Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

London's Guardian newspaper did a piece about how the Golden Gate Bridge keeps getting destroyed in movies.

They posit that the bridge is a more viewer-friendly landmark to wreck, since people are still a bit edgy about destroying New York buildings.

From the story:
In the closing moments of Terminator Salvation, resistance leader John Connor (Christian Bale) is hunkered down in the remains of San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge. It's been wrecked by a nuclear attack: the suspension cables have snapped, half of the north tower is gone and the bridge has turned from its familiar shade of International Orange to Fallout Grey. Welcome to dystopia, Hollywood style.

Nuclear terrorism is only the latest fictional indignity to hit the bridge. In the last decade directors have gone to town on the landmark. It's been variously melted (in 2003's The Core), bitten in two (in this year's Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus) and picked up and dumped further up San Francisco Bay by a disgruntled super villain (in X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006).

I'd never heard of this shark movie, but I found a clip on YouTube. It looks quite awesome.

But how could the Guardian forget the bridge's collapse in the made-for-TV movie "10.5" (2004)? Apparently, they don't read BuboBlog, since I've mentioned it multiple times. (You'll recall that there was also a sequel. I didn't see that, but it seems unlikely they destroyed the bridge a second time.)

It's probably worth noting that the bridge is at least threatened by the Romulans in the new "Star Trek" film, since they drop their planet-destroying drill into the Bay. The Romulans also flew menacingly close to the bridge in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

And this classic scene took place on the bridge.

In addition, the bridge figures into "Monsters Vs. Aliens," where it's the scene of havoc — though not destruction.

Then there's the bridge scene in the 1985 James Bond film "View to a Kill." Again, I don't recall it being directly threatened. Didn't it involve a plot by Christopher Walken to destroy Silicon Valley? Tip to Hollywood: Only have villains try to destroy things with recognizable landmarks. I don't think anyone's going to be upset if the Campbell Pruneyard or the Great America Drop Tower are obliterated.

Going back even further, Superman saves a school bus from plunging off the bridge in the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie (1978), Herbie the Love Bug rides up one of the cables in "Herbie Rides Again" (1974), and Kim Novak dives into the Bay near the bridge in "Vertigo" (1958).

Clearly the bridge inspires risky behavior. I guess that's true in real life too.

UPDATE: Click here.