BEST BOND GADGETS
Bond movies ooze with gadgets. Everyone uses them, steals them and develops them. But to be considered for this list, the item must be given to Bond by Q. The gadget is not just developed in the Q branch, and not stolen by Bond–there must be a direct link from Q to the gadget to Bond. It also must be something novel and not obvious. The breathing device in Thunderball is helpful, but it’s not like it transformed from a vase. The Walther PPK also fits the Q-to-Bond bill, but the gun is just a gun. Gadgets are disguised, unexpected, and definitely quirky.
1. Briefcase (From Russia with Love)
2. Little Nelly (You Only Live Twice)
3. Camera gun (Licence to Kill)
4. Key ring finder (The Living Daylights)
5. Explosive pen (Goldeneye)
6. Ring camera (A View To A Kill)
Q explaining the briefcase in "From Russia With Love"
This briefcase that is standard issue for every double-o in the film. It includes a rifle with infrared telescope, ammunition, 50 gold sovereigns, tear gas disguised as talcum powder, and a throwing knife. And you have to know how to open it properly, or suffer the consequences. Bond ends up having access to two of these when he’s fighting off the Super Russian on the train. Little Nelly is my favorite (she’s in my favorite movie, hello!) so she may have a biased spot on my list. The innuendos are great and the lil’ chopper defends herself from some rather large opponents. Plus she went from pieces to product in no time. On the other hand, I don’t think she actually accomplished anything. Tough call. A Polaroid camera gun is so late 80’s, but so awesome. As a camera, it has an infrared laser flash. Transformed into a gun, it is activated by an optical palm reader that only operates for James’ palm. Not only an incredibly practical device, the key ring finder has some less common, more spy like capabilities. If only my finder released stun gas when I whistled the first bars of God Save The Queen, or exploded when I let out a coy wolf-whistle. Frankly unexciting, but ultimately important due to Boris’ nervous ticks, the explosive pen arms with three clicks and disarms with three clicks. A great opportunity to prove the pen is mightier than the sword, as James points out. Lastly, the ring camera just seems like a smart doodad for any spy.
Honorable mentions: Licence to Kill has my favorite unofficial gadgets, including exploding milk-bombs, a deadly walkman, and the ghettoblaster. Live and Let Die has the sexiest gadget, which is a magnetic watch that unzips a lady’s dress with “sheer magnetism, darling.” Casino Royale has the most sensible gadget for Bond’s line of work: a defibrillator.
BEST BOND CARS
The Bond car. Some people treat this concept rather liberally. A gondola, a double-decker bus, a moon rover? Neat, but no. It’s Bond’s car, and it preferably was given to Bond by Q, accompanied by an unnecessary demonstration.
1. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies)
2. Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day)
3. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me)
4. BMW 750 (Tomorrow Never Dies)
5. Aston Martin Vantage (The Living Daylights)
6. BMW Z8 (The World Is Not Enough)
James with the illustrious DB5 in "Goldfinger"
The DB5 is the iconic Bond car. Since its first appearance as the main Bond car in Goldfinger, many films have paid homage to it. The original model included bulletproof windows, a revolving license plate with correct plates in different countries, audiovisual range for homing device, smokescreen, oil slick, machine guns, blades that extend from the hubcaps, and an ejector seat. The Vanquish or Vanish as MI6 renames it, has “all the usual refinements” according to the new Q. This includes an ejector seat (what’d I tell you about homage?), torpedos, target-seeking shotguns, tire spikes to conveniently climb ice walls, and adaptive camouflage, which uses tiny cameras to reflect the surrounding area so the car looks invisible. INVISIBLE. The Esprit is pretty badass, with its smoke screen, missiles, harpoons, torpedos, ink screen, and bomb. It outran a motorcycle, car, helicopter and then turned into a submarine and outran a mini sub and some men wielding harpoons. For the least physically attractive BMW of the series, the 750 is fantastically functional with its machine guns, rockets, GPS tracker (new-ish at the time!) and remote control via cellphone. As for the Vantage, Bond benefits from its missiles, wheels lasers, bulletproof glass, outrigger and tire spikes for snow, turbo speed, and self-destruct. The Z8 is a nice little ditty: titanium armor, remote start, missiles, sweet steering wheel detonator, and six cup-holders! It looks pretty, too.
Worst Bond Car: The award for worst Bond car goes to the Aston Martin DBS. Although it appears in the more recent Daniel Craig movies–reason enough to give it the boot–it’s also the honeymoon car of Mr. and Mrs. Bond. She died in it. FAIL.