Never in the history of film has a franchise been so synonymous with vehicles than the James Bond legacy.
Bond in Motion is a collection of original James Bond vehicles spanning 23 movies from half a century of the world’s favourite agent.
I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest James Bond fan. Heck, I read 007 as nought nought seven when looking at the intro spiel… But I’m going to make a bold statement – this will be one of the best exhibitions I will attend this year. I can only imagine the excitement true James Bond fans will feel queuing at the London Film Museum! So why do I rate this exhibition so highly?
For one thing the creators have got the displays perfect. Accommodating to both newbies of James Bond and die-hard fanatics, the information accompanying the vehicles is superb. Technical stats of the vehicle will no doubt start deep discussions amongst the petrol heads and short snippets from the movie it featured are projected on the wall, aiding in either jogging your memory or informing you the role it played.
And then there are the vehicles themselves of course. Dim lights provide just enough light to enable you to admire every line, curve and gadget. Here are a selection of my favourite James Bond vehicles from the exhibition.
These wrecked cars from Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale were probably my favourite cars at Bond in Motion. They also had a little behind the scenes documentary playing which told a little more of the story as to how they were damaged so badly during filming!
And it wasn’t just the vehicles I was ecstatic about. If you’ve ever acted out the title sequence or posed like James Bond (don’t lie you know you have) now is your chance to do it properly (and not just in your bedroom mirror). For £8 you can slip on a tuxedo (just the top half) and have your picture taken.
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The question is, what pose do you go for? Unfortunately they aren’t allowed a toy gun so you have to mimic using your hands. They suggest a series of poses such as the gun to your face or pointing down the camera, This photo opportunity is a brilliant personal souvenir to remember the day by and I thoroughly recommend you do so. I will never be able to look at my photo and not chuckle to myself!
You’ll also find other movie paraphernalia such as passports and watches belonging to the various actors who have played the British agent. One of the most interesting findings of the day were the miniature models of vehicles used in filming. This is perhaps obvious and common knowledge for others, but I didn’t know they used scale models to shoot some scenes, like the AVIS crash scene in Tomorrow Never Dies for example.
There’s also a small section dedicated to the production and creative process in the making of the films which are mighty impressive. It’s wonderful to gain glimpses of the vision behind the concept art of the vehicles and storyboards – some of which were never used.
Even the Bond In Motion gift shop I approve of. The merchandise ranges from branded Bond in Motion mugs, t-shirts and badges to scale model vehicles to postcards and posters of the movies. I settled for the official exhibition programme. Even at £12, I’m very pleased with my purchase which features wonderful images and information about the vehicles. Like did you know the filmmakers had a real crocodile in Octopussy, which then escaped and hibernated under the set at Pinewood!
Whether you’ve seen each of the 23 James Bond films or have just seen a handful of them like me, this exhibition is something every member of the family can enjoy – how many exhibitions can you say that about? This is an opportunity not to be missed. Seeing these original cars from the movies is a rare glimpse into movie history.
Bond in Motion is on display at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden until 31 December 2014.
Looking for other things to do in London? Check out my other reviews of exhibitions in London.
What did you think of Bond in Motion? What was your favourite vehicle? Tell me in the comments section below.