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What people don't understand about QoS...


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#1 Arch Stanton

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:08 AM

Something bothers me when I read negative views of QoS, something that's been nagging at me for two years now, something that I think was so obvious when I first sa it but other people seem to have read differently. What my post is about will just be my opinion, what I interpreted. I don't fequent these boards a lot, so I don't know if other people saw it my way or not, but a lot of thoughts I've read elsewhere sho me that a lot of people took things differently than me. So here goes...

First off, I was VERY dissapointed with QoS when I first saw it. What I didn't like about it was it's hyper-fast pace, it's stupid action sequences, and what I felt was bad editing. Overall, it's definately on the lower side among my Bond film rankings. It all felt cobbled together without much thought of flow or pace, and pretty much feels like a Bourne movie stylistically, a style which I HATE by the way. I could go into more detail, but I don't want to talk about the bad things in QoS. I want to talk about what I did like, which actually is quite a bit. I really like the overall plot, especially when it came to the Bond character and Craig's portayal. Like they say about the end of CR, Bond BECOMES Bond and the end of that film. And I agree. This is the point that bugs me; that everyone says that it's not until the end of QoS that Bond BECOMES Bond. Bond IS Bond in QoS. At least that's how I look at it. Yes, he's not over Vesper; yes, he's still thinking about getting revenge. But that's Bond! You can make a drinking game on all the villians Bond had killed who had killed a friend of his, even way back in Dr. No he said about SPECTRE that he would prefer the revenge department and that his first job would be to get back at who killed Strangways and Quarell.

And at the end of QoS, when M says something like, "Come back, we need you." He says, "I never left." That, again to my interpretation, wasn't that the whole point of the movie was that he's still "becoming Bond", but that he WAS Bond this whole time. Yes, he went a little rouge in the middle of the film, but that is a trait of Bond. He HAD to make things right, and ended up showing more restraint that Dalton-Bond by not killing Vesper's old boyfrined. And all those people he killed throughout the film wasn't really avoidable, if you ask me. He wasn't on a rampage like how MI6 thought he was. He was doing his job. What problems Bond had internally was something he was dealing with himself, and which he overcomes at the end of the film himself, with maybe some inspiration from close friends (Mathis and Camille).

Overall, QoS has some GREAT elements and shows what they can do with the Craig-era. I hope they keep doing new things and keep it as fresh and interesting as the Craig-Bond's have been so far. They just need to structure it all better the the movie breathe more, and stop making it look like a Greengrass film, shaking the camera all the time and un-inspired (and a few too many) action sequences. I'd call QoS and equal to CR if it weren't for the major flaws it had as a film, that had NOTHING to do with the story.

#2 Mr_Wint

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:05 AM

I guess most fans understand that Bond wasn't completely out for revenge. He was looking for a "quantum of solace"... The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

#3 The sniper was a woman

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:09 AM

It's interesting but I think (forgive me if I'm wrong !) Zorin Industries has made a review about QoS with its weaknesses and strenghts almost identical. Am I right ?

#4 Arch Stanton

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:35 AM

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

#5 Mr_Wint

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:33 PM

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

#6 Arch Stanton

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:17 PM

Just my opinion, but I always felt that the book Bond felt the same as Craig Bond did when it came to Vesper. Craig Bond maybe showed it a bit more since QoS was mostly about that, but I've always taken book Bond to have been every bit as effected by Vesper as Craig Bond.

#7 Mr. Blofeld

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:18 PM

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

That was certainly a weakness in the book, but Fleming realized this in hindsight, and so made Tracy's death have a much more profound impact on Bond -- if '60s Fleming were writing LALD, I'm certain he'd have done something similar to QOS.

