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I do not see the tribute in it, it is quite painfull to look at. I am not sure what their thinking was but they should have taken more time.
It is also unfairly criticized by some. It has its share of flaws, but it is not the turkey or even the mediocre Bond movie some fans would see. In fact, I think QOS may be the most controversial Bond movie.
I find the film to be just overly complicated and too much going on. they should have stuck to the Quantum/Mr. White story and left all that Carmen, Verano, Green, water supply subplot on the drawing board.
I think, as a film, it's middling. It's well produced, well acted, features some decent cinematography. However, it shys away from the fact it's a Bond movie and as such lacks any of the charm you would glean from other apparent 'lesser' films, a Golden Gun or a DAF. It masquerades as a character peice, but doesn't have the balls to run with it, drifting into plot contrivances and perfume ad editing. By no means awful, but not something I can genuinely get on a soap box and defend as a great Bond film.
Someone hasn't seen the film in a while, judging by how badly you chopped up the character names...
Now on to business...
I have an interesting relationship with QoS. I used to hate it back when I expected it to be every inch of CR, but through time with it and a certain growth of opinion and understanding in filmmaking and the themes of the film, I've grown to love it. I admire it for all the reasons I stated in my post recently in this thread:
I always make a point to stick up for it because it is genuinely great to me, and I appreciate all that it does for the character of Bond in its depth. You could write thought-provoking essays dissecting Bond and the other characters in these films of the Craig era, but not so much for the other more one-dimensional entries that have popped up in the series now and again, and often way too much. I am overjoyed to see so many coming on the side of favor towards it, or even those that don't like it yet can still see what it does well. Those that still persist in calling it QoB (the B meaning Bulls@#$) however, have some growing up to do.
I like to read any dissections or essays including the thread you provided above, @0Brady...
I also wonder if there is a list of symbolisms in QoS. This film inspired SF by way of symbolisms continuing to be used and the use of the gunbarrel shot placed at the end. But we'll save this for another thread.
There's also a YouTube video featuring an alternative QoS title song, speaking of fanmade pieces.
Quantum of Bourne.
Oh, lol! I see.
Well you got the 2nd unit director and Paul Haggis.
You know, a lot of people miss Bourne...the old Bourne which influenced the producers to reconsider the series after DAD.
The scene portrayed above, I Never Left is one of the best in the series, imo. It would have been cool if these guys would have filmed the scene before it. You know...the one where Bond confronts Yusef.
As do I. One of the first threads I created as a member was a QoS appreciation thread, which I'm sure you've posted in before. It could use some bumping up.
James' arc begins with the second-to-last scene of Casino Royale. "The job's done, the bitch is dead." She's a bitch, and nothing more than that to him. Simple, objective. It's M who preaches temperance, asking him to consider the finer points of the situation, and to explore the possibility that Vesper, in fact, did love him. His response? He hangs up the phone. Can't even listen to such a sentiment, due to his emotional and psychological state. But more importantly, and most critically for his arc in Quantum, he doesn't WANT to listen.
CR ends with a Bond who feels so shattered, and so betrayed, that he feels no morsel of faith in, for lack of a better word, hope. He's seen the most intimate of human betrayals. There is no capacity in him to trust a woman, or to really admit just how BAD the events were that have transpired. We have a Bond who is, essentially, in denial. This is a man who is distraught by more than a woman - but by the WORLD - by circumstances, probably internally asking himself, "is this the low that people, that life are truly capable of reaching? Why even bother fighting this battle?" He is bereft of any motivation in this moment, beyond rage for what he undoubtedly feels is the "unjustness" of the situation. He is quantumless, when it comes to solace.
And yet, his curiosity gets the better of him. He opens up Vesper's phone, and sees his first clue that will lead him on his journey through 'QoS.' This tiny scrap of information, the identity of Mr. White, is the first step toward some kind of answer. Some kind of resolution to the chaos his character is enveloped in as he sits dockside in Venice. And being James Bond, he does what any long running, commercially successful cinematic hero would do. He doesn't put in his papers, so to speak. He puts a bullet in White's knee. What we have at the end of Casino Royale is a Bond who has no faith in people, total disregard for the system (or rather agency) that produced their betrayal, no patience for anyone interrupting his mission to find some kind of justification. But most importantly, we have a Bond who has been confronted by REALITY - and can't believe it. If this is the world into which he's fallen, can he really sustain himself in it? Can the world be SO cruel? I make it sound like he's whining about it, and internally he might be.
