The 10 Best Film Engineers..
The Mechanic hits cinemas this Friday and to celebrate Jason Statham’s latest orgy of violence we have compiled this list of the greatest engineers from film history. We had to stretch the concept a little admittedly, but we got there in the end. If only we could have included The Fonz…
Starring Martin Scorsese’s latest mus as the rather eccentric (as in bloody mental) air travel pioneer, The Aviator told the story of Howard Hughes’ battle against PanAm and his creation of Hercules – the largest flying boat ever constructed. The Academy overlooked Scorsese yet again for this 2004 film, but he finally got a richly-deserved Best Director gong for The Departed in 2007.
Money isn’t everything – but it helps. To be fair Tony Stark inherited more than cash from his old man, he received an extraordinary amount of technological talent. Talent that was not fully realised until he got himself captured and seriously injured by a group of terrorists. As per usual, necessity proved to be the mother of invention and instead of building them a weapon of mass destruction, Mr Stark created a god-awesome Iron Man suit to save his own life, escape the separatists and protect humanity.
We’ve watched The Architect’s brain-boggling speech from Matrix Reloaded several times (check it out again here..) but we still don’t have a bloody clue what the bloke is on about. However, we can’t fault his technological skills which are nearly as impressive as Neo and Trinity’s abject lack of chemistry.
You’d never catch the man behind the most dangerous theme park in the history of cinema getting his hands dirty under the bonnet (he had minions to do that sort of thing for him) but John Hammond genetically engineer the dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg’s wildly successful family sci-fi. Sadly like the theme park in question, this film franchise went a bit pear-shaped towards the end.
Brilliant light-cycle rider, extreme frisbee player and White Russian connoisseur; Jeff Bridges had already established himself as a young and gifted software engineer in 1982. Unfortunately his whizz-kid character was sucked into the ENCOM mainframe during one of his many hacking exploits and he became embroiled in a tussle with some malevolent programmes. None more menacing than David Warner’s ‘Sark’.
He may have looked a bit like Adrian Chiles, but Station was actually “the smartest being alive..” in this totally bogus sequel. He helped the slang-loving rockers reach Battle of the Bands by building a pair of Bill & Ted replica robots that could take down the cyborgs blocking their path to the film’s finale. Staatioon!
Travelling through hyper space isn’t like dusting crops boy. Keeping the Millennium Falcon in good nick was also a very demanding job, which is why the mechanical know-how of this pair was crucial to the rebellion. They certainly knew their hydro-spanners from their…. normal spanners.
Probably the original movie engineer, Henry Frankenstein gave his name to the monster (played by British/Canadian actor Boris Karloff) that he and his hunched side-kick Fritz created from spare body parts and an electric current. James Whale’s 1931 horror was one of the first films to experiment with cosmetics and is rightly still regarded as a classic.
In actual fact gadget master Q was portrayed by no less than five different actors during the Bond series (yes that was news to us as well!) but chances are you can only name two of them. There was that bloke from Fawlty Towers and Desmond Llewellyn, who headed Q Branch for a staggering 17 films. The biggest Bond geeks among you will have noticed that Q has been sadly absent of the Daniel Craig’s recent spy revamps. The star is apparently very keen for the character to return in 2012’s movie (which is rumoured to be called Red Sky At Night)..
For a number of reasons, Emmett Brown is the undisputed champion of this category. Not least his amazing banter..
“.. I foresee two possibilities. One, coming face to face with herself 30 years older would put her into shock and she’d simply pass out. Or two, the encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy..”