The Controversial Mathis Death Scene in Quantum of Solace (2008)

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  • edited April 2013 Posts: 12,792
    I think the way it is now Quantum had too much action for it's runtime so I'm not sure another action sequence would've been a good idea.

    Mathis definetly should've lived though. I thought he was brilliant and I preferred him to the new Felix.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    @thelivingroyale, I was merely stating that it would have been a good action sequence that made sense. They could have scrapped something else - I don't care for the airplane sequence, personally - and added that in.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited April 2013 Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @thelivingroyale, I was merely stating that it would have been a good action sequence that made sense. They could have scrapped something else - I don't care for the airplane sequence, personally - and added that in.

    Exactly; I would do anything to ensure Mathis was saved, no matter how many action scenes would have to be packed in. His death is the thing I hate most about the film.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, same here. Besides, QoS was pretty much just one action set-piece to another with little to no dialogue in between, so one more action sequence wasn't going to kill anyone.

    Maybe a few crooked cops, but who cares? Mathis would still be an ally.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, same here. Besides, QoS was pretty much just one action set-piece to another with little to no dialogue in between, so one more action sequence wasn't going to kill anyone.

    Maybe a few crooked cops, but who cares? Mathis would still be an ally.

    I don't think QoS is wall to wall action at all. When I watch it I find a good mix of both depth/dialogue and action.
  • RC7RC7
    edited April 2013 Posts: 10,512
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, same here. Besides, QoS was pretty much just one action set-piece to another with little to no dialogue in between, so one more action sequence wasn't going to kill anyone.

    Maybe a few crooked cops, but who cares? Mathis would still be an ally.

    I don't think QoS is wall to wall action at all. When I watch it I find a good mix of both depth/dialogue and action.

    The problem with the action in QoS isn't that it's wall to wall, although I'd say there's way too much, it's that most of it is linear and quite frankly, boring. The best action in the whole movie is the intro, and the end fight. That leaves a huge chunk of pretty one note stuff. I genuinely think if Forster hadn't attacked the film with his 'elements' theory and allowed the film to breath, we'd have had something much better. When I watch it, it reminds me structurally of Rocky IV. Where that had montages stitched together with some exposition, QoS does the same but with action.
  • edited April 2013 Posts: 12,792
    Fun fact: Quantum Of Solace has more action scenes than Expendables 2.

    It isn't wall to wall but I think there's too much of it for a Bond movie and the action isn't even particularly good most of the time, I think the editing ruins it.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    I also feel that the action transition from QoS to SF really threw me off. I've rewatched QoS so many times, so I suppose I was used to how action-packed it was, and then shocked, in a way, when I saw SF for the first time.
  • edited April 2013 Posts: 7,653
    Fun fact: Quantum Of Solace has more action scenes than Expendables 2.

    It isn't wall to wall but I think there's too much of it for a Bond movie and the action isn't even particularly good most of the time, I think the editing ruins it.

    true fact: Expendables 2 is a better actionmovie. O:-)

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    SaintMark wrote:
    Fun fact: Quantum Of Solace has more action scenes than Expendables 2.

    It isn't wall to wall but I think there's too much of it for a Bond movie and the action isn't even particularly good most of the time, I think the editing ruins it.

    true fact: Expendables 2 is a better actionmovie. O:-)

    Another fun fact: Expendables 2 wasn't trying to be anything else, QoS goes beyond action.
  • For me, the opera house is the best action scene, followed by the burning hotel and the boat chase. The rest gets me lost trying to figure it out at the warp speed it's been edited.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited April 2013 Posts: 13,347
    The Perla de las Dunas action somehow survives the chop and works pretty well in my book too.
  • Posts: 12,792
    I loved the Opera bit, I thought the finale was alright and I liked Bond and Slates fight. That's about it imo (although I did like the opening and closing bits of the car chase).
    SaintMark wrote:
    Fun fact: Quantum Of Solace has more action scenes than Expendables 2.