And thus, QUANTUM begins.
Forgetting all the pseudo-psychological battle above, Bond remains absolutely - pissed. The love of his life HAS just died. M immediately questions his mental state, which we (the audience) immediately knows to be less than admirable, given his lack of sleep and the emerging alcoholism. (Side dig: Flemingesque? Methinks.) Bond's conflict is immediate. He assures M that the company line, that duty, is his first priority. She's worried it's not, she's worried she can't trust his judgement - as, of course, he surreptitiously pockets a photo of Yusef. Bond is smart enough to know that if he's going to pursue his answers, his PERSONAL answers, he's going to have to do it on his own time. And yet his sense of duty remains. He makes it amicably through the interrogation (well, relatively) despite the obviously simmering rage beneath the surface. Bond is conflicted, he's not sure of his place in the system, and he's drawn by a simultaneous sense of duty and leaning toward personal justification/satisfaction. Good place for an arc to start.
Flash forward to Mitchell's apartment. Bond seems utterly unsurprised at Mitchell's betrayal, for good reason - all those listed above. If he's got no faith in trust, why should he be. Contrast that with M, who is positively rife with paranoia, still in shock. Bond remains cool. The lack of integrity simply doesn't surprise him. This scene, to me, exemplifies his absolute disdain for what's happened to MI6 as an institution.
The initial sequence in Haiti serves to further Bond's arc in M's eyes, that he's off the rails on rage, killing whomever crosses his path to get the Organization. He's not thinking "big picture," to take it back to Casino Royale. She figures he's making it personal, and yet he never really does anything to suggest he's not simply taking a solid run at Quantum. It shows Bond learning to control his personal rage, and focus on the mission. Sure, there's conflict happening - but he manages it. Definition: character development. Keeping in mind, Bond has lost faith in this system - "life" - does it not make sense that he should be somewhat indifferent to death? Many reviewers have referred to Bond by this point in the film as nothing more than a mindless terminator, and yet they fail to realize this is a crucial step in one of his main arcs in the film.
Then, it starts getting interesting. Post opera - M's position even further solidified, as Bond has accidentally killed a member of special branch. 007 himself is obviously surprised by the man's identity, and dare I say it - taken aback by his own actions. The look on Daniel's face sells it, on the phone. He generally starts to question whether or not he should be plowing through these people with so little disregard for consequence or discretion (gasp! more character development!). He rationalizes the situation before he hangs up: "But right now, I need to find the man who tried to kill you." Yeah, sure James. He's doing what Bond does - placating M - in order to keep this mission moving. He's thinking like James Bond should, given his general awesomeness as a character and his newfound lack of faith in the institution. He's smart enough to realize his own mistakes, and tone it down. And he's ALSO smart enough to realize that MI6 at this point will just hamper him by bringing him in and off Greene's trail, allowing Greene, Quantum, and thus his own PERSONAL answers and motivations to slip even further away. For the good of all three concurrent "missions," and because he's Ian Fleming's James Bond, he disregards the order (note, M doesn't seem particularly surprised) and goes "off grid," for want of a better phrase. Bond is learning, he's forcing himself to be clever, he's re-shaping his own opinions and actions in the light of what's happening around him - and yet, not in a reactive sense. He remains active about it, the makings of a well-written character. And development, by God, everywhere!
Then, we bring in Mathis. And it gets even better.
Up until this point, Bond has not even started to question whether or not Vesper loved him. It's been about larger issues. Mathis plants that seed, and thus increases Bond's big picture thinking even further through intimate example. Mathis thinks Vesper loved Bond, Bond claims "right up until the moment she betrayed me." It echoes his sentiment from the final boat scene in Venice, CR. He's still not quite ready to hear it. The most telling line in the scene is Mathis', "she died for you." The way he says it is just perfect. It's such an afterthought, so subtle, like Mathis is so removed from the situation. As if he's thinking to himself, "this poor bastard doesnt' get it, but he will." Mathis comes across exactly as he's supposed to in this scene, as an older, wiser man with something about the world to actually IMPART that would be useful to Bond. And Bond, being the not-quite-developed 007 he is, takes it in and is pushed a little farther along that journey while still not being able to concede any truth in the fact that Vesper might have been less than totally evil.
