Quantum Reviews – Good, Not Great

The first press screening of the new Bond film took place on Friday night in the UK and already over a half dozen reviews have popped up online with a seemingly consistent consensus – “Good, Not Great”.

Collecting consistent scores of 3/5, reviewers unanimously praised the acting – most notably Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. The action got good notices as well. Main complaints stemmed to uneven pacing, short runtime, lack of Bond-style wit and panache, and a general attempt to make Bond a more Bourne-like action hero – ie. frentic cinematography, sloppy editing, and fast paced gritty hyper-violence compensating for a threadbare narrative and little characterisation. Here’s some key quotes:

“Quantum of Solace may be a sequel to Casino Royale but it lacks that movie’s panache and brio. Bond is a boorish oaf who simply rushes from country to country with the manic speed of Jason Bourne. ‘Solace’ lacks any wit, ironic or otherwise, which has been a strength of so many 007 films. This Bond is shorter than most, somehow it felt longer…” (The Times Online)

“Craig plays him with a gimlet-eyed intensity that makes his first turn in the role in Casino Royale seem lightweight. Quantum Of Solace doesn’t seem like a major entry in the Bond canon. Well under two hours long, it’s shorter and more frenetic than most of its predecessors, and an often-jolting experience to watch. Loose ends about. What it does have, though, above all, is vigour…” (The Independent)

“Owes much to the quick-fire editing of the Bourne thrillers. One wonders if director Marc Forster and screenwriters Paul Haggis and Neal Purvis haven’t tried a little too hard to distance the film from traditional Bond plots. The expository dialogue scenes can be dull, and cram in so many machinations and double-crossings that it’s easy to lose track of who’s duping whom…” (The Telegraph)

“Everything in this movie is edited as if it were an action sequence, which means that when the set-pieces come they have to go into overdrive to stay ahead of the game…while it’s exciting, it’s not exactly anyone’s idea of fun. To keep in the game, perhaps the next movie could let the hero enjoy himself a bit more…” (Empire Magazine)

“The action is loud and proud, but the story feels disjointed and muddled, with some uneven flecks of comedy. Still, Craig’s presence keeps the edges from fraying too far and Forster just about nails the extra levels or artsiness and melancholy…” (Total Film)

“Forster has followed the standard sequel route of blowing up bigger stuff…This film is not as groundbreaking as Casino Royale. But it will kick the living daylights out of any rival action-hero franchise…” (The Metro)

“This is a crash-bang Bond, high on action, low on quips, long on location glamour, short on product placement. I was disappointed there was so little dialogue, flirtation and characterization in this Bond: Forster and his writers Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade clearly thought this sort of sissy nonsense has to be cut out in favor of explosions…” (The Guardian)

“A leaner, meaner animal, rammed with shoot-outs, a boat chase and even an aerial dogfight…It doesn’t disappoint – just don’t expect the brilliance of Casino Royale…” (The Daily Mirror)

“It’s a film that feels like the second part of a trilogy, with this being the bleaker second act…” (The BBC)

“Craig’s emotionless visage is so blank, the script so bereft of character, Quantum Of Solace feels like just another day at the office for 007. High-tempo sequences, like the opening car chase and an extremely Bournian rooftop pursuit, are disorientating in the extreme: too fast, too sloppy and too ruthlessly edited. Fight scenes often seem practiced and stagey…a little too far-fetched even for a Bond movie. This isn’t Crank, this is Bond. Quantum Of Solace is a crushing disappointment. Try as you might, you’ll be unable to invest in any of the characters…” (The Shiznit)