Phantom of Shoelace

So I saw Quantum of Solace this past Sunday, not bothering to wade through the pile of mixed reviews I had heard about on the way. I don’t really know what the beef is with this hot enchilada, because it’s a solid flick that continues Daniel Craig’s stint as a more straightforward and action-oriented Bond.

I think its best feature is the fact that it acts as a direct sequel to Casino Royale. I love the old movies as much as the next guy (though the last few Brosnan entries were rank), but they don’t have much in the way of narrative continuity. They’re more like formula television, with each threat giving the protagonist another way to use a new set of gadgets and the same set of classic lines. That stuff is great, but it wouldn’t work here.

The only thing that isn’t as tightly woven as it was in Casino Royale is the action, which is all over the place both on set and in postproduction. For example, the opening parkour set piece in the last movie is really carefully executed, and there’s no issue with geography and no real confusion that I can recall. In contrast, the opening car chase of Quantum is a mish-mash of bumpers, sideview mirrors and machine guns.

Then again, that may have had to do with the fact that—for the first time since I was, I don’t know, in high school—I was sitting three rows from the front at an awkward angle. I assure you, my moldy ass would never actually choose to sit in such a seat, but we got there just as the previews started. If I get a chance, I want to peep Casino Royale again (on Blu-ray this time) and go check out QoS under ideal conditions.

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