Bond Reloaded, does Quantum live to expectations?

Maybe Royale gave me far to high expectations, but I was very disappointed in this movie. Warning. Warning. Warning. Spoilers to follow. Read at your own risk.... The major thorn was the plot. It couldn't decide whether to full pull from everything that occurred in Casino Royale or if it should break off altogether and develop a new story line. It is because of this that traditional Bond plot aspects, such as the central villain, suffer. More time is dedicated to Bond and his broken, revenge seeking, heart. While tying into the last film is a good thing using it as a crutch is not. Mr. White should have allowed them to venture off into something bigger. Instead that pending discovery was hindered by the same ghosts of the past. With any luck the third Craig installment will feature a dedicated development of the mysterious Quantum of Solace group. Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the writing was the writing was the lack of cheeky humor. What made Bond great were the little jokes here and there. The previous installment performed this well, "now the whole world's gonna know that you died scratching my balls." Everything seemed to grim and what jokes were crowbar'd in felt out of place at times. Some of the fights were well choreographed yet nothing that seemed that memorable. Over all the chase scenes weren't that bad, unfortunately on their own they don't hold as much water. Instead of seeing one epic chase with a few smaller ones here and there it felt as though they made a conscious decision to split everything up four ways. By air, sea, automobile and foot, Bond gets chanced around. The car chase couldn't even touch epics like Ronin and the race on foot doesn't quite stack up to the free running at the beginning of Casino Royale. The montage fight where he's running and shooting through the restaurant and kitchen was nice, especially with the opera going on at the same time. It was probably a good idea to have done it that way as simply showing the thing all the way through would've resulted in a fairly run of the mill scene. That's one place I look forward to watching slowed on on DVD. Another part I'd love to see slowed down was the boat chase. Mainly because it sucked. Everything was moving way too fast with some shaky cam aspects to really get bearings on what was going on. Trying to express a frantic chase with split second decisions is a good idea, but I don't think it translated well to the big screen. Regardless, it was still better than the chase in The World is Not Enough or Live and Let Die. Can't top Moonraker's though.
One has to appreciate the humor and quirkiness of Moore's Bond, along with the lighthearted chase through Venice
Dominic Greene as a villain didn't do anything for me. I know he was going for the wealthy, slimy bastard, but Le Chiffre was a hundred times better. What happened to him at the end was great, yet the blandness of his character made it lack luster. If I had hated the bastard or really wanted to see something happen to him, thing would've been better. I thought his fight with Bond at the end was lack luster and was more interested in Camille's. On top of that his sidekick, Quentin Tarantino, seemed like the most tacked on character imaginable. As far as villain sidekicks go, you can't do much worse in terms of writing or usefulness. Felix's role was disappointing. While seeing him finally get to play smug near the end was great, I felt disheartened with how they played him until that moment. Same with Mathis. He could've been kept as a good support character here and there but chose to dispose of him for safety's sake. Fields could have used a bigger role. I couldn't tell if she was supposed to be the Bond Girl or Camille. The distinct lack of back story wouldn't have been an issue if she didn't have as much screen time as she had. Regardless of how the characters were written, the actors who played them all did phenomenal jobs. Craig once again proves he can play a great Bond (even if written more stereotypical action hero) and Judi Dench's cold demeanor fits M amazingly. Perhaps part of the reason I dislike what occurred to Mathis so much is that Giancarlo Giannini (the actor who portrays him) could have done so much more. Even relative newcomers Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton don't disappoint. Those missing the Q gadgetry will enjoy the MI5's new office technology. It puts both Microsoft Surface and Minority Report to shame. None of it seemed too unrealistic and even the facial recognition aspect seemed feasible. Assuming that that kind of technology is super top secret and the government software we encounter from day to day is just a diversion to throw us off the trail... At the very least most can agree the that opening sucked. While it would be incredibly hard to top Chris Cornell, it didn't even come close. Even the visuals were boring as fuck.
You Know My Name's orchestration combined with Chris Cornell's vocals make it one of the best Bond themes.
Regardless of how I may might see it fitting in the long line of Bond films, Quantum of Solace is an entertaining action flick from any viewpoint. If you disagree with my thoughts please let me know. Maybe I'm just too old fashioned but I'd much rather see my straight forward action movies develop a brand new series instead of continually reworking existing ones. P.S. - Am I the only one who doesn't get why hydrogen powered building need to feature (highly explosion susceptible) hydrogen canisters in every room?

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