Underwhelmed by Bond

I don’t know why it seemed like a good idea, but I had made plans for yesterday that said that after work, we would drive up to New Haven to meet friends, have dinner and then go to a 10.15pm showing of Quantum of Solace. It was a great idea to see friends, of course, but it was too late a night for me and now I’m going to have fight to catch up on my sleep in time for Monday morning. I am a dozy mare.

As for the film, I was disappointed. I’d read a couple of reviews complaining that there are no wise-cracks or gadgets, and that Daniel Craig plays Bond as a cold-hearted killer. All that seems to me like an improvement on the tongue-in-cheek cheesefest that Pierce Brosnan was reduced to and if anything, I was looking forward to the film more because of it. I loved Casino Royale precisely because it was more of a return to the James Bond of the book.

So, story workable, Daniel Craig entirely Bond-worthy, but I was disappointed. By the time the film finished I was still waiting for it to start, because all that fast cutting made it feel like a very extended trailer. I like car chases, across-the-rooftops action scenes and good solid fight scenes and they were obviously filmed; but then it seemed the director chose his favourite bits, spliced them together, and entirely broke down any idea of sequence. They weren’t exciting or tense, because it was visually impossible to keep track of what the hell was going on, and there was no time for suspense to build. And that bit where Bond and the other guy were swinging on ropes came perilously close to having so many possible dangers in it that it turned into the action version of Mousetrap.

Also, surely I should not go to see a Bond film and come away thinking ‘Huh. Bond wasn’t in that much’? In fact, I think that no one was in it much because they were never allowed on the screen long enough to have any effect, except oddly, M. Judi Dench is a fine actress and that’s what I want to look like when I’m her age, but it’s not her show.

Ah, bah. Zoesmom and I had been joking that we would watch Daniel Craig reading the phone book. I think I’d actually have preferred that.