Monday, November 24, 2008

Quantum of Solace

How did they write Quantum of Solace? I’m not talking about the writers’ strike that froze Hollywood for so many months. My question is about the process of writing itself. Once a broad outline was in place, I would have thought a team of stunt coordinators would have been sufficient to put the thing together. With a writer perhaps called in to throw some dialogue together once the fights were mapped out.

This isn’t a complaint. I enjoyed the film. Not as much as Casino Royal, but that was going to be a hard act to follow. Quantum of Solace is a good, if unsurprising, action movie. Some great chase sequences, fights and pyrotechnics. Some good lines. And some superb actors. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend 106 minutes.

People had started to say that Jason Bourne was the new James Bond. Same initials, but greater emotional impact. Bond was on his way to the retirement home. Then came Casino Royal. Bond is dead... long live Bond.

In Quantum of Solace the Bond franchise has been shifted again – this time into a close copy of Bourne. The action sequences could have been taken directly from the Bourne films. Such is the degree of camera shake and the number of movement blurred whip-pan shots, that we could well have been watching Matt Damon instead of Daniel Craig and I would not have been able to tell the difference.

In this, the Bond team look to be lacking self-confidence. Casino Royal was a landmark. Not like Bond used to be. Nor like Bourne. They should have trusted what they had and stuck to their Berettas.

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