Qantas of Horace

Qantas of Horace

A few days ago, The Daily Telegraph reported that the new Bond movie Quantum of Solace is “full of blunders”.

Now, that should be an interesting story, I thought. After all, Bond movies are pretty much all the British film industry have left these days, except for romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson, and even Bond movies are actually made with American money. To have the ultimate in British movies riddled with embarrassing errors would be somehow British, carrying on in the fine tradition of what Stephen Pile called “heroic failures”, like Eddie “The Eagle Edwards, the Advanced Passenger Train and Blue Streak. One more multi-million-pound disaster: we’re good at those.

One of my guilty pleasures in life (which is, I freely admit, extremely tame as far as guilty pleasures go) is to look up movies on the International Movie Database and read all the goofs. For example, in Hot Fuzz, Nicky Angel’s ammo belts keep disappearing and reappearing; Patriot Games is full of bewildering geographical errors that make it unwatchable for anyone who has ever spent more than a day in London; and the whole plot of the 1998 X-Files movie revolves around bees pollinating corn, which they do not do in the world inhabited by you and me.

So what hugely embarrassing blunders can we expect to see Daniel Craig ignoring? Well, as it turns out, in terms of egg on faces, Quantum of Solace is a huge disappointment. Probably the biggest goof is that the temperature in La Paz is 46°F; that is, about 8°C. All the mistakes are so inconsequential, you have to be a bit obsessed even to notice them.

My favourite on the list is the revelation that in a particular chase scene, one of the cars involved is a Vauxhall Corsa with Italian number plates. The “goof” in this case is that outside of the UK, Vauxhalls are rebadged as Opels. Honestly, who watches a Bond car chase and notices the makers’ badges?

The Telegraph lists a grand total of six factual and continuity errors, which for a Hollywood blockbuster is pretty much error-free (by contrast, the IMDb lists 58 errors in the classic Gone with the Wind). That a story could even be made out of this is ridiculous enough, but the statement that film critics say these six mistakes “spoil the film” tells you, I think, pretty much all you need to know about film critics.