Saturday before last, the sequel to Casino Royale was on telly… and I was trying to watch it, but the first twenty minutes or so just seemed to be an incomprehensible mishmash of chase scenes, with nothing for my eyes and brain to latch on to. Since it was quite late at night, I just assumed I was too tired to appreciate what I was watching, and promptly went to bed… but reading some of the reviews that were published at the time, I see that a few professional critics had a little trouble following the action sequences too! As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of the franchise, so really the main draw for me in Quantum of Solace (2008) was the prospect of seeing Gemma Arterton playing a “Bond girl”. And, despite the fact that her appearance here is fairly fleeting, I wasn’t disappointed. On paper there isn’t really much to the character of MI6 ‘Agent Fields’ (I refuse to type out her full name, because it is a silly thing), but Arterton brings so much charm and personality to the role, throwing out random cheeky winks for no apparent reason, that it ably confirms what an engaging actress she is. I remember seeing a magazine article around the time of the original release which shamelessly spoiled Fields’ fate with a large glossy photo of her death scene, so that didn’t come as much of a surprise to me… although I was still disappointed that she had to die at all. Strawberry Fields Forever!!! (Told you it was silly!)
Until I checked the credits for this movie, I didn’t even know that comedy legend Charlie Chaplin had a granddaughter, much less one who’d been acting in British TV shows and films for the last couple of years! Her name is Oona Castilla Chaplin, and she plays the small but significant role of the ‘Perla de las Dunas Receptionist’ (i.e., she’s the unfortunate young woman who tries to serve the evil general a pint of beer, and ends up getting sexually assaulted for her efforts). She doesn’t really get much dialogue… and at one point Olga Kurylenko shoves her into a wall… but considering the prestige associated with appearing in the Bond series, it’s still an impressive feather in her cap. Previously, she’s had a minor role in the BBC spy-drama Spooks, and a recurring role in an ITV dramedy about modern relationships called Married Single Other, which I remember saying rather mean things about on my old blog… although I can’t really remember what they were now. I only saw the first episode anyway, and she wasn’t in that one, so I don’t have to feel guilty about it now! Oh, and did I mention that she’s incredibly good-looking? No? Well, she is. So there.
The first time I heard Jack White’s theme song, I thought it sounded very silly… and tragically Meg-less… but it’s starting to grow on me a little more now. I still don’t like hearing him sing outside the context of The White Stripes, but I prefer “Another Way to Die” to most of the tracks he’s made with his other bands.