Monday, 14 June 2010

James Bond gets angry and kills everyone

Quantum of Solace assumes that you've only just finished watching Casino Royale. The intention to develop a running story for the franchise is commendable, but the film offers no explanation of what's actually going on. The first twenty minutes or so is Bond chasing and shooting a series of people. Someone will be about to say something useful but he's already run out the door, diving across rooftops and swinging around on ropes. It doesn't bother with set-up because that was apparently all done years ago. The idea of a running narrative isn't to only makes parts of a film - to make one six hour long epic - each film has to work by itself. The rest of Quantum meanders all over the place. The end seems to come about three times. That is until he's off again, chasing down baddies that you'd forgotten about and visiting countries for (probably) a very good reason. I'm sure there's a reasonable plot in there somewhere, maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but the boring talky story bits are rushed through so there can be more exploding. I need set-up before something blows up.

Maybe this is what happens when there's three writers, or maybe it doesn't really matter. If you turn your brain off and stop worrying about it there's a lot of good action to watch. Paul Greengrass seems to have set a template (incidentally the Bourne films show how a running film narrative can work). It's all very energetic. All very post-Bourne Supremacy. This is how car chases should be done. Dangerous and loud with bits of metal hitting your face. And messy fights. And tile-clattering roof chases. And a bit where the action's intersected with opera, which is all new. There's boat chases too, but we don't talk about boat chases. It might be less stylish than Casino (when did MI5 get funny Star Trek screens?) but what it does well, it does very well. All its problems seem to come from the script, which could have been tidied up.

No comments:

Post a Comment