You Only Live Twice
After leaving a meeting at Osato Chemicals & Engineering, where Bond was discovered to be an undercover spy and in possession of a gun, Mr. Osato orders him killed. Luckily, as the bad guys were about to dispatch of him, Aki pulled up in the now famous convertible Toyota 2000GT and whisks him to safety.
The tracked action begins just as Aki calls Tiger, the head of the Japanese Secret Service, for assistance – the kind of assistance that involves a helicopter and a large, car sized magnet. Overall, Aki does well to match the movements of the steering wheel with the rear projection. The only issue is she tends to favor turning right on straight roads which means they end up a little off course.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
This is the third chase on our list that Bond wasn’t behind the wheel. James and his soon to be wife Tracy are trying to escape the clutches of Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s goons, and since they are in the Alps during ski season, things start to get a little… slidey. As Tracy battles to steer the car against the snow and ice, the chase starts to go west when they enter the icy back roads.
As they emerge, the car takes a long, sweeping right as if to show the car was going over or under the road they had just been on, which in itself doesn’t make sense as their is no bridge or tunnel! But as the car turns right, Tracy turns left on the steering wheel leaving the couple, by the end of their journey, basically back where they started!
The Man With The Golden Gun
By 1974, you’d be forgiven for thinking the franchise would be getting a little better at the rear projection technique, but you’d be very, very wrong. The Man With The Golden Gun’s car chase begins with Bond picking up Sheriff JW Pepper, a Bond cult hero, in a car showroom and chasing Francisco Scaramanga through the streets of Thailand. We tracked the direction of both the projected background and the motion of the steering wheel all the way up to the famous corkscrew jump at the end of the scene. With the exception of the chase in Goldfinger, which went astray because of one bad turn, this car chase is perhaps the most perplexing. Bond would have ended up traveling in a totally different direction should the way he was steering be believed!
The use of rear projection was in Bond films all the way up to License To Kill in 1989, although they had begun to master the technique as time went on. Nowadays, the Bond producers use CGI to fill any gaps in the surrounding environment. It seems to us that out of the 3 car chases that James Bond was driving, and the 3 that his female accomplices were at the wheel, Bond messes up far more! With Thunderball and The Man With The Golden Gun being by far the worst examples.
To create the graphics above, we tracked Bond’s journey through the background of the car and compared that to the movement on the steering wheel. Of course, the movements of both of these can be seen as subjective. However, we plotted the route of each as accurately as possible, but more importantly we wanted to have a little fun.