#8 Guy Haines

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:08 PM


But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

It is true that Bond had moved on in the novel LALD, but his motivation to take down SMERSH remained. I think one contrast between the transition from CR to LALD in print and CR to QoS on screen is that in the books Bond had declared war on a clearly defined enemy in SMERSH. In the films Bond doesn't really know who the enemy is. (Mr White to M "....and all the time you don't even know we exist".) Also, the revelation that Yusef Kabira may still be alive certainly affects Bond's motives in the film. Quantum may have been the driving force that caused Vesper's death, but unlike his battle with SMERSH in the books, in QoS Bond can pin Vesper's suicide not just to the actions of an organisation (one he doesn't fully comprehend under the end of the film, presumably) but to an individual.

#9 DR76

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 11:43 PM

The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.



Judi Dench's M must be the only one in the franchise's entire history that is constantly criticized. Exactly what did her M do that was wrong?

#10 The Shark

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:00 AM

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

That was certainly a weakness in the book, but Fleming realized this in hindsight, and so made Tracy's death have a much more profound impact on Bond -- if '60s Fleming were writing LALD, I'm certain he'd have done something similar to QOS.


It wasn't a weakness. It demonstrates how severely Bond regards betrayal. No need to give Tracy level significance to Vesper, when adapting the novel.

#11 The sniper was a woman

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:03 PM

The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.

Judi Dench's M must be the only one in the franchise's entire history that is constantly criticized. Exactly what did her M do that was wrong?


I concur. Maybe not "constantly" but since DAD she's "on the line of fire" indeed !
I'm agree she's old enough to be replaced for Bond 23...But she did a wonderful job ! Especially in QoS.

#12 Lachesis

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:17 PM

But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

That was certainly a weakness in the book, but Fleming realized this in hindsight, and so made Tracy's death have a much more profound impact on Bond -- if '60s Fleming were writing LALD, I'm certain he'd have done something similar to QOS.


I really dont see it as any kind of weakness it was how Fleming felt the character needed to be presented at that stage in his life. Tracy and Vesper are not interchageble, Fleming concived of them for different purposes at significantly different points in Bonds career. I think he was mindful of the dangers of suggesting Bond as compromised emotionally from the pov of his superiors (probably bourne in his real experience of how little tolerance is offered in that regard) and it is indicative that he struggled to present the character in Yolt and TMWTGG without labouring the need for him to prove his worth to MI6 by doing what they say - rather than QoS which effectively does the opposite. The onus and emotive bias of YOLT is demonstrably different from QoS, 60's Fleming had a different perspective on how Bond should move on from his one true relationship and for the very best of reasons this was not something Fleming would choose for his fledgling entries in the series.


The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.

Judi Dench's M must be the only one in the franchise's entire history that is constantly criticized. Exactly what did her M do that was wrong?


I concur. Maybe not "constantly" but since DAD she's "on the line of fire" indeed !
I'm agree she's old enough to be replaced for Bond 23...But she did a wonderful job ! Especially in QoS.


I dont think anyone blames Dench, but more recent scripts have employed the mechanism of downplaying the skills and abilities of Bonds allies and enemies in order to make him appear more than just a thug. Dench has been forced to express surprise and shock at some rather routine events and instances, MI6 unable to handle this fledling agent, all of which undermine their own credibility or respect. Equally the shift in where we are supposedly seeing Bond in his career does pose additional burdens on the credibility with which he is percieved by M and MI6...we accept he's needed and believed by virtue of his long history, in previous films you could recall his last great mission as a means for justifying the faith M places in him.....but if CR and QoS are presenting his early career as they infer, there is little reason or justification for either to accord Bond the trust they do.

The biggest problem I have with QoS is the feeling that the dialogue does not mesh with the actions - and as is so often the case - actions speak louder than words, imo Bond's choices and motivations are far more consistent as compromised, he doesn't follow the command chain, he delivers a succession of diminishing returns White->Greene->Yusseff, he has the ability to deliver Greene but employs an almost needlessly messy and unprofessional execution instead so when he says at the end 'I never left' I really dont feel its bourne out by the events we have been shown.....of course we know Bond is a man who can save the world (and Fleming had proven the man's worth time and again by the time he came to any suggestion of being compromised), but at this point M doesn't, so her faith and statement 'I want you back' just doens't ring true for me and the relationship seems 'wrong' imo. Now someone might suggest she was going the Major Dalby route of 'I was counting on you being an insubordinate B**tard, Palmer' but that isn't how it comes accross to me, nor is it really something i feel is entirely appropriate for Bond.

