Monday, November 17, 2008

(Not a) Quantum of Entertainment

I am not a fan of Bond movies, so when my team decided that "Quantum of Solace" was where we'd spend our morale money, I suppressed a silent groan.

Nearly all Bond movies I've seen follow a theme. The movies start with a chase of sorts, after which Bond goes to M for a debriefing, then meets Q and examines some cool gadgets, then goes out to a gathering, meets the Bond girl, introduces himself with the time-worn "Bond, James Bond" line, sleeps with her, pisses off the villain, and then, well, you know. And Bond is cool, and never gets ruffled by all the action around him, while the villains only keep a facade of cool, before losing their cool and their game to Bond.

However, I'd seen 'Casino Royale' and was impressed with Daniel Craig's portrayal of the Bond character, and was therefore semi-keen to see this movie.

Unfortunately, the movie has no storyline, has no original action sequences, has poor continuity (although we may have our censors to thank for that), and pointless characters. 

However, the elephant-in-the-room problem is that the villains in the movie suck. They are terrible. The director seems to have forgotten that the most important part of any superhero movie is the villain. It's the villain who is proactive, who throws the gauntlet, and the superhero simply responds. So, for the superhero to be 'super', the villain must be super too. A Superman must have a Lex Luthor with alien technology, a Batman must have a Joker, and a Hulk must have a gamma-ray enhanced Maj. Blonsky.

The villains in the "Quantum of Solace" are anything but super. Dominic Greene looks like the fake secret agent who pees in his pants in the movie "True Lies" and the other villain, the general, cannot stay within his pants and wants to do everything in sight. There is absolutely no class in the movie.

But this is not the movie's only problem. Throughout its one-and-half-hour span, one is left wondering what it is trying to say. I concede that some of it might be due to our over-eager censors exercising their fingers, but I came out of the theatre with a headful of plane crashes, car crashes, and killings, without being able to piece them together into a story. Further, I think the director does not know the difference between a fast-paced movie and a movie which has fast-paced camera work. This is particularly evident in the first fight scene, in which both Bond and the corrupt agent wear the suits of the same colour, and keep moving through buildings, making it near-impossible distinguish the puncher from the punchee through most of the scene.

Continuity is another issue - in the last scene, Dominic Green tells Bond that he has answered everything Bond asked and should be left alone. But that scene is never shown in the movie!

Finally, the movie brings in characters that have no meaning whatsoever to the story. For instance, there is the cute-as-a-button girl from the English consulate, who has no role but to be the Bond bimbo, and of course, a convenient target for the villains.

Zero stars for the movie. I'm just glad I didn't pay to watch this crap.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

132, 6809, 619, 10/74, 110*, and a gentleman to boot.

"Only one team played in the spirit of the game"
If you wanted to know what Anil Kumble's words were worth to the world's cricketing fraternity, the response he got to this line at Perth should be enough.
Goodbye and best wishes to a brilliant bowler, a wonderful team man, and above all, a gentleman cricketer. Thank you Anil Kumble, for your wonderful heroics on the cricketing field.