hours of your life engaging with.