Early Buzz: Quantum of Solace is No Casino Royale

The first reviews for the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace have begun to hit the interwebs. Critics seem to agree that the film lacks the narrative of Casino Royale. It is shorter, darker, less dialogue, more high-temp confusing action sequences, and some dull expository scenes. Oh, and everyone agrees that Daniel Craig is excellent as Bond (but was there any doubt after the first film?). Bottom line is people liked the film, but it’s no Casino Royale. Check out the excerpts below:

Times Online: “It’s James Bond, licence to bore. 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, including sequences shot in Panama, Chile, Italy, Mexico and Austria, in a plot about holding a country to ransom over its water supply. Quantum of Solace lacks any wit, ironic or otherwise, which has been a strength of so many 007 films.” … “At around one hour 40 minutes, this Bond is shorter than most. Somehow it felt longer.”

The Guardian: “This didn’t excite me as much as Casino Royale and the villain is especially underpowered.” … “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. Well, perhaps that is what Bond fans want (not this Bond fan, though). But I was also baffled that relatively little was made of the deliciously villainous Amalric”.

The Telegraph: “…owes much to the quick-fire editing of the Bourne thrillers.” … “In this much darker film” … ” For half an hour or so after the pre-credits ‘teaser’, the film barely lets up.” … “And then, the pacing becomes more fractured. 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. And yet, several times – just when you’re tempted to consult your watch – the movie suddenly surprises.”

BBC: “It’s a film that feels like the second part of a trilogy, with this being the bleaker second act.” … “The raw nature of the film may put off some who yearn for the days of gizmos, gadgets and Bond quips as he dispenses with faceless opponents.” … “But for the most part the villainy rightly takes a back seat to Bond’s emotional journey.”

Empire: “In an era marked by franchise bloat, it’s entirely admirable that Quantum of Solace is the shortest Bond movie to date – it drops a great many of the long-running series mannerisms (callous quips, expository lectures, travelogue padding, Q and Moneypenny)” … “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, with Bourne veteran Dan Bradley staging more brutal, devastatingly fast fights and chases.” … “we get less to latch onto emotionally since Daniel Craig became the complete 007 over the course of Casino Royale, and here just has to be set loose” … “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.”

The Shiznit: “But 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.” … ” Craig, it must be said, is excellent.” … “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. Often, things change in the blink of an eye – one second Bond is lying on his back, the next he’s jumping out a window, the next he’s swinging from a rope. It’s often impossible to keep up.” … ” Fight scenes often seem practiced and stagey” … “seems a little too far-fetched even for a Bond movie. All we ask is for some consistency – 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 Daily Mirror: “Quantum of Solace is a leaner, meaner animal, rammed with shoot-outs, a boat chase and even an aerial dogfight. And our hero is an angry, embittered man out for blood. Mostly it doesn’t feel like a Bond film at all. Not once does Craig say: “The name’s Bond. James Bond.” There’s no Q or his gadgets. Heck, we even see Bond in a cardigan. There are no risque quips or arched eyebrows.” … “It doesn’t disappoint – just don’t expect the brilliance of Casino Royale.”

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