The plane. Bond can't sleep, he's possessed by his concurrent mission. He's drinking, apparently that's what Bond does quite a bit of (Flemingesque again, how many drinks does he take in this film?) . Mathis is perfectly aware of what Bond's problem is, of "what's keeping him awake," and yet he asks. He gives Bond the opportunity to share, and 007 again deflects. Classically an element of his character. "It takes something to admit you were wrong," Mathis admits as being his rational for accompanying Bond to Bolivia. In this one line, we see what Mathis sees: the developing Bond, not towing the party line, thinking for himself. Mathis makes a true point. Had some nameless MI6 agent shown up to ask for his help in South America, I dare say Mathis would have told him where to shove it. But he goes with Bond, because he sees a damaged man who needs help, and has perhaps earned the benefit of the doubt - or at the very least, earned the benefit of some assistance. Bond won't accept medication, and yet he'll drink himself under the table. Nice little bit of anachronistic hipocrisy there. Mathis knows what it's all about. "Some [pills] make you forget." Bond throws him the briefest of looks, as if to admit "Yeah, yeah, I know." This whole scene precipitated on the fact, of course, that Bond was sitting at a bar simply staring at a photo and the Algerian Love Knot. A rather simplistic statement on his state of mind.
Bond, THE Bond we know, continues to emerge. He won't stay in the ty Bolivian hotel, like Jason Bourne would prefer. He goes for the biggest and the best - Fleming's edict, practically verbatim. And he's clearly developing a taste for the finer things (some people say he's not) while maintaining his disdain for elaborate covers and aliases (a nicely written point from Casino Royale, evocative of Sir Ian), and being generally humorous throughout. And Fields. Oh, Fields. There is no more classicaly Bondian moment than in the hotel room between the two. Here is this 'incorruptible,' young, straight-faced office girl trying so desperately hard to be a spy, who won't take any form of resistance. In order to further his own goals, Bond has two simple options: subdue the girl, or do what James Bond does. He chooses correctly, and the audience ends up with a scene that is particularly memorable and evocative of classic Bonds past. Bond's development continues - he's clearly become comfortable with using sex as a tool, and he's being just ever so slightly misogynistic about the whole thing. Getting closer to 007 all the time.
At the party - yes, the Greene comments feel tacked on. But only initially. Someone made an excellent point above, about Greene having venomous words as his only weapon when Bond outdoes him, physically, in terms of intimidation. There can be no classically archetypal image than that, considering the entire angle of Greene's character (all bark and no bite, the image of what "corporate" magnates truly are at a basic human level, or so says the film) and how awesome the audience needs Bond's character to come off as. Bond brushes aside Greene's comments, just one more thing he doesn't have time for. You're asking yourself, why does Bond just take Greene right then and there, haul him out of the party, and get his answers?
Because he's thinking big picture. He's developing. He's struggling to balance duty and personal need.
I'm sure Bond would like to torture answers out of him, then and there. You can see the fury simmering behind Daniel's eyes, not unlike during White's interrogation. But he holds back. He thinks logically, for two reasons. One: like M's been drilling into him, big picture. Bond, at this point, still has NO idea what Greene is up to. His dutiful obligation to the greater mission drives him toward finding out, and he knows that based on Camille's knowledge of the man, she can lead him to THOSE answers. And reason two: Bond is outnumbered, out of position, and it would simply be a rash decision to pull Greene out. It would go against everything he's been learning so far about impulse killing, and uncalculated moves. The slow development, as it's been happening through the film, toward a thoughtful assassin. He's graduated from killing blindly by this point.
At least, that's all I read from that scene. Whether or not those points are executed well...
Mathis' death is another blow. This scene demonstrates how cold Bond has become to death, even to his closest "friends." Sure, he's pissed, you can see it - Mathis was "the only person he thought he could trust." And the man literally dies in Bond's arms. Yet Bond has already dispatched the guards, there's no further revenge that can be taken (at the moment). So he does what any logical spy would do. He dumps the body, and he PUSHES FORWARD. He even pauses just long enough to think of emptying Mathis' wallet beforehand. This isn't an offhanded gesture, and it's meant to be funny. It's Bond salvaging a lost situation, pressing forward through the direst of circumstances, with a clear head. It's a statement on his entire mindframe, and as I said, a testament to just how frighteningly comfortable he's become in this world.