    It isn't wall to wall but I think there's too much of it for a Bond movie and the action isn't even particularly good most of the time, I think the editing ruins it.

    true fact: Expendables 2 is a better actionmovie. O:-)

    Another fun fact: Expendables 2 wasn't trying to be anything else, QoS goes beyond action.

    We're getting off topic here but I'd really like to weigh in on this.

    I think QOS tries to go beyond action but it ultimately fails. I agree with Mark Kermode on that, there are some good scenes but then the film loses it's nerve and quickly goes back to crash bang smash mode. This would be fine if most of the crash bang smashing wasn't butchered by bad editing.

    Quantum Of Solace seems like it wants to be this arty political movie but I didn't think succeeded. I can enjoy it but I don't think it's anything more than a fun way to kill 90 minutes.

    Expendables 2 though doesn't want to be anything more than a movie featuring Bruce Willis driving Arnie through a battle at an airport in a smart car while Sly fist fights Jean Claude Van Damme, and I think it does what it wants to do brilliantly.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,294
    This thread is my most successful ever here on MI6 Community. Long may it continue. Fascinating reading.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    Fascinating topic, @Dragonpol, that most certainly deserved its own thread. A few members and I have come up with quite a few ideas of what would have been better in terms of handling Mathis' fate in QoS. It's been good fun.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited April 2013 Posts: 17,294
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Fascinating topic, @Dragonpol, that most certainly deserved its own thread. A few members and I have come up with quite a few ideas of what would have been better in terms of handling Mathis' fate in QoS. It's been good fun.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I did too. That's why I'm here as long as you'll have me.
  • BernardBernard USA
    Posts: 1
    The actual line that Bond says when he places Mathis' body in the dumpster is "he wouldn't care". Clearly Bond is affected by his death, you can see it in his face and the musical cue is meant to support that feeling. We learn in Casino Royale that Mathis is a practical man and Bond understands and respects that.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Fascinating topic, @Dragonpol, that most certainly deserved its own thread. A few members and I have come up with quite a few ideas of what would have been better in terms of handling Mathis' fate in QoS. It's been good fun.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I did too. That's why I'm here as long as you'll have me.

    After nine years, I've decided I'm more than happy to have you here!

    @Bernard, completely agreed. It weighs on him for sure and is one of the more impactful deaths Bond had to endure throughout the Craig era.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 538
    I wasn't fundamentally opposed to Mathis returning, or even his death. But it's the execution of it that was poor.

    A character should have some motivation or purpose aside from existing solely to advance another character's plot.

    It's very contrived that he dies as a sacrificial lamb solely to convince Bond to forgive Vesper. (You would think a dying person last words would be that they love their family or something about their own life, right?)

    Mathis had a purpose in Casino Royale. This Mathis exists only as a cheap device from the writers.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited April 2022 Posts: 28,694
    Bernard wrote: »
    The actual line that Bond says when he places Mathis' body in the dumpster is "he wouldn't care". Clearly Bond is affected by his death, you can see it in his face and the musical cue is meant to support that feeling. We learn in Casino Royale that Mathis is a practical man and Bond understands and respects that.

    @Bernard, it's definitely one of the many moments Craig's Bond is downplaying his own feelings, but instead of trying to act unaffected, he is being pretty honest. Mathis wouldn't care, and would instead rather prefer to be useful, so I find that moment to be a callback to CR where Bond uses his body to his advantage much like Mathis used the bodies of Obanno and his men from the stairwell clash.
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    I wasn't fundamentally opposed to Mathis returning, or even his death. But it's the execution of it that was poor.

    A character should have some motivation or purpose aside from existing solely to advance another character's plot.

    It's very contrived that he dies as a sacrificial lamb solely to convince Bond to forgive Vesper. (You would think a dying person last words would be that they love their family or something about their own life, right?)

    Mathis had a purpose in Casino Royale. This Mathis exists only as a cheap device from the writers.

