Culture

Quantum of Bollocks

Lately, my mind has become occupied with Jason Bourne and James Bond. I feel that 007 is letting the side down. And by ‘The Side’, I mean Our Side – Subjects of Queen Elizabeth the Second; The Commonwealth of Nations Once Subjugated by Great Britain; The lands where Morecambe and Wise ruled supreme in the 1970s; We The People Who Enjoy a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. We are let down, because in the Bourne vs. Bond smackdown, the young colonial upstart is absolutely shaking and stirring the older bloke.

I can bore you at length with my observations of Bond/Bourne in the future, however for today, I want to fire some bullet-points about QUANTUM OF SOLACE the sequel to the excellent CASINO ROYALE. And I shall do it in the form of an Open Letter to the Producers of the Bond movies.

WARNING: The rest of this post is 97% spoilers.

Dear EON Productions,

How are you? Well, I hope. I am feeling rather disappointed and annoyed after watching the DVD of the second of your re-imagined Bond films – QUANTUM OF SOLACE. I have some questions for you and for the director you hired, Marc Foster.

Who starts a film in the middle of car chase? I know it follows directly on from CASINO ROYALE, but despite being a bold way to begin your picture show, it is also confusing.

Why does Bond buy a 50-year-old slow-moving cargo plane – a perfect target for the two zippy modern aircraft that attack it – from a man who has apparently has one other newer plane to sell?

Why squander the capital of having the excellent Giancarlo Gianni reprise his role as Rene Mathis and then kill off the character? Bond ends up throwing Mathis’s body in a dumpster, says he’d understand and takes money from the dead man’s wallet. Far from showing Bond as a pragmatist doing what he can to survive, it makes him look like a maladjusted dickhead who doesn’t know how to honour the memory of a man who has saved his life several times in the one storyline.

Mr Foster, what’s with all the crosscutting between sequences? Bond chases an assassin underground, intercut with the famous Palio di Siena horse race that is being run above ground. A fictional murder at the opera is cross cut with a sequence of Bond being chased by several killers. Why potentially confuse the audience with superfluous action and by not concentrating on the story of your hero chasing/being chased. I don’t care about the Palio race or the final act of Tosca.

What the hell is the secret Quantum organisation? It is supposed to be a covert operation that has infiltrated and compromised many governments and their agencies, including the British Secret Service, but we are told nothing of their workings. When Bond interrogates Greene, the millionaire environmentalist bad guy, about Quantum, it is done off screen. So who are these people and what do they want? No idea.

Your film was fast moving and mercifully quick. However, it gave me no further insight into the character of the new Bond and failed to convincingly set up Quantum as the bad guys for the third movie.

Did you trick me with CASINO ROYALE? The old Bond had seemingly gone. You had introduced me to a new morning of possibilities where the Bond franchise was no longer an unhealthy greasy sausage encased in melted cheese lying in pool of solidifying lard, but a life-affirming 97% fat free organic muesli in skinny soy that despite its politically correct ingredients, could still kick a man to death if necessary. (I may have taken this metaphor too far…)

Don’t let me down with the third excursion of new Bond. Might I suggest the selection of a less awkward and pretentious title. I know you love to use the original Fleming titles and gut the stories, but seriously, “Risico”, and “The Hildebrand Rarity” are not really starters are they? And if you make something up from scratch like “The Equinox of Sorrow”, then I will have to stay home.

Your second new Bond has shown distressing indications of Brosnan’s Syndrome, but I am hopeful that for the next film, Roger Mooretis is still a long way off.

Warmest Regards,

Mr Trivia

ABOVE: Daniel Craig as James Bond

7 thoughts on “Quantum of Bollocks

  1. You see, you’ve done it again. Just as I can’t diss The Bourne Blah-blah-blah off because of Matt-Damon-as-Jason-Bourne, I can’t slag off Quantum of Whatever off because it contains the very delectable Daniel Craig. I can forgive all stupid film titles, all yawning chasms in the plot, all ridiculous dialogue, as long as Daniel graces that big screen.

    The only thing I can’t forgive is the white trousers/dark shoe combination 007 favours in a few of the scenes. What were the wardrobe department thinking?

  2. I’ve just read your “Battle of the Bonds” post. I’ve never seen Zardoz and I fear now I never will. Apparently I am continually trangressing as far as your movie beefcake is concerned. But my point of view is that of the geek student of explosive action. There is still so much more to be said about Bond and Bourne, but I won’t be sullying their pristine movie hotness. They are clearly the Modern Screen’s avatars of masculinity. BTW I think Craig should be referred to as James Blonde.

    Check out the NDM’s blog post and indeed her blog: http://notdrowning.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/battle-of-the-bonds/

  3. Well, I think it’s Connery (but I would say that), but who knows, if Craig does a couple of more top notch ones…

  4. Pierce Brosnan gets a vote! I thought he was a good gear change from Roger Moore – and I still wished they hadn't saddled him with the inivisible car in the melting ice hotel. A very low point for the franchise.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Kimberly.

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