Bond/Camille in the desert. This is where Camille emerges as a useful character tool, a mirror for Bond. He sees himself in her, quite literally - or more pointedly, what he might become. I think Bond feels pity for the girl. She's obviously consumed by revenge, and it's affected her life. I think that in the sinkhole, in that one instance of her story, Bond sees two things. First, an echo that the "horror" of the universe isn't central to his own view, and that things which are just as bad happen to other people. In that instance, his view of the world's ultimate evils is diluted ever so slightly, as he starts to realize that he's fighting against the tide. That for every unfortunate thing that's happened to anyone, there's always going to be something worse happening to someone else. Bond isn't simply listening to Camille's story. These thoughts are running through his head. The thoughts that human corruption, evil, all those things - they are universal. They extend beyond MI6, Quantum, and his situation with Vesper. And in this one, simple scene, Bond's view of the entire world is further - *cough* developed *cough* - just a bit. Camille turns the conversation toward him just once, and he immediately suggests they should leave. He still can't talk about Vesper.
Grand Andean hotel. Bond's "disappointed," but not just in M's apparent pandering to the Americans. In her lack of faith in him. The audience knows he's struggling with his duty/personal balance up until this point, but we also KNOW he's in control, and that he was making headway against Quantum. M knows he's struggling, but assumes he's not in control. She gives a very frank, if (maybe not wholly) incorrect assessment of his mental state, that he's been blinded by his own thirst for revenge. He disagrees, deflecting, although probably being very personally aware of how it must appear to everyone else that he's walking that line. And then Fields' death.
"It's just mis-direction-"
"I mean why HER, Bond."
And, queue the stunned look on 007's face. It had never even entered his mind. You can hear Arnold's score practically thud with this hammer of a beat on Bond's character arc. No doubt his connection to Fields was humanized more by their intimate day together, but he very suddenly feels remorse. Henchmen and thugs be damned - Bond is finally confronted with a very real, very emotional consequence of his actions. Fields was not all that far removed from Vesper as a character, being a paper-pusher who got caught up in the dirty side of espionage. And in a few simple lines of dialogue, M delviers a scathing critique of the history of James Bond, and of the man standing in front of her. His charm is deadly. Is there a more nostalgically cliched 007 statement? (Of course, nostalgically cliched in a good way). Very telling is Bond's reaction when "giving in" to the MI6 guards escorting him away. He simply looks fatigued, wiped - a situation Fleming's Bond might have founda at the bottom of the OHMSS ski run, for example. H's ready to give in. And then, through a tricky bit of editing, we see Fields' dead, naked body quite literally on Bond's mind. A plan starts formulating, and he makes the snap decision to take down the MI6 agents in the elvator. It was in this image of Fields, this consequence of his INACTION (via leaving her alone), that he decides to take ACTION. So what does he do? (In the funniest moment of the film) he returns to M about 20 seconds later, bereft of an escort, to re-iterate that the girl deserves more credit than to be a simple casualty. That's all. He doesn't make M privy to his plans, perhaps to avoid her being considered an accessory to his actions should some kind of official review be undertaken. Then he walks away, confident in her trust in him. She doesn't try to stop him, or tell the agents where he's gone. Why? What's changed in their relationship since she was reaming him out a moment ago?
Nothing, overtly. Because part of her "talk" was an act, and because Bond has developed to the point where he's reading, accurately, his relationship with M. In that sole instance of not stopping him, M offers him (if not subconsciously) an opening to really become an ally, to make her a part of his efforts to circumvent "the system" in order to quite simply get things done. And he takes it. Bond's starting to recognizes his true allies, and his world is improving for it. "You and I need to see this through," he tells her. She doesn't debate. She merely points out there's a capture-or-kill order out on him. Their relation ship has matured to the point that they understand each other without so many words.