Edited by Lachesis, 23 November 2010 - 01:20 PM.


#13 The Shark

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:43 PM

The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.



Judi Dench's M must be the only one in the franchise's entire history that is constantly criticized. Exactly what did her M do that was wrong?


It's because ever since TWINE, she's been written as an incompetent, impulsive, surrogate mother for Bond, spouting ineffectual psychobabble, and rambling about on about trust.

It has little to do with Dench herself, and everything to do with how she's written.

#14 Safari Suit

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:55 PM


But Bond's motivation is a little bit ambiguous in QOS, and I think that springs from the fact that it is hard to seek revenge for someone that committed suicide. The writers were confused.

Perhaps, but I think that can be atributed to how the Bond of the books regarded SMERSH. In both cases Vesper as betraying her country because of blackmail, the guilt of which lead her to suicide. She may have taken her own life in the end, but Bond sees SMERSH/Quantum as the driving force to her downfall.

The Bond of the books didn't care much about Vesper in the sequel, LALD.

That was certainly a weakness in the book, but Fleming realized this in hindsight, and so made Tracy's death have a much more profound impact on Bond -- if '60s Fleming were writing LALD, I'm certain he'd have done something similar to QOS.


It wasn't a weakness. It demonstrates how severely Bond regards betrayal.


I agree, I don't believe there's any evidence to suggest that Fleming wrote the Tracy arc to "correct" what he "got wrong" with Vesper.

#15 KENDO NAGAZAKI

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 03:50 AM

Plenty of truth in the opening post here IMO.

And, for those who were blagged by EON not to notice, Bond was Bond all the way through CR as well; the "reboot" aspects and "Bond begins" stuff was utterly pointless IMO, as Bond is not only around the same age as many others who have played the part, but he also posesses practically everything we've always known and often loved about the character from the outset in CR. And trying to pass off an obviously intelligent late-thirties male as some kind of adolescent thug who needs berating by his grandmother every five minutes and naively falls headlong for the first girl who shows any real interest in him is pretty much complete idiocy. There was no need for the "reboot" at all (we should have just moved on to Craig the way we moved onto Dalton after Moore), all it served was to give EON one more precious little marketing gimmick.

#16 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 06:39 PM

Finding out why Vesper betrayed him gave him his quantum of solace. Going on vacation would probably have been not the same for him.

#17 Arch Stanton

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:19 PM

Finding out why Vesper betrayed him gave him his quantum of solace. Going on vacation would probably have been not the same for him.

Exactly, Bond doesn't go on vacation. It seemed from the books that whenever Bond had even a little bit of down time it would drive him up the wall.

As for the QoS title, I've alays LOVED it. Not because it's a Fleming title, but because it's something unique that describes the feeling of looking for comfort and contentment in life when times are going bad. Isn't that something everybody can relate to? And that meaning trancends as clear as day in the film in my eyes.

Edited by Arch Stanton, 25 November 2010 - 07:23 PM.


#18 The Shark

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:24 PM


Finding out why Vesper betrayed him gave him his quantum of solace. Going on vacation would probably have been not the same for him.

Exactly, Bond doesn't go on vacation. It seemed from the books that whenever Bond had even a little bit of down time it would drive him up the wall.

As for the QoS title, I've alays LOVED it. Not because it's a Fleming title, but because it's something unique that describes the feeling of looking for comfort and contentment in life when times are going bad. Isn't that something everybody can relate to? And that meaning trancends as clear as day in the film in my eyes.


