25 October 2013 1780 Views

Classic Movie Boat Chases in All Their Dazzling Absurdity

by Dan Koelsch

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Boat chases in films offer the thrill of the chase. The exhilaration we feel watching each boat skip across the water’s surface puts us on the edge of our seat. The anticipation of one of the boats crashing as it tries to escape its pursuer makes flicks with boat tricks must-sees. Put these three films in your Netflix queue ASAP!

The World is Not Enough

He’s dashing, charming and he’s dangerous. He’s Pierce Brosnan in the role of agent 007, James Bond in the film The World is not Enough.

In a moment that’s just too unbelievable and could only occur in a Bond chase scene, the craft that Bond is controlling is being fired upon by a female assailant in another vessel.

Bond steers his craft at that boat, and launches it at the vessel. Not only does Bond’s vessel take out the boat’s mounted weapon, the boat does a corkscrew in midair, as it launches over and past the craft landing upright in the water, as the other vessel gives chase.

Faceoff Speedboat Chase

Faceoff stars Nicolas Cage and John Travolta in the story of one man stealing the identity of another person, by actually becoming that man and wearing the other man’s face, but who cares about the plot when you have a boat chase this exciting scene!

Travolta and Cage’s characters are on the high seas in two speedboats, the action starts to heat up as the speed of each boat increases, and things really intensify as Travolta tries to take out Cage.

As both characters shoot at each one another’s speed boats, they draw the attention of the Los Angeles Port Police, who in turn are fired upon by Travolta’s character and taken out in very bloody fashion. Because most people aren’t stuntmen, some states require a boating license in the real world. An Alabama boating license is required to operate a vessel.

Moonraker Gondola Chase

The premise of the chase scene in Moonraker is actually pretty silly, but it does lend itself to being a solid 007 moment. Roger Moore as 007 is in Venice, riding a gondola when what appears to be a funeral vessel carrying an ornate coffin comes alongside Bond’s gondola.

The lid on the coffin mechanically opens and 007 finds himself being attacked by an enemy agent. Bond’s gondola driver is killed, and then after 007 dispatches his would be assailant, the gondola he’s aboard turns into what appears to be an RV controlled speedboat!

This tricked out gondola is then pursued by a speedboat, with another assailant on board out for Bond’s blood, brandishing an automatic weapon and shooting up everything within his sight.

The cool part about this chase is its continuation onto land, as 007 flips another switch and the gondola transforms into a land craft with an inflated bottom pontoon. You have to watch this chase to believe it, and more for the fun and absurdity of it all than the danger.

Most of the best boat chases ever captured for the movies have been for the dapper James Bond with the possible exception of the boat sequence in the film Jaws. The Jaws scene was a titanic battle on the seas off of Amity, Massachusetts, between a nightmare great white shark and it’s hunter—the seaman Quint played by Robert Shaw.

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Editor’s Note: This article was guest written by Sam Brown. Sam is a high school shop teacher who writes about cars and the auto industry on the weekends.



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