Perla des las Dunas. You can see Bond struggling, wanting to drop Greene in to the fire when holding him by the hair. He might even be about to do it, we won't ever know - because of Camille's gunshot. "Sounds like you just lost another one!" Up until that point, the film was a pulse-pounding mixture of visuals and sound as Bond and Greent threw themselves at each other, when suddenly, 007 is confronted by the very real possibility that his last ally - and a mirror for himself - has been killed. As a result of Bond's actions, indirectly. As a result of her own obsession, directly. And in that moment of stark relief, brief mental clarity from the cacophony of whatever else was going on, Bond pulls Greene up and runs to Camille. Call it a mixture of Bond wanting to save the girl, Bond's guilt over his perceived concurrent responsibility for her "death" with Fields', Bond's fear at being consumed by his own need for revenge like Camille, or Bond's simple tiring of constant death. His realization is complete, in terms of thinking big picture. He runs to Camille, and finds her, cowering. He cradles her not unlike he did with Vesper in the Hotel Splendide shower. It's no symbolic irony that this time, they're surrounded by fire. The imagery evokes a classical definition of hell, where these two characters find themselves. Consumed by revenge, with no one to cling to except their own existance, and absent of anything better in the world outside. Camille appears most affected, obviously mortified at dying the same way as her family - there could not be a more horrifying reality for anyone than her, in that situation. In her quest for revenge, Camille has fallen into the very circumstancial injustice she was trying so hard to rectify. 007 sees it.
Bond seriously contemplates mercy-killing the girl. I think, personally, he was even beyond contemplation. That is untouched territory for a Bond film, and in that single act, we see a microcosm of Bond's entire point of view on what life has become.
We talked about how he doesn't see any justice in the world. About how the world is essentially a burning room frought with danger, betrayal, nothing to cling to, except your own physical existance. And even that might not be enough to succeed. There's no point in playing, the house always wins, so why bother?
We'll never know if Bond would have contemplated his own suicide as well, and it's irrelevant. He sees one singular opening, one chance to get out, as risky as it might be that the blowback from the exploding fuel cell might kill both of them as well. And in the single moment of the film where he takes the biggest step toward becoming James Bond, he shoots out the fuel cell. In that moment, Bond seems to realize that despite his definition of life, despite the futility of the whole thing - there's just no sense to be had for not trying. For giving up. And with that gunshot, James Bond ironically declares "war" on the world, on the hell that threatens to envelope him, and emerges from Perla des las Dunas a far more deadly man than when he entered. He's seen how dangerous the world is, how unjust it can be, and yet he's also seen why an attitude such as Camille's (or his at the beginning of the film) can pull you FARTHER down into the mess. And that just wouldnt' be practical, would it?
Bond's abandonment of Greene in the desert is a character statement, multifold. It's obvious symbolic retribution for the death of Fields. It's an obvious indication that Bond has become more than a "mindless" killer. It's just ever so-slightly sadistic, as Bond of the books was capable of being. Case in point, the OHMSS (constant references are because I'm re-reading) novel, one of the Piz Gloria guards throws a man down the bobsled run, and Bond muses that should he encounter any guards in his escape, he would be sure to "hit them extra hard!" This is all, of course, after Bond has the answers he needs. And let's not discount the fact that it's purely James Bond-ish in execution.
The train station. Minimal dialogue, but maximum effect. There's just not much left for these two people to say. Bond sees (and hears) the emptiness Camille feels with her consuming obsession resolved, and in turn sees the danger in such a choice were it made with his own life. Bond has, essentially, graduated from the attitude of revenge. Not retribution, mind you, but cold-hearted, simplistic, objective, revenge. Bond doesn't think the dead care about vengeance, akin to how some people say "funerals are for the living." It comes on the heels of Camille wondering how her family feels. Bond's deduction is a product of the fact they're probably not happy their daughter and sister took HERSELF so close to death in order to avenge them. "Before setting out on revenge, you must first dig two graves," I believe someone, somewhere, said sometime before . That may be an overly simplistic way of looking at it, but I don't think it's ever meant to be complicated.
The confrontation with Yusef. Brilliant. Bond gets his "revenge," but it's far more calculated and ultimately satisfying than any mere killing any could have been. He systematically destroys this man's existence in front of "Vesper," and leaves him a snivelling weasel on the couch, beggy not for mercy, but for ease in his death. Could there be a more perfect reflection on Bond's view of what life is? Bond has been through torture over Vesper (literally and emotionally), he sees a world consumed by endless danger and difficulty. And yet he's prepared to kill Yusef, to expunge him from existance (maybe), and this greasy douchebag asks for the easy way out. In that single instance, perhaps Bond sees that killing Yusef would give the man some form of release that he simply does not deserve. Daniel plays it perfectly. Bond is still obviously full of rage, and reacting realistically with the sudden face to face confrontation with Yusef. I'm sure Bond is struggling not to pull that trigger. Bond doesn't kill him, for all the reasons he didn't kill Greene, and all the reasons he hasn't killed at any particular time throughout the film. Yusef is just too valuable alive. And most importantly, it is a definitive statement on the crucial relationship between Bond's personal vendetta and his mission:
He CHOOSES the mission. Expunging the worry everyone else had. Why? Because he's James Bond, that's why.