That was mostly downtime back in HQ, in the office. That's what drove him bonkers.

And also, Bond never found that Quantum of Solace after Vesper's death in the novel - and that's a fundamental truth to Fleming's hero. He's always seeking that comfort, but never finds it.

#19 Zorin Industries

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:46 PM

"What people don't understand about QOS...."? Oh please. What people don't understand is that the makers of Bond want and will move things on in different directions in order to keep things fresh and different for them and their audiences who appeared to not mind. Fine - don't like what they did by all means, but don't throw blanket statements over the whole thing.

It's interesting but I think (forgive me if I'm wrong !) Zorin Industries has made a review about QoS with its weaknesses and strenghts almost identical. Am I right ?

Not sure. I don't remember discussing that many weaknesses two years ago in that critique.

#20 JimmyBond

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:53 PM

What people should understand, is that Bond fans (and namely you lot who post here...that includes me), all have different tastes. Just like I love this film, others will not, same with DAD and it's fanbase, and Moonraker and so forth.

The only reason this film is still pulling in this kind of discussion is because it's still the current Bond film (despite being two years old now). Given more time, and more films, QoS will be looked upon as just another Bond film. And a lot of people will wonder what all the furor was over.

#21 Iroquois

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 09:22 PM

Craig's Bond is still in line with Flemings Bond at the end of QOS. Flemings Bond is after the "arm that holds the whip", so is Craig's. He shows this by capturing Yusef for information. The only "measure of comfort" Craig's Bond has had is a clear idea as to Vespers motivation, something that Fleming's Bond had from the get go via suicide note. There is no true comfort for Craig's bond either.

QOS was about giving us the Bond we all love but still making him more engaging through ambiguity as to his motivations, while simultaneously tying up the loose ends of CR i.e bond and M's relationship and vespers motivations.

#22 RivenWinner

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 02:15 PM

Plenty of truth in the opening post here IMO.

And, for those who were blagged by EON not to notice, Bond was Bond all the way through CR as well; the "reboot" aspects and "Bond begins" stuff was utterly pointless IMO, as Bond is not only around the same age as many others who have played the part, but he also posesses practically everything we've always known and often loved about the character from the outset in CR. And trying to pass off an obviously intelligent late-thirties male as some kind of adolescent thug who needs berating by his grandmother every five minutes and naively falls headlong for the first girl who shows any real interest in him is pretty much complete idiocy. There was no need for the "reboot" at all (we should have just moved on to Craig the way we moved onto Dalton after Moore), all it served was to give EON one more precious little marketing gimmick.



I 100% completely agree with you here. This may sound silly to many of you, but to me this was the one thing that I detested from CR, that it was a 'reboot.' Like Kendo Nagazaki says, there was no need at all to trumpet this whole reboot concept. I don't really want to delve into the whole series continuity issue and floating time line ordeal, but I think the novel itself could have been adapted easily without having to give us this "new" and recently "promoted" agent nonsense. Bond is basically Bond throughout the whole film, regardless of the stuff Campbell and CO were spewing during the production and marketing of the film.

#23 DaveBond21

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:21 AM


The bottom line is that Dench-M did everything wrong this time.



Judi Dench's M must be the only one in the franchise's entire history that is constantly criticized. Exactly what did her M do that was wrong?


It's because ever since TWINE, she's been written as an incompetent, impulsive, surrogate mother for Bond, spouting ineffectual psychobabble, and rambling about on about trust.

It has little to do with Dench herself, and everything to do with how she's written.


Indeed. M's thoughts in the last 4 Bond movies:-

In TWINE - "I trust the daughter of an old friend more than Bond"

In DAD - " I don't trust Bond, I reckon he blabbed in North Korea. But I do trust this young Olympic fencing champ!"

