Famous for doing her own spectacular stunts in over a dozen Hong Kong action films, Michelle Yeoh was the perfect choice to reinvigorate the Bond Girl archetype. Playing an elite Chinese secret agent who reluctantly partners with 007 to thwart a maniacal media mogul intent on starting World War III, Yeoh’s graceful martial arts skills are the film’s best special effect. “Wai Lin is the most physically empowered Bond Girl of the franchise,” said Dr. Funnell. “She outfights and outshines Bond in all the scenes they share together.” Although the film tacks on an unnecessary romance between the two heroes, Wai Lin remains a fiercely independent female lead. “If I could see one Bond character in a spin-off movie, it would definitely be Wai Lin.”
Vesper Lynd in “Casino Royale” (2006)
For a new generation of 007 fans, the tragically duplicitous Vesper Lynd is the ultimate Bond Girl. “She’s one of the most complex and developed female characters in the franchise,” said Dr. Funnell. “Her importance to the film is conveyed through a signature musical theme, which is the only one created for a female character across the entire series.” Bold and defiant, yet deeply vulnerable, Vesper Lynd is miles away from bumbling Bond beauties like Tiffany Case and Mary Goodnight. “Although she dies at the end of ‘Casino Royale,’ her presence looms large in ‘Quantum of Solace’ to such a degree that Bond can’t connect emotionally with that film’s heroine and they part ways at the end,” Funnell said.