The Final scene with M. Full of logical dialogue that succinctly states "where Bond is," with the key all in the delivery. "The right people kept their jobs." Bond's view of the entire system is not without a sense of jutice, and he's pleased with the outcome. "Wish I could help," regarding the circumstances of Greene's death. He communicates it in such a way that it's obvious - he knows, that she knows, that he knows what happened. And he doesn't care. It's Bond's foreknowledge that sometimes, the institution isn't always right, and that his own instincts prevailed. Were he to have listened to them and come in to "report" after Austria, Greene would have likely been in control of Bolivia's water supply by that point. This line is a statement in Bond's confidence - in his own deicisions.
"Congratulations, you were right."
Correct me if I'm wrong, this is the first time he speaks her name in the film. He can finally talk about it. It's a direct call back, contextually, to their final conversation in Casino Royale. It's Bond's admission of subjectivity, his allowance for discussion, and his graduation from the point of view where the world is a cold place with no redeeming qualities. It's his quantum of solace, that small measure of knowledge that the greater qualities of the world are, in some respect, redeemable. It's his acknowledgement that she did, in some part, love him. And I imagine that in some small measure, he's forgiving her for her betrayal, realizing (upon Greene's offscreen interrogation and confrontation with Yusef) the logical reasons why she would have fallen for Quantum's scheme. And even more importantly, in a call back to Mathis' final words - he's forgiving himself. Because the end of CR and beginning of QoS, his anger was self imposed - for being so stupid. He couldnt' believe he allowed himself to open up, to err so egregiously, which is why when QoS begins he shuts down. Now, he's forgiving himself for making a mistake. For being human. Perhaps slowly, but his wounds have healed (or at least started to).
"I never left," delivered as if to say, "What were you worried about?" It's one final nod to the film's overall theme: trust. Arguably, Bond (on "paper") had the mission on his mind the entire time. He delivered Quantum operatives and stopped their plot, and I'm sure all official reports would reflect that. It makes his "Congratulations, you were right" line even more powerful in retrospect, when you realize that he's offering one small window of trust, insight to M - his personal problem. They have no reason to really talk about that, in light of the fact that she's his boss. But they do, and that's why their relationship is "solidified" as the filmmakers might say, and that's why Judi was in the film so much.
So, the short version:
BEGINNING OF QOS
Bond is emotionally shut down, angry, spiteful at the "unjust" world around him, vengeful for the people who have done this to him, and right pissed.
END OF QOS
Bond realizes the world will always be this way, dangerous and unforgiving at every turn, and to hope for anything else from his (human) point of view is perhaps asking too much. He realizes that subjectivity is important, that a cold attitude toward Vesper's betrayal or mindless killing of endless thugs just isn't practical (situations of self-preservation not witshtanding). And most importantly, based on his delivery of the last line (and perhaps the expression on his face), he's got a sense of irony about the whole thing. It's so ridiculous, it's a joke - he might think about the world. Leading him down a path of using humour as a tool of deflection to mask danger or how frightened he might actually be - a "defense mechanism" - which is, in my opinion, the absolutely spot-on soruce of character motivation for James Bond's sense of humour.
I'm not sure that's strictly true. There are instances where one could class a 'few' as missed opportunities, but for various reasons a lot were never intended to follow the source, and were never billed as such. Many argue DAF was a missed opportunity, perhaps, but it was never intended as a follow up once Laz flew the coop. QoS was released 'as' a direct sequel to CR. For that reason I see it as a massive missed opportunity. I'm not talking about perfection, merely expectation.
-For the most part it is at least well acted
-The film tries to be an adult flick
-The story is messy
-The cinematography is a bit underwhelming ( Some shots are ok but I can't think of any that made me go "wow")
-The editing is often poor (not just in the action)
-The action itself isn't very good (I really HATE how the aerial dogfight is forced in during a quieter moment between Bond and Camile).
I also find myself in essentially the same position as that stated by @BAIN123. I left the theatre in a very depressed mood after my initial viewing of QoS. I have since come around to appreciating some of its' more subtle points, however: it's never going to be one of my favorite Bond films, unlike the entries that immediately preceed and follow it.
