Friday, September 7, 2012

Awesome James Bond Cars 


Die Another Day

Jaguar XKR and the Aston Martin Vanquish

Die Another Day is not one of my favorites, although there are plenty of great stunts and action. 

The first half of the film is typical Bond and very exciting...unfortunately, things fall apart pretty badly once they get to the ice palace.

This is Pierce Brosnan's fourth and last Bond film. It opens with James Bond being betrayed and captured by the North Koreans. 

So we get some great Bond villains - Toby Stephens and Rick Yune - and some really cool fight scenes.

Plus, you get Hallie Berry and her incredible sweater monkeys.

But we're here to talk about the cars....

John Cleese replaced Desmond Llewelyn as Q, and gave Bond a proper car - the Aston Martin Vanquish. 

Ford had bought Aston, becoming a part of their brand officially in 2000, and had the financial clout to give the production crew what they needed...mainly a bunch of friggin' cars to mess with and the money to do just that.

The producers turned out a neat trick - that the baddies have caught up on Bond gadgetry. Rick Yune's character - Zao - has a slick convertible Jaguar XKR loaded up with rockets and a remote-fired machine gun.

Bond's car - an Aston Martin Vanquish - has rockets, machine guns, is bullet-proof...and can turn invisible.

But here's the amazing part...

Jokulsarlon, Iceland was chosen for the car chase scene, and not just any old car chase. A car chase between an Aston Martin and a Jaguar...on ice.

Filming was very dangerous because the season was ending, and there was a good chance of the cars breaking through to the deep water below.

Four Aston Martin stunt cars were built, along with four Jags, for the different types of gags and gadgets. 

The production crew, led by Chris Corbould, had eight months to get the cars ready...but there was a problem.

Chris wanted the cars to have four-wheel drive. And that doesn't exist in either the Aston Martin or the Jaguar.

So they made them four-wheel drive - which is a hell of a lot harder than it sounds. Just ask Ferrari and the guys behind the new FF.

Fifteen containers of car parts arrived on site, along with a garage to service the stunt cars at night after a day of shooting. Conditions were so cold that the stunt cars froze solid at night, even to the floor of the garage.

The Aston Martin has four machine guns - two in the grill and two that pop out of the hood. There is also a missile pack in the grill as well. 

The car uses new technology to turn invisible, and this was laughed at in 2002. 

But today it's real thing, and the military has nearly perfected it. The Jag has twice the guns and gadgets, with a grenade launcher in the trunk. 

And don't forget, both cars have spiked tires on demand.

After several weeks of filming, the crew returned to England to fill in the stunts that couldn't be done on the ice - such as the duel inside the ice palace, and other great stunts like when Bond flips his Aston Martin back on its wheels using the ejection seat.

Die Another Day, unfortunately, let's the audience down with crappy CGI and the fact that the plot - as well as James Bond himself - are put on a back-burner to the stunts.

The producers, of course, recognized they'd made a mistake - which led to the Casino Royale reboot in 2006. 

And that worked out well for us, don't you think?

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