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Quantum of Solace The Bourne Bondentity or Quantity of Jump Cuts

 

 

I think the folks at EON had the Bourne movies on a continual loop while writing this movie, and they set the tone early, this is no Bond film. We jump strait in to the plot, if you can call it that, no gun barrel, because god forbid we think we’re watching a Bond film here! Some quick shots of cars speeding, a spin out, jump cut to a clutch pedal, back to cars on a dirt road, a car flies over the railing, and Craig pulls in to the MI6 safe house. (Doesn’t this safe house look eerily similar to the New Orleans safe house in the Everything Or Nothing video game?) We’re treated to Craig’s patented acting style “Method Mumbling” ™. An MI6 agent isn’t who they seem, thanks Purvis and Wade! And we’re off and running literally! Jump cut to a sewer, jump cut to a roof top, followed by a frame by frame, shot by shot recreation of the Moroccan roof chase from the Bourne Ultimatum. Complete with Craig jumping through a closed window! Jump cut to a bell tower more jump cuts, the baddie is dead, how? Does it really matter at this point? More “Method Mumbling”™ and we’re off to exotic Haiti! Forget The Bahamas, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, when I think Bond locations I think Haiti.

Craig goes to a hotel room belonging to another faceless forgettable cutout of a henchman and a shot by shot, frame by frame recreation of the knife fight in Bourne’s apartment from the Bourne Identity plays out. However at least in Bourne I saw that he picked up a cheap ball point pen to defend himself. I would honestly like to know what Craig picked up and used to kill his attacker, because all I saw was feet, hands, feet, feet, head, hands, smash through glass, head, hands, bad guy bloody and dying on patio. Next Craig meets girl, “Method Mumbling”™, ends up on motorbike and is it me or does this sequence remind you of the motorbike scene in the Bourne Ultimatum? Anyway jump cut, bike on pier, jump cut bike on boat, jump cut Craig takes fishing boat, with nary a complaint from the locals, I guess they know he’s doing the lord’s work here. Jump cut to Craig’s boat hitting the General’s boat, legs, arms, arms, legs, and the girl is on Craig’s boat. She exclaims take me back! (To be fair so would I if I found myself staring in to that mug!) To which Craig retorts “Maybe I’ll do that later” now who among you can read that and say there isn’t any witty one liners in Bond films anymore, such writing! I haven’t heard witticisms like that since I last stumbled through a 3rd grade playground. Next we’re treated to more dizzying seizure inducing smash cuts featuring boats, water, and machine guns this time. Suddenly one of the baddies’ boats runs up the back of Craig’s boat. Craig throws a grappling hook in to the bow of the baddies’ boat and somehow sends it cartwheeling end over end. This scene has always bugged me, if someone can explain to me what actually happened. No shot of an anchor thrown overboard, with the other end of the rope attached, nothing! What the hell happened!

Next Craig pulls in to a friendly port and dumps of the girl who is now unconscious, after going through all that trouble to get her why hold on to her? When investigating a terrorist organization or anything for that matter you want to throw away your only lead. Craig drives through the lovely backdrop of Haiti where we see a naked man ironing a shirt in some rubble and some burnt out cars on his way to the airport. Craig wings his way to Austria to catch an opera. Lucky Craig just happens to find a custom fit tuxedo sitting in a locker and proceeds to the lobby. He spots a man get a gift bag handed to him from a different part of the guest services table than everyone else, so Craig follows him to the bathroom and murders him. I mean, it could have been this man had season tickets and therefor got a special gift bag that was different for everyone else but lucky for Craig he was somehow involved. Craig celebrates by tearing off the door knob like the incredible hulk and heads back stage. He lets the bad guys know he’s watching and snaps some impossible photos. Somehow the bad guys know he is tucked way up in the backdrop, because a henchman makes straight for him. Fast jump cuts smash together footage of gunfire, running and fire. Suddenly we find him one on one with some guy on the roof. Craig indiscriminately throws him off in a manner similar to how Moore threw Shandor off the Cairo rooftop in TSWLM. Guy lands on the hood of the main bad guy’s car without a scratch after falling 4 stories, because he dares to glance in the general direction of the main bad guy he orders him shot. Craig is accused of the death and without offering any defense runs off to Italy.

In Italy Craig meets his old friend Mathis who for some reason leaves his palatial villa and bikini clad girl friend to bankroll and accompany the man who had him tortured to Bolivia. Wow Bolivia another great location for a Bond film! I say dripping with sarcasm. In Bolivia Craig is met at the airport by a 90 pound fashion model who tells him she is under orders to return him to London. Let’s see, you have a highly trained government killing machine rampaging across the globe to fulfill his own personal vendetta and you send Barbie to put a stop to him. Needless to say it doesn’t go well, Craig seduces her with some corny line about stationary and we find ourselves at a party. Craig bumps in to the girl he dumped off in Haiti and they run off to look at the bad guy’s scheme. Too bad he didn’t have enough patience to wait for her to wake up he could have saved us all a lot of headache. Cops pull Craig over, I suppose for impersonating James Bond, and order him to open the trunk. In the trunk we find a semiconscious Mathis. Craig is suspicious of the cops but waits for them to shoot Mathis before easily dispatching them. Craig dumps his friend (who need I remind you dropped everything to accompany him to Bolivia) in a trash bin for some reason, according to Craig because Mathis wouldn’t care.

Next a useless aerial dogfight made up of more seizure inducing jump cuts and a cheesy CGI freefall. They open the parachute 5 feet from the ground because that’s how parachutes work and everything’s fine. They wander a dank cave comparing Mommy issues until they find an underground lake. Then they hop a bus back to town where low and behold Mommy herself is waiting for Craig. She chastises him in front of the dead fashion model agent who is posed in a rip off of, I mean homage to, Jill Masterson from Goldfinger. Craig is cuffed placed in an elevator with 4 other supposedly trained agents and Craig knocks them all down with his hands tied behind his back in a 10 second flurry of feet and hands. Craig leaves his dispatched brethren behind and rejoins Mommy muttering something about what a great piece of tail agent super model was and reindeers himself to her. Craig meets Felix Lieter at a dive bar where they mumble insults about each other’s home countries, and then fast cut shots of swat teams and kung fu.

Craig goes to the desert for the big final showdown which takes place in one continuous orgy of jump cuts, blurry camera work, and explosions. Craig has his man but lets him go when he hears a gunshot from the room where his compatriot was attempting her own act of vengeance. He rushes in to find her cowering in a corner, they make a quick murder suicide pact and just as we are about to be rid of Craig forever, he shoots a hydrogen cell blowing up the entire room save for our heroes who step out of the burning inferno looking fresh as daisies. Craig recaptures his target, mumbles, lets him go again, because apparently there is no way he could survive a 25 mile walk in the desert and no way his organization would let him live. Craig drops the girl off at a ramshackle train station, but not before groping at her like a nervous 14 year old on a first date. The girl shows the only quantum of decency in this film by rebuffing him and promptly leaving. Craig runs off to Russia to have it out with Vesper’s former lover. Craig mumbles at him leaves, and meets Mommy who is waiting for him outside. Craig says something about Mommy being right about Vesper whatever that was, and we get the best part of the movie the closing credits!

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