You leave the water subplot and your villains are constantly and entirely on the defensive. They thus cease to be threatening. There's a reason why Sanchez in LTK had these schemes with Asia and had bought missiles: he needed to remain a threat.
I agree with him. A (sort of) interesting idea executed in an underwhelming way. Other than a few meant-to-be poignant shots we never really feel the impact his scheme has on the people involved. The film juggles too much
The cinematography is actually similar with respect to the far-shots that Roger Deakins used in SF, which is critically acclaimed. That's not to say you can't have an opinion of course! But the way that scenes such as the Tosca Opera shootout and the Bolivian desert scenes where Bond and Camille are walking were memorable for many viewers regardless if they are fans or not.
There's a cool picture still from the Tosca opera house scene where Bond is seen by Greene and his guards. It's very noir-styled. If I could find the pic, I'll post it here but it shows someone far and someone very close staring at one another in a white hallway. Lots of juxtaposing with the editing. But like I've said before, the editing was supposed to be messy at first to show Bond's psychological state of mind before it calmed down towards the end.
I remember a lot of people who I saw QoS with were entranced when the camera spans around the Bolivian desert before Bond is dropping off Greene. Many might feel like they are in the desert when watching this scene.
Beautiful essay. This leads me to the question for you and everyone here: did Bond find his quantum of solace when Corrine said "thank you" upon leaving Yusef's apartment room? In other words, did he get solace after saving someone else from becoming another Vesper tragedy? Did he find it from forgiving Vesper? Did he find it from learning with Camille's storyline?
Silva's entrance for example does more for me than anything in Quantum.
When I first saw QOS I thought it was the worst Bond film but this was mainly because I was extremely disappointed. Since then I've rewatched it and I've decided that although it's poor, it's not the worst. It's not a really bad film. Just a disappointing one. CR was one of the best Bond films ever and this is it's direct sequel, that's why it's such a let down for me and many others. I think the main problem with QOS is that there's too much stuff for it's run time. It wants to develop Bond and have him come to terms with the loss of Vesper and learn to trust M, it wants to tell the story of Quantums water plot, it wants to tell the story of Camille and her revenge on Medrano, it wants to show how the CIA are corrupt and Felix is the only one who cares about doing the right thing but then there are also loads of action scenes which are only really there for the sake of it because Forster wanted to be all arty with the "elements" idea. And the action scenes aren't even any good! It's mostly just chase scenes where you can't see what's going on. If Forster wanted to make a tight 90 minute thriller that was "like a bullet" then he should've made a different film. QOS is too short for what it is. Add in stupid stuff like Mathis dying, Mathis being a code name, the GF reference, the incredibly shit theme song (worst theme of the series), M being overused (in TWINE and SF it made sense but here she's just jetting off all over the world for no apparent reason) and Elvis and you have what I think is a poor film. Not awful like DAF or DAD but definitely a lower league Bond film imo. It doesn't know if it wants to be an action packed thriller about Bond stopping Quantum or a character piece about Bond getting over Vesper so it tries to do both and I think it ended up a jumbled, pretentious mess of a film. It's stylish and it has a few nice moments but that doesn't make it an underrated gem for me. It's not the worst Bond film but I do think it's one of the worst. I think it's the most disappointing Bond film and I think it's by far the most pretentious Bond film ever made.
Barbara Broccoli has repetitive problem evident since after GE. She follows up a decent flick like GE or CR with an action-fest. The very reason behind my screen name is to draw attention to what Marc Forster wanted more of: drama. The producers were sometimes at odds with him: they wanted the villain to have a scar, they wanted non-stop action and rushed the production. Marc Forster didn't have as much privilege as Sam Mendes to be able to request a year extension while also having to proceed through the writer's strike. For this reason, I feel that some of the non-stop action is forgivable for Marc Forster.
When Marc Forster joined the producers for a Q & A a whole year after QoS came out, they said the director chose not to come back for Bond 23. Forster turned around and said they wouldn't let him (it was hard to tell if he was joking or not). Btw, Marc Forster is down to earth and was very approachable. It was his choice to have Fields in QoS, but because he was rushed he couldn't develop her. Ultimately Forster wanted to have more time to visualize Fields' innocence as a way for Bond to be reminded of something that existed somewhat before Vesper's betrayal. She was supposed to be symbolic.