Thursday, September 24, 2015

Quantum of Solace (2008) | Villains

The villains are Quantum of Solace's weakest point. Mr White is tickled that no one knows the Quantum organization exists, but what he doesn't seem to realize is that their initial anonymity is their only line of defense. Once MI6 knows about them, it's ridiculously easy to track down who their members are. They don't launder any money and they meet in public using a system that's effortlessly infiltrated. And when Bond does infiltrate it, they all helpfully get up and leave so that he can spot them and take their pictures.

Except White, that is. But I don't think that actually makes him seem intelligent as much as it simply highlights the stupidity of his colleagues. I'm curious to see White in SPECTRE. I like him, but he's not that impressive a bad guy and it'll be interesting to put him in context with an even more dangerous organization.

I often hear that Dominic Greene is a boring villain, but I disagree. He's a weasel, but he's also unpredictable and Mathieu Amalric gives him a lot of personality. Sometimes I feel like fans are automatically disinterested if the bad guy isn't trying to destroy the world. Greene is powerful, connected, and willing to do heinous things in pursuit of his goals. He's plenty threatening.

Elvis isn't the greatest henchman ever, but he's different and kind of fun with his dumb Lloyd Christmas haircut. And I like how out of place he looks schmoozing with Greene's supporters. I read somewhere that Anatole Taubman and Amalric developed a backstory that Greene and Elvis are related and that's how Elvis is connected to Quantum. Makes total sense.

I love to hate General Medrano. It's not just because of the evil things he's done. Lots of bad guys do really evil things. It's because of Joaquín Cosío's chillingly arrogant performance. He's charming enough when he wants to be, but then he holds his head a certain way and his eyes grow cold and he just looks so... "displeased" feels like the right word. Even when he's clearly got less power and isn't getting his way - as happens with Greene - he gives the impression that he's in complete control and that you should really reconsider what you're doing. It's the same kind of pride that simultaneously repulses and fascinates me about Michael Lonsdale's portrayal of Hugo Drax.

Top Ten Villains

1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
2. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Never Say Never Again)
3. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love and Thunderball)
4. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
5. Maximilian Largo (Never Say Never Again)
6. Francisco Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
7. Dr. Kananga (Live and Let Die)
8. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
9. Doctor No (Dr. No)
10. General Gogol (For Your Eyes Only)

Top Ten Henchmen

1. Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
2. Fiona Volpe (Thunderball)
3. Grant (From Russia with Love)
4. Nick Nack (The Man with the Golden Gun)
5. Zao (Die Another Day)
6. Gobinda (Octopussy)
7. May Day (A View to a Kill)
8. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)
9. Naomi (The Spy Who Loved Me)
10. Oddjob (Goldfinger)

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