The latest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, debuts today. For fans of gadgetry, the Daniel Craig "reboot" of the Bond series hasn't given them much to chew on, since the new films leave behind the far-fetched tech toys in favor of gritty realism.
Even though we love gadgets, we like the new approach. In fact, it got the Bond fans here at DVICE to look back on the franchise and remember that sometimes the spy tools Agent 007 pulled out were pretty nuts. More than a few crossed the line from borderline plausible to completely ridiculous.
We scoured all the films in the series to find the most absurd James Bond gadgets — the ones that battered our belief systems beyond all recognition. Your mission: Follow the Continue link and prepare for lethal attacks to your suspension of disbelief.
8. Seiko Watch from The Spy Who Loved Me
The movie used the Seiko model 0674 as Bond's fax watch, printing messages on thin sticky tape. There must be a tiny impact printer in there, ready to print out any message received on yards and yards of tape somehow shoehorned within. While we'd really like to have such a tiny labelmaker, the watch would have to have insides like Doctor Who's TARDIS to accommodate the tape. And come to think of it, it's not even necessary — why not just put the messages on the digital watch face?
7. BMW 750i in Tomorrow Never Dies
We love the remote control that let Bond drive this car with touch-sensitive steering. We'll believe that one, but the car's windows coming out completely unscathed even when they were hit with a huge sledgehammer? That's over the line. If only all cars were made of such completely bulletproof material, they could serve as re-entry vehicles for the International Space Station.
6. Ski Pole/Gun from The Spy Who Loved Me
Of all the things you could make a .30 caliber gun out of, ski poles seem an unlikely choice. How on earth could Bond shoot straight with this thing, even when he's skiing backwards (check it out at 6:00 into this YouTube clip)? Nevertheless, he hits one of the henchmen right in the heart with an exploding bullet/flare that shoots out of the pole's magazine in the handle. The bad guys all have normal guns, why can't Bond have one, too?
5. Polarizing Sunglasses in A View to a Kill
Exactly how do a pair of "polarizing" sunglasses allow Bond to see clearly through heavily tinted glass, catching big, bad Zorin making a shady payoff? Assuming they meant "polarized," the sunglasses would only make tinted glass more opaque, not less. Our disbelief is not suspended with those magic glasses, Mr. Bond.
4. Omega Seamaster Laser Watch in GoldenEye and Die Another Day
Bond's Omega Seamaster wristwatch is truly a miracle worker. We readily buy into its remote-control properties, used to detonate a bomb. But the most unlikely use for it is as a laser, whose mighty beam is powerful enough to cut through steel. A laser that small might blind someone, but cutting through metal? With today's technology, a laser that powerful would fill a room.
3. Wrist Dart Gun from Moonraker
While this isn't as far-fetched as a laser, it's insane on a practical level. Really, who would want to be carrying around cyanide-coated darts attached to a hair trigger? And there are also armor-piercing darts somehow packed in there, too. To accommodate all that ammunition with enough oomph to propel them at velocities shown in the film, it would take a container as big as your arm.
2. Credit Card Lockpick from A View to a Kill
Credit cards can be wonderful, but this shameless plug for The Sharper Image renders our disbelief completely maxed out. Sure, great liberties are regularly taken in the movies with a credit card in a door lock, but this? Inserting it for a couple of seconds in an old window, and its hinge is somehow magically unlatched? Priceless.
1. Invisible Aston Martin Vanquish from Die Another Day
Bond's Aston Martin just up and disappears in this movie, somehow turning invisible. To many Bond fans, this was the last straw — the moment that took his gadgets from mere implausibility to straight-up science fiction. It's true that such light-bending invisibility tech is in the experimental stages, but it's nowhere near the push-button ease of this miraculous stunt. After this one, you can see why the franchise decided to eschew gadgetry in the Daniel Craig reboot.