London Film Museum review (Apr 2015)
This is out-of-date! I have been here again since I wrote this review
What is your favourite film? Hmm... I think mine is... er... I think I will plump for Star Wars. Star Wars is the only film in history where everybody knows at least five characters; even if you hate Star Wars you will still know a few of these: Darth Vadar, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Chewbacca, R2D2, Princess Leia, Hans Solo and Jabba the Hut. I like it so much in fact, that I have actually modelled myself on some of the characters: I'm short (like Yoda), hairy (like Chewbacca), fat (like Jabba), ugly (like Princess Leia), and I wear an all-over plastic black cape and airtight head helmet (like Darth Vadar).
You won't see any Star Wars stuff at the London Film Museum though, because they've dedicated the entire place to a big James Bond exhibition. It's been running since March 2014 and shows no sign of closing down, so it's possible that it might stick around forever. (On their website they say that it will remain "until further notice", which isn't very helpful.)
The museum is basically just a big open-plan basement full of 007's bikes and cars and vehicles from the movies, and they project the relevant movie clips alongside them on the wall. So you've got Roger Moore's Rolls Royce from A View To A Kill, for example, and Sean Connery's flash black number from Goldfinger. I think the Pierce Brosnan-era ones are the best because they're a bit more hi-tech. You can see all of the little panels that fold out for the rockets and guns. Do you remember that remote controlled car he drove from the back seat in The World Is Not Enough? They've got that one in here. (Still in one piece though... didn't he send it crashing off the top of a car park?). They've got that little black motor boat he flew out of the side of the MI6 building as well, which is pretty cool.
There's no sign of that stupid invisible car from Die Another Day though (but maybe I just couldn't see it). They should have put a plaque up next to an empty wall, just for a laugh.
They haven't forgotten Timothy Dalton either (everyone else has). They've got that Aston Martin that slides across the ice, and even that cello case he sat on to slide down the mountain.
There are plenty of motorbikes and little copter planes too, and even that rickety little taxi from Octopussy, and Roger Moore's Citroen 2CV from For Your Eyes Only. I've just been watching some clips of Roger in action and he's not exactly Jason Bourne is he? If he had a fist fight with Daniel Craig then he'd last about two seconds. I like his submarine car from the The Spy Who Loved Me though -- they've got that on show too. And that silly crocodile costume that he wore in the water (do you remember that?).
One of the best things about the exhibition is being able to watch all of the old movie clips and hear all of the chases and fights and explosions pumping out the speakers. I've had the James Bond theme tune rattling around my head ever since, because they played it non-stop the whole way round.
If you like James Bond then you will love it, but if you are expecting a "film museum" then be aware that there is nothing else here apart from the Bond stuff -- they don't have any other exhibits on show. It's not like Planet Hollywood where you can see a few famous props and costumes hanging up from other movies. You are not going to see John Travolta's first toupee or anything like that. They haven't got Dorothy's red shoes or Marilyn's white skirt. It's literally just the James Bond exhibition, and that's it.
The museum space itself is not very big. There is a tiny little bit upstairs with a few bits and bobs, and then it's just the basement room below, which takes about thirty minutes to walk around if you look at all of the exhibits. I tend to take my time with these things, but even I was finished inside forty-five minutes. I padded out another fifteen minutes with a sit-down in the coffee shop.
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