As you may have noticed, a new James Bond movie opened last weekend. Sony executives are celebratingQuantum of Solace
's $70 million opening - the biggest for any Bond movie - by snorting gold-plated cocaine atop a palanquin borne by castrated former Viacom employees, but we at Hair Balls are quietly pondering the important question. Namely, how doesQoS
stack up against other 007 flicks? Let's have a look, using the categories we exhaustively researched last week:
Camille Montes' (Olga Kurylenko) quest for revenge against the man who murdered her family immediately brings to mind Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) from 1981's For Your Eyes Only, but not for long. In spite of Kurylenko's pouty good looks (and formidable spray-on tan), she's not much of a romantic interest. Bond is still mourning Vesper's death, and the pair share a single kiss of the 'good-bye' variety at film's end.
Grade: C --- Worse than Eva Green or Catherine Bach, better than Tanya Roberts or Denise Richards.
Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton) is more of a traditional Bond Girl, in that she has a goofy moniker (though her first name is never actually said during the movie), provides 007 with some welcome sexual relief, and conveniently dies before forcing him to dump her or subjecting us to more of her "acting."
Grade: B-minus --- Bonus points for spending half her scenes in a trenchcoat with -- apparently -- nothing on underneath.
QoS marks the second Bond movie in a role with a wholly unremarkably villainous sidekick. Elvis (Anatole Taubman) is significant solely for his bowl haircut and his final scene, in which his boss Dominic Greene demonstrates just how valuable an employee he doesn't consider him to be.
Grade: C --- We're overdue for a mulleted henchman.
Mr. Slate's death is refreshingly brutal, but the prize has to go to the aforementioned Strawberry Fields who buys the farm in a 21st-century "reimagining" of Jill Masterson's demise in Goldfinger.
Grade: B --- A "sticky situation" indeed.
If one considers Greene (Mathieu Amalric) merely part of the whole in the Quantum organization, his presence is more understandable, because as the #1 bad guy, he fails miserably. Sure, he's a well-connected fellow with a goofy plan, but the only "villainous" things about him are his girlish shriek whenever he swings an axe at Bond and the fact that he looks like Roman Polanski.
Grade: D-minus --- Nick Nack was more menacing.
Swing and a miss. "I know the player with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty?" Only the fact that "Another Way to Die" was accompanied by the return of the [maybe] naked dancing chicks during the opening credits kept me from picking up a nearby annoying child and hurling him at the screen.
Grade: F --- Is Shirley Bassey still alive?
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Two years is a long time to wait for the second part of a "To be continued...", but Quantum of Solace -- Casino Royale epilogue though it may be -- is a decent flick. I like the fact that the events in the first movie are shown to be part of a larger plot, and that Daniel Craig's Bond has some emotional depth, but hopefully we've heard the last of Vesper Lynd and will move on to more exotic locales and impressive explosions.
Grade: B-plus --- Craig is a better Bond than Moore or Lazenby, and probably Brosnan.
-- Pete Vonder Haar