    @M16_Cart, I genuinely think that Mathis in QoS has more use to him than in CR. He's great in both, in my opinion, but I find his use in QoS endlessly more interesting and engaging. In CR he's often just an exposition advice to explain to casual audience members how poker is played, a creative choice justified through Vesper needing it explained to her, given her ingénue nature when it comes to gambling, and I never found the attempt to implicate him as the secret mole on Le Chiffre's side to be remotely effective. He's used as a veteran type spy to clash with the rough and tumble rookie that is Craig's Bond, and serves to distract from the true traitor in order for Vesper's betrayal to hit all the harder, but the more human side of him in QoS is so much more rewarding for me.

    Mathis really is Bond's sage guide in QoS, and I don't think Bond would come out of that film the same man as he was if Mathis wasn't around. Not only does the script pick up with Mathis at an interesting point, where he and Bond have to forgive and forget their past clash to work together, it's engaging to find Bond in a vulnerable position where he needs help and has to admit he was wrong to be suspicious and distrusting of Mathis in order to get him on his side again. It says much about both men that they drop the past and forge toward the future. Mathis's concern for Bond is quite apparent, like a father's concern for his son, and because of this dynamic, he feels far more vital a character than he was in CR, both in his depth and importance to the story. On the plane, as Bond drinks himself into a stupor, you can see how hurt and bothered Mathis is, not wanting to see him go off the deep end, especially since it's clear to him that Bond has yet to forgive Vesper and is still letting her torture his soul.

    As for his death scene, the fact that Mathis uses his last moments on earth to give Bond some heart to heart advice, instead of prioritizing his own existence and soul, really says it all about what kind of man he was and how he felt about Bond as a man. I think it is Mathis who not only shows Bond the true hollowness of vengeance that he'll learns more fully by the end of the film, but also he who more than anyone else fights to keep Bond's soul on the right side of the divide. This is because he not only wanted the man to forgive Vesper for what she did, but also to forgive himself. Mathis really prioritizes Bond and his feelings, and wants him to stop torturing himself for what happened beyond all else, and through his death I think Bond finally snaps out of the grief that he was put in at the end of CR and allows him to objectively assess all that Vesper did for him. From there, Bond is able to truly forgive her, and himself, and I think Mathis's influence was also at play when Bond was mature and level-headed enough not to kill Yusef on sight. Through Mathis's influence, Bond became healed and more professional.

    I think it really paid to have someone like Mathis in QoS to clash with Bond on his journey of grieving, because unlike any of the other characters who intimately knew Bond in that story, he could cross that professional line in a way that Felix or M never could with Bond to have a very direct confrontation with his soul. Because Mathis could be more than a partner to Bond, and because they had no professional barrier that couldn't be crossed, he was able to resemble something approaching a concerned father who could openly and honestly reach to the heart of the guarded spy.

    Just my twenty cents...
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,294
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote:
    Fascinating topic, @Dragonpol, that most certainly deserved its own thread. A few members and I have come up with quite a few ideas of what would have been better in terms of handling Mathis' fate in QoS. It's been good fun.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I did too. That's why I'm here as long as you'll have me.

    After nine years, I've decided I'm more than happy to have you here!

    @Bernard, completely agreed. It weighs on him for sure and is one of the more impactful deaths Bond had to endure throughout the Craig era.

