Bond, James Bond

I have been a James Bond fan for many years.  In college, I spent hours upon hours watching old Bond movies with my buddy Scott, time that might have been better spent studying.  Oh, well.  Hindsight.  I have seen every Bond movie, with the exception of ‘Never Say Never,’ which I am boycotting because it’s from the early 1980’s and stars a supposedly awful past-his-prime Sean Connery.  

That being said, no Bond film is about intricate or delicate story lines.  They are mostly about cool gadgets, big explosions, fast cars, scantly clad women with ridiculous names and Bond just generally kicking ass.  To celebrate the gadgets and cars of Bond, the London Film Museum put together Bond in Motion, the largest collection of Bond vehicles ever on display.  

Needless to say, I went in the first week.The London Film Museum is situated directly in the middle of the craziness of Covent Garden, the covered shopping centre that houses London’s first Shack Shack, the famous burger joint exported from NYC (the queues are just as bad here as they are in NYC).  The special exhibit itself is completely separate from the museum, with a dedicated entrance and ticket system.  I purchased tickets in advance online, though it did not appear necessary.  The price of £15.50 was a little steep, especially in a city where most museums are free, but the uniqueness of the exhibit made it completely worth it for me.

After picking up the tickets, you head up to the mezzanine level from the lobby, which holds a small collection of story boards and copies of scripts from various films.  I have never seen story boards like this before and it was neat to see a car chase scene broken down with the intended camera angles and cuts involved.  Of course, I paid £15.50 for the vehicles, so I headed down to the basement, which held the bulk of the exhibit.

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I was thoroughly impressed with displays, as this exhibit was clearly well curated.  Each vehicle had a projection of the film that vehicle was in and showed its chase scene in its duration.  The famous Aston Martin DB5 was backed by a five minute clip of the car in both Goldfinger as well as Goldeneye.   

The vehicles in general where in fantastic shape, and all were originals, so no recreations or reproductions. Highlights included the Rolls Royce from Goldfinger, the Lotus Spirit from The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore, displayed in its full underwater driving mode and the mini-helicopter from You Only Live Twice, with its full arsenal of missiles. They did also showcase some Bond items like his Amex Black card, his drivers license and his Universal Exports business card, as well as a Walter PPK with a silencer.  

They even had two wrecked Aston Martins from Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale, both purposely damaged for filming during a chase scene.  I will admit the sight of an Aston Martin with its doors ripped off and the paint completely scrapped down one side is truly sad.  The car was so pretty. Of course Bond is known for not exactly returning his vehicles to Q in mint condition.

Overall, the exhibit was fantastic and completely worth the £15.50 I spent for admission.  Being able to see all of these vehicles in one space in truly a once in a lifetime experience They had something from the first film through the latest Daniel Craig production and did a great job highlighting those items. If you have never seen a Bond film or only seen one or two, the exhibit might uninspiring, but for any Bond fan who can make it to London, it is well worth it.

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