Monday, April 12, 2010

Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace

I'm not a huge fan of Daniel Craig as James Bond. In fact, when he was first announced, I steadfastly called him "What'shisname". I'm past that stage now, and I think I can look at the movies fairly and objectively.

Unfortunately, that doesn't really help these films.

These are competent enough films. The plot's borderline ridiculous, same as every Bond movie. The action's decent enough, I suppose, though it resorts to "shaky cam" too much. There's not much in the way of gadgetry any more, though, and Bond is no longer the ultra-smooth operator he once was. Instead, he's more about the brawling, being emotionally vulnerable, and taking serious physical injury. If you look at these movies in a vacuum, there's not really much to complain about. Unfortunately, this world isn't a vacuum, and so there is something to complain about. If you want a movie (or a trilogy of movies, in fact!) with a protagonist who's emotionally vulnerable, isn't super-human, and gets in a good fist-fight, it's been done much, much better. The Bourne Trilogy
Bourne was a better fighter, and a smarter character. What's more, the action was better and the plot better in those movies, too. CR/QoS dropped what made the Bond movies Bondian, supposedly in an attempt to bring him closer in line with the novels, but in the process, they made James Bond in to a lesser version of Jason Bourne. They even have the same initials.

This pair of movies are entertaining enough, but I'd never recommend a purchase except to die-hard Bond fans who already own the other, better Bond movies. Otherwise, go get the Bourne Trilogy.


  1. I always thought Jason Bourne was meant to be an Americanized, circa-90s action hero, with some literary flourish thrown in for good measure (it would explain the initials, at least).

    Anyways, I watched the Bourne Trilogy, and the only one I *liked* was the first. The other two were exercises in the poorly lit shaky cam you didn't like in CR/QoS (which I really didn't notice at all).

  2. Odd. I actually found the shaky cam to be much worse in the first Bourne than in the other two, but the story and characterization made up for it.