Thursday, December 3, 2009

The villains of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd James Bond film, inspire pity rather than producing fear.

The villains of Bond 22 lack the most basic character trait which defines a Bond criminal mastermind, panache. If flamboyance, confidence of style and a proclivity for the vainglorious are the standard, then Dominic Greene, the chief villain of Bond 22, is a third rate languid paragon. Greene is a businessman who poses to be an environmentalist, but who seeks to control access to the natural resources of the world with the help of like minded business criminals known as the Quantum consortium...Yes, very cliche and unimaginative! Adding to Greene’s flaws as a villain are his bland and lackluster demeanor for conducting the business of evildoing. Greene is played by talented French actor Mathieu Amalric; one can only feel pity for the failure of the screenwriters to exploit his acting repertoire. Then there is Mr. White, who has a spookily confident demeanor and who has an eerily foreboding raspy voice, but who seldom appears. Unfortunately, Mr. White was not assigned a prominent role. In his biggest appearance he spends most of the time inside OO7’s trunk, as Bond tries to deliver him to MI6 authorities.

Bond villains are supposed to be the masterminds of crimes that are fantastical and ambitious. They are supposed to be wicked ringleaders who brilliantly concoct master plans to rule or destroy the world, while not forgetting that such nefarious schemes are banal unless executed with a good sense of style; in combining all of these elements, Bond villains are supposed to both scare and impress the moviegoer. Even more important, these heinous characters must stand the test of time. It's impossible to reflect on a memorable Bond scene without mentioning the enigmatic Dr. No, who scared Jamaicans with his radioactive hands and armored metal dragon, or the garrulous and irascible Goldfinger, who led a horde of Asians in a quest to control the gold market, or Jaws, the laconic, steel toothed, 7 foot henchman, who made numerous appearances in an earnest determination to bite Bond to death.

Mr.Green and Mr. White are no match for their evil predecessors. Mr. Green is simply a wimp who lacks the quirky idiosyncrasies that every Bond villain must have and Mr. White’s sporadic appearances render him a forgettable Bond foe.

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