In CR - "I don't trust Bond and I promoted him too quick"

In QOS - "I don't trust Bond but Mitchell is the most trustworthy assistant I've ever had"

And now in Skyfall, she's going to lose a drive with the details of 00 agents. Nice one, M! Time to retire?

______________________________________________________________________________________________

#24 AndrewBond

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:26 AM

I just rewatched QOS recently because this really bugged me. I had hated the movie ever since I had the chance to rewatch it because I felt like it fundamentally flips what was established at the end of CR - that Bond was now finally Bond and Vesper's death had been instrumental in bringing him to this process.

Plenty of truth in the opening post here IMO.

And, for those who were blagged by EON not to notice, Bond was Bond all the way through CR as well; the "reboot" aspects and "Bond begins" stuff was utterly pointless IMO, as Bond is not only around the same age as many others who have played the part, but he also posesses practically everything we've always known and often loved about the character from the outset in CR. And trying to pass off an obviously intelligent late-thirties male as some kind of adolescent thug who needs berating by his grandmother every five minutes and naively falls headlong for the first girl who shows any real interest in him is pretty much complete idiocy. There was no need for the "reboot" at all (we should have just moved on to Craig the way we moved onto Dalton after Moore), all it served was to give EON one more precious little marketing gimmick.


This is all very true, but rather than simply a "marketing gimmick", I think it did make for a great story. Of course, Bond was "Bond" in every practical sense the entire time, that was on display the whole film (except for the harmless gimmicky stuff like "Mathis, Rene Mathis","shaken or stirred", winning the Aston Martin - although the scene where Vesper gives him a "proper" dinner jacket was disturbing and nonsensical). The film was about Bond becoming Bond emotionally. The crux of CR is about a man, already stunted emotionally, endowed with a license to kill, who after a particularly shocking first mission realizes he's about to lose what's left of his soul if he doesn't stop now. That chance is taken away from him in an extremely cynical manner - the woman he loves betrays him to save another man's life and kills herself from shame when she fails - which solidifies Bond into the man we've known over 20 previous films who kills without regret as many as the women he disposes of.


Craig's Bond is still in line with Flemings Bond at the end of QOS. Flemings Bond is after the "arm that holds the whip", so is Craig's. He shows this by capturing Yusef for information. The only "measure of comfort" Craig's Bond has had is a clear idea as to Vespers motivation, something that Fleming's Bond had from the get go via suicide note. There is no true comfort for Craig's bond either.

QOS was about giving us the Bond we all love but still making him more engaging through ambiguity as to his motivations, while simultaneously tying up the loose ends of CR i.e bond and M's relationship and vespers motivations.


Why did we need to clarify Vesper's motivation? M tells Bond the truth at the end of CR. What we didn't know was that her boyfriend wasn't actually an innoncent victim, he was a hired con man, which makes Vesper look stupid for betraying a man who loves her for one who is manipulating her. What is his dropping of the Algerian love knot at the end of QOS supposed to signify? That he's over her completely (understandable when he finds out about Yusef's true nature, apparently she was an idiot)? Does this mean his future battles with Quantum will be completely dispassionate?

As for the ambiguity of Bond's motivations throughout QOS, this is the second most irritating aspect. Bond actually is sort of responsible for Slate's death - even though he slit his coronary in the heat of the moment, he also weirdly stabs him near the femoral artery while he's already on his back, no attempts to question him. He tosses the bodyguard from the roof, in some sort of lame allusion to The Spy Who Loved Me, even though that could very well break his neck. When M calls about it, he seems terse and guilty, when he could simply explain what actually happened in an additional sentence and avoid the ensuing plot, but hey, where would the movie go?

That said, I did realize the film does have a good amount going for it, despite the fact that it shouldn't exist. It's probably the most beautiful Bond film with some of the most engaging locations, the action sequences are some of the best coreographed despite being awfully edited, and I realized I like Camille a lot more than I thought. Perhaps, as someone mentioned above, when QOS is finally "just another Bond film" will I be less sour on it.




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