Quantum of Solace

By Mark Ramsey | 2008/11/21

It’s official: James Van Der Beek has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next Bond.

So what if the hat’s a Kangol cap and it’s in the wrong ring altogether. When you’re best known for being up a ten-year-old creek you either aim high or get high and forget why you were aiming in the first place.

Daniel Craig is a fantastic Bond, assuming that Ian Fleming had envisioned a hero who looks like Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes. As Fleming once noted “Bond has much in common with Dr. Zaius, especially their mutual resemblance to the actor who played Samantha’s father on Bewitched.”


Craig returns to a role allowing him to park any expressions other than “dour” in the lot outside the studio gate.

“Expressions are over-rated,” said Craig. “I’m not licensed to emote, just to kill.”

The best part of many Bond movies – and all the Timothy Dalton ones – is the opening title sequence, where un-clad babes writhe in profile.

Here the babes are made of sand and as Bond’s gun shoots a bullet in slow-motion into that sand you are reminded that Bond evidently does not fire blanks, if you know what I’m saying. But he sure is in danger of catching sand crabs.

Finally, a “Bond girl” named Olga. I’ve been waiting 22 movies for this moment! Olga is armed and fabulous. And best of all, her primary job is to zoom over to Bond in her little car just when he needs it and shout “Get in!”

This requires either great skill or looking so great you don’t need skill. Guess which here?

There’s “GET in” and “get IN” and “GET IN” and the cool and subtle “get in.” Which will it be? Let’s practice while we’re making breakfast for one of the producers – any one will do.

Olga was burned in a horrible accident as a child. Evidence of this tragedy can still be found on a portion of her back so far from her good looks it might as well check passports when she flips over. How you burn only a cute little patch of your back when you escape a blazing fire is anyone’s guess, but they don’t call this Hollywood for nothing.

This is the first-ever movie where we get to meet an actual Bolivian Strongman! No one had previously thought to invent such an obscure international character, but it opens the doors to upcoming Bond villains such as “Indonesian Postal Carrier,” “Korean Shoe-Cobbler,” and “Moroccan Cotton Gin Technician.”


It’s one chase after another, one fight after another. You know James has been through the ringer because he has added another fast-healing cut to his face. No aches, no pains, no injuries, not even a sore knee. Just a cut. That in a world where most folks can’t touch their toes.

Where else but in a Bond movie will you find not only villains who love Opera but ones who conduct all their business in the middle of a performance. Hey, if every Opera fan was a villain there’d be no villains!

I believe there’s a rule that you cannot make a film in Europe unless you hire  Giancarlo Giannini. Either that, or Giannini is making breakfast for one of the producers – any one will do.

The Brits will never learn. Why else send a hot babe from the consulate in Bolivia to turn Bond around at the airport when she’s most likely to be turning him onto his back at the hotel.

Surprise, surprise, when her dalliance with Bond results in her being drenched in oil, and not just because Bond hasn’t washed his hair in the history of the franchise. “I’m licensed to kill people, not hair lice” noted Bond with an expression so dour even dour throws up its hands and shouts “I give up.”

Here’s what I learned: Spies spend lots of time in fine hotels and at swanky parties where the primary intelligence gathered is “what’s that appetizer?”

Time to take to the air! It turns out Bond knows how to fly as recklessly as he knows how to drive! Leave it to Bond to end up in a dogfight with vintage aircraft. What’s next, flaming arrows and slingshots?

Say, where did the Bolivian Air Force get planes? I thought they strictly flew donkeys with wings.

Granted, Quantum of Solace lacks the emotional depth of Casino Royale, but when you’re looking for the latest chapter in a franchise famous for a dead damsel covered in gold, oil, or nothing at all, it’s time to offer up a quantum of slack.


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