johnlink ranks QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) and SKYFALL (2012)
Slowly – very, very slowly – working back through the Daniel Craig 007 films before watching SPECTRE. This is the third time I’ve watched QUANTUM OF SOLACE, and went into that viewing remembering it as underwhelming. SKYFALL was one I had a positive memory of, however.
I watched QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008) on 5.12.16. It was my third viewing of the film, having last watched it back in 2012 before SKYFALL came out, so this is a re-ranking. Same goes for SKYFALL (2012) which I watched on 5.21.16.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE lacks some of the grandeur of the other Daniel Craig films in the James Bond series. It comes in at just about 100 minutes, making it the shortest 007 film in a fifty year history of the character. While it packs a lot of action into the runtime, it doesn’t have the room to breathe that makes CASINO ROYALE such a wonderful viewing experience.
The action, again, is really good. A chase leading to a fight suspended in the air is great. A survivalist flight is solid. The final fight is underwhelming, but not terrible. The action pops along quickly and effectively. This film does not fail to entertain.
Also, Olga Kurylenko makes for a solid Bond girl, and is effective in bucking the tradition of the Bond girls not needing to be a romantic interest. She disappears from the movie for too long, because the film is better when she is in it.
It has a bunch of underwhelming bits though. The opening song – by Jack White and Alicia Keys – is really weak, as is the entire opening credit bit. The rest of these modern Bond films have had awesome opening sequences, and this one just feels like it is going through the motions. The villain, Mathieu Amalric’s Dominic Greene, feels like the kind of guy who should be a second in command, not a true danger of a man.
The film continues the story of CASINO ROYALE, which is something that SKYFALL is less interested in doing. The third film in the Craig series is much more of a standalone film, though it has major implications for the series.
The movie begins with Bond getting shot due to a rash decision by M (Judi Dench). He takes some time to be presumed dead before a threat on M’s life causes him to emerge from the shadows.
Much of SKYFALL has to do with usefulness. Bond fails his tests upon return, but M passes him through anyway. He spends much of the film trying to get back into form. Meanwhile, he combats another left-for-dead former agent, Silva (Javier Bardem). Silva is a computer nerd and wants to cyber attack M into oblivion. This is all complicated by new British oversight in the form of Ralph Fiennes.
SKYFALL is a pretty good Bond film, though the gap between QUANTUM and it was not quite as large as I remembered. Despite extending the story, QUANTUM feels somewhat inconsequential in the end. SKYFALL, while being more of an independent story in the Craig Bond series, ends up majorly effecting the story going forward by its conclusion.
Both were worth seeing again. Now it is time to finally get to SPECTRE.
QUANTUM: FILM: 5; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 6
FINAL SCORE: 6.25 out of 10
SKYFALL: FILM: 6; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 6
FINAL SCORE: 6.75 out of 10