    The feeling is mutual, @Creasy47. I've managed to stick around, like a bad Arnie one-liner. It's good to still be here and good to see this thread revived again. I'd totally forgotten I'd made it! :)
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,035
    Hey hey, @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7! Long time no see, sir. Welcome back, as always.
    Please stick around this time. AND PAY YOUR RENT! I mean, please stick around this time. ;-)
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    @DarthDimi, been a crazy few months, but wanted to pop in and let everyone know I was still in service, just been spending a bit too much time out in the field than I'd like. Hope to keep posting here and there going forward, but I'll never be able to post like I did in the old days. Got a lot of responsibilities and priorities these days that need tending to, with little free time most weeks. This place will always be a home away from home, however, until the apocalypse or Y2K 2.0 wipes it all out.
  • brinkeguthriebrinkeguthrie Piz Gloria
    Posts: 1,392
    Shouldn't have whacked Mathis. Fleming didn't. Of course, they shouldn't have whacked Craig, either.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,480
    quantum_02.jpg

    Recalling old discussions.
    • The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
    • Bond taking Mathis' money--being dead does not mean one cannot be helpful.
    • The sacrificial lamb, Mathis is left in a pose not too different from a crucifixion.
    • Bond doesn't leave Mathis on the ground with the bad guys in disrepsect--he elevates his body above them, literally and figuratively.
    • A final tribute to a true friend: top of the heap!

    A great scene in a great Bond movie.

    And staying round long enough, both Leiter and Bond reach the same end on a mission. Called back one more time and one time too many.

    2131b970d8ae505df8c749131de71201_w200.gif
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 39,799
    @DarthDimi, been a crazy few months, but wanted to pop in and let everyone know I was still in service, just been spending a bit too much time out in the field than I'd like. Hope to keep posting here and there going forward, but I'll never be able to post like I did in the old days. Got a lot of responsibilities and priorities these days that need tending to, with little free time most weeks. This place will always be a home away from home, however, until the apocalypse or Y2K 2.0 wipes it all out.

    Isn't that the truth? I miss posting like I used to.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,401
    Bernard wrote: »
    The actual line that Bond says when he places Mathis' body in the dumpster is "he wouldn't care". Clearly Bond is affected by his death, you can see it in his face and the musical cue is meant to support that feeling. We learn in Casino Royale that Mathis is a practical man and Bond understands and respects that.

    I think this post nails it. I've never had an issue with this scene.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,294
    mtm wrote: »
    Bernard wrote: »
    The actual line that Bond says when he places Mathis' body in the dumpster is "he wouldn't care". Clearly Bond is affected by his death, you can see it in his face and the musical cue is meant to support that feeling. We learn in Casino Royale that Mathis is a practical man and Bond understands and respects that.

    I think this post nails it. I've never had an issue with this scene.

    Yes, as he couldn't provide a proper Christian burial for his friend Mathis, Bond had to improvise and use what was at hand to provide a burial spot for that moment. Someone in Bond's profession doesn't always get the luxuries of proper ways of doing things afforded to the regular citizen. I'm sure that Mathis would have understood that.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited April 2022 Posts: 627
    It doesn't have anything to do with a burial. Bond was just messing with the crime scene to throw his pursuers (including MI6) off. MI6 thinks he murdered a British politician's bodyguard. The Bolivian police have just set him up for Mathis's death. Bond throws him into the trash because that's not something he would do to his friend, like Camille says. When the Bolivian police inform MI6 and say that Bond killed him, the fact that he was found in the garbage throws their story into doubt and makes them look suspicious. Bond was on the run and improvising, just trying to give himself a bit more breathing room.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited April 2022 Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    @DarthDimi, been a crazy few months, but wanted to pop in and let everyone know I was still in service, just been spending a bit too much time out in the field than I'd like. Hope to keep posting here and there going forward, but I'll never be able to post like I did in the old days. Got a lot of responsibilities and priorities these days that need tending to, with little free time most weeks. This place will always be a home away from home, however, until the apocalypse or Y2K 2.0 wipes it all out.

    Isn't that the truth? I miss posting like I used to.

    @Creasy47, I fondly remember the old days and lament all the time I had during summers between school. What halcyon times they were...genuinely feels like a lifetime ago because I'd never be able to replicate my posting history these days. It's a frustrating experience having things you want to write/put together and post here, but time and obligations in your schedule keep getting in the way and all of a sudden months have passed. Hoping to finish my NTTD review before I'm 50.
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