Unsurprisingly, this film was not on the top 1000 films of all time. My housemates have constantly warned me that this is the worst Daniel Craig film and said that I'm better off not watching it. For the sake of continuity I decide to watch it and I wish I hadn't really.
How it all goes down: James Bond, still recovering from the death of the latest in a long line of Bond Girls, is sent on a new mission. In this exploit, he has to stop the ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), who is part of the mysterious organisation Quantum, who plans to overthrow the Bolivian government and install General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) as the leader. In return, Greene hopes to monopolise Bolivia's water supply and use it to fund future Quantum operations.
What worked: The shorter than usual length time!
What didn't work: As to be expected from a James Bond film, this film is more action than any proper narrative. However, I think that Quantum of Solace takes this a little too far. The film is absolutely dominated by chase scenes and action sequences, including four within the opening thirty minutes, that leave it convoluted and bloated. Most of the time I didn't know what was happening and quite frankly I didn't particularly care. The film was so saturated with these that I got pretty bored. Also, just like Casino Royale, I was still very surprised to still see Bond constantly falling over himself in the chase sequences. I read in reviews of Casino Royale that this was effective, as it shows us how Bond is still assimilating to his new double 00 status, but I call bullshit. If you want James Bond to be a suave, sophisticated, fit, athletic, man's man, then don't have him tripping over his bloody shoelaces!
I also didn't think the villains were very effective. If Dominic Greene was successful in installing General Medrano as leader of Bolivia, then he would have essentially just been a puppet leader. I have seen this before in films and I thought it was quite a cliched, hackneyed thing to do. Also, I thought it was very careless that Bond left Greene alive at the end of the film. I know that Greene dies in the desert, but what if he had survived? What if he had returned and plotted up a new scheme for destroying the world? Bond would be feeling pretty stupid then, wouldn't he? This certainly doesn't raise my perception of Daniel Craig's James Bond.
I really didn't like the character of Strawberry Fields. Aside from her utterly ridiculous name, she was completely superfluous to the plot. Except for sleeping with Bond and dying, she does virtually nothing for her short tenure in the film. Well, I guess she also made Bond say the stupidest line in the entire film: "can you help me find the stationary?" Bond says this line to charm Strawberry Fields into sleeping with him. Firstly, the line makes no sense as it is essentially meaningless. Secondly, it is also completely nonsensical that James Bond has to use a line as ridiculous as that to bed a girl. He is James fecking Bond. He is a charmer, a womanizer, a lady's man. All he needs to do is just raise an eyebrow to make a woman weak at the knees. In an earlier moment of the film, Bond charms a telephone operator, a perfect stranger, into lying about his whereabouts with no mention of stationary. If he can charm a stranger like this, why does he have to say something so ludicrous?
What was ugly: "Can you help me find the stationary?" Seriously...seriously? On what planet does anybody ever use this as a pickup line?
So this film did nothing to convince me to carry on watching James Bond. The dialogue was cheesy, the characters were bad and it was oversaturated with action sequences. Thank God, it had a shorter run time than previous films. At times it was so bad I wanted the sky to fall on me.