Sunday, November 02, 2008

Quantum of Solace

We saw the new James Bond film this afternoon. Our expectation was that a 3 p.m. performance on a wet and overcast Sunday afternoon would be to an almost empty theatre. It was in fact so crowded that we ended up sitting in different rows - one behind the other - rather than side-by-side.

The poor reviews have rather missed the point. This is not at all a tick-the-boxes, formulaic JB film. It's clearly the middle film in a trilogy, with the focus on Bond himself: a human being torn by grief and battling the twin urges of revenge and duty. Daniel Craig does a fantastic job in filling out the Bond persona - this is a new departure: the first three-dimensional Bond.

The plotscape is nondescript - just another cardboard megalomaniac corporate villain. In an obvious homage to Reservoir Dogs, all the bad guys are colours. Mr White escapes in the early part of the film, presumably to reappear in volume three.

The action and dialogue is pitched just faster than the unaided senses can follow. A critical plot point is flagged by a muttered remark easy to miss; pans and cuts are so fast that you lose track of which blurred body is Bond, and which his current antagonist.

This probably means you can watch it all over again on DVD.