Thursday, November 06, 2008

Quantum Sleep

IfIwritethislongscentencealltogethertryingtogetasenseofexcitementandquickpacethen,tobehonestitjustlookslikeanillegiblemess. You can’t read it can you? You’re not quite sure what I’m getting at or what’s going on. To get a sense of speed & excitement in text you don’t remove the spaces because that’s just confusing.

It’s a shame someone couldn’t explain this to the makers of A Quantum Of Solace. Whenever something exciting happens, rather than let us see it, they cut camera angles in rapid succession, zoom right in really quickly and go into shakey-cam mode. They think they’re making it visually exciting and putting you right into the picture – instead they’re putting up more of a barrier between you and the film because you haven’t got a clue what’s occurring. The first 5 minutes of Quantum feature a high speed car chase. Problem is I haven’t got a clue what actually happened during it because I couldn’t see it clearly. I know Bond’s car door came off but I don’t know how.

Compare that to the first 5 minutes of the original Italian Job which also includes an exciting drive down a very similar tunnel/cliff road. It’s beautifully shot, and with the backing of Matt Monroe you’re really in the film feeling a sense of bliss before the driver dramatically drives to his death into the tunnel. A far superior exciting sequence simply because they let the audience see what’s happening.

Sadly this happens every time Bond gets involved in action in Quantum and boy is it frustrating. How could the makers of a Bond film so near perfect as Casino Royale get it so, so wrong just two years later.

Quantum is just dull, boring and bland. I’d say it actually reminds me tonally of the Timothy Dalton Bond’s but that’s doing Dalton a disservice. He played the brutal side of Bond well without sacrificing his cutting humour. Sadly there’s none of Bond’s humour on display in Quantum. It’s gutting because Daniel Craig is potentially the best Bond ever.

I never expected ‘Casino Royal 2’ to live up to the original, because Casino is simply brilliant – but I also didn’t expect Quantum to be this bad.

Not to worry though, Bond is a master of reinvention. For every Moonraker there’s a From Russia With Love and I hope that Eon will give Bond his big book of cutting jibes back and tell the next director that there is a wide lense in the camera bag. Let Bond have some fun again – don’t be so miserable. It’s not as bad as Die Another Die – just slightly more depressing.

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