Last night the wife and I went to go see Quantum of Solace, which is Daniel Craig's second Bond movie. Although I never got around to seeing his first flick, Casino Royale, I heard that it was very good.
In general my expectations for action flicks are pretty low. I know that objects of various sizes will blow up, characters will maim each other, and there will be a convoluted and irrelevant plot. Good film makers will execute this formula in an entertaining or innovative manner while bad ones will merely turn the crank to extrude the action flick sausage. Thus the question becomes: How many rat parts per million did Quantum of Solace have?
Two. Two parts per million.
1) Much has been made of how Daniel Craig is a rougher-around-the-edges kind of Bond. Rather than tossing off quips while he fences his villains, he's more likely to just silently bludgeon them to death. You get a lot of brooding looks along with his international heroics. While I am all in favor of changing up the tired old Bond formula, I'm not so sure that the strong-silent type is my favorite kind of action movie hero. I like it when characters talk. In fact, the whole "talkies" genre of movies is really picking up steam. They should run with that.
2) The action sequences in the movie were wholly comprised of sub-second clips. The chases and fight scenes were blazing series of cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cut-cu-c-c-c-. Too goddamn fast. Look, I understand that editing a scene that way imparts it a certain amount of energy. Music videos have used this technique for decades, and it works great there because they're really just trying to set a mood. You could edit together a high-energy scene of me typing a blog post that way too: Key press! Cut! Backspace! Cut! Screen shot! Cut! Butt scratch! Cut! But if you're trying to SHOW something, if, for example, you're making an action movie, the centerpiece of which are a series of action sequences, how about making them coherent? I get that Daniel Craig isn't really an action hero or a trained stuntman, so they need to do something to obscure his inability to perform 007 agent-like actions, but this problem has been solved well a thousand times before.
Which guy just made that fancy jump from roof to roof? Hell if I know.
Hey, is Bond's car chasing that guy or is that guy chasing Bond? No clue. (I still don't know).
But, you know, it's just a Bond flick, so my expectations were both low and met. And Daniel Craig is still better than than other recent Bondses, who mostly looked like they were doing Bond impressions.
So, feel free to see the movie, but do what I did, and have yourself a martini or two beforehand.