Spy films are inherently cool. If you didn’t want to be James Bond when you were a kid – most of us still do – then you were doing your childhood wrong. Either that or your parents kept putting ‘Agent Cody Banks’ on every time you asked for Bond.
The best thing about spies isn’t their shiny suits or their crazy new gadgets though, nor their (quite-frankly outrageous) luck with the opposite sex. No, no, no.
They can stick everything from rooftop jumps to cliff drops and backflips without breaking a sweat…
The best thing about spies is that despite the handful of henchmen trying to constantly bring them down, they can pretty much stick everything from rooftop jumps to cliff drops and backflips without breaking a sweat.
Thought your sketchy 360 was impressive last weekend? Here are the guys and girls who can show you how it’s really done…
1) Skyfall (2012), Motocross
Robbie Maddison is the king of motocross at the minute. The madman has jumped everything from massive ski jumps to London’s Tower Bridge, and he also happened to be Daniel Craig’s stunt double in the most recent James Bond entry.
That’s right, the most impressive man on a motorcycle also happens to have Skyfall scribbled messily on his CV. It’s probably one of the only times you’ll read ‘Maddison’ and ‘fall’ in the same sentence.
2) Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), Rock Climbing
The opening to Tom Cruise’s second outing as Ethan Hawke has become the stuff of legend.
There’s that outrageous ledge jump, the insane hang time that follows, and of course, the ridiculous recovery, all set to some sexy samba music that seems wildly out of place. It’s pretty irresponsible climbing if we’re being honest.
On top of all that, shortly after Ethan hits the summit, a dude with a rocket launcher shoots him a pair of rad sunglasses – which incidentally is also the way we receive mail at Mpora towers – and these then explode shortly after. It’s about as badass as it gets.
3) Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015), Parkour
From parkour to parachuting to the completely unrelated fact that Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine are in it, Kingsman looks like it’s going to be a damn fine film.
“You need to solve problems under pressure,” the would-be agents are told, before being launched out of a plane. “Like what to do when one of your group has no parachute.”
It’s certainly a stricter way to screen new candidates than a cheeky Facebook stalk and a peek at LinkedIn.
4) Die Another Day (2002), Kite Surfing
This is pretty much the perfect moment. After a wonderfully cheesy ‘global warming’ pun from the villain of the day, James Bond shows the stunning improvisation that any good spy would, sailing over a horribly CGI’d Tsunami with parachute chords wrapped around his fingers and a surfboard stuck to his feet.
It should slightly concern you that is probably not the most unrealistic entry on this list, either. That’s still to come…
5) xXx (2002), BASE Jumping
This film is absolutely ridiculous. There are more explosions in one scene than the Mpora team caused trying to cook microwavable popcorn during our time at university.
The clip above pretty much sums up the whole film. Vin Diesel plays an “extreme-sport-athlete-turned-spy”, and here he is driving a shiny red sportscar off a bridge, calmly parachuting away and watching the car explode on impact below.
Why? Who the hell cares why. What a stupid question.
6) Bourne Legacy (2012), Parkour
In Bourne Legacy, Jeremy Renner took over from Matt Damon to beat the sh*t out of people for two hours under the guise of ‘Agent Aaron Cross’.
When he’s not attacking bad guys though, Agent Cross clearly likes to keep up the intensity with a cheeky bit of parkour.
Take some of the screams out of this clip, chuck in a soundtrack by The Prodigy and a couple of GoPro shots, and you’ve got yourself a new edit to upload to YouTube…
7) The World Is Not Enough (1999), Snowmobiling
In the first 10 seconds of the video above, you’ll see two flying snowmobiles explode and subsequently trigger an avalanche.
You’ll then watch James Bond operate a giant anti-avalanche ball, then calm down a hysteric, incredibly attractive heroine, by shouting “look into my eyes” over and over again.
We don’t feel like we should have to expand on that any further.
8) Charlie’s Angels (2000), Skydiving
There are various problems with the legitimacy of this scene, but where else would you get to see Lucy Liu defuse a bomb mid-air before skydiving safely into a speed boat manned by Cameron Diaz?
Yeah, we didn’t think so. Now quiet down and stop pretending you didn’t secretly enjoy Charlie’s Angels.
9) Top Secret! (1984), Surfing
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing ‘Top Secret!’, it’s a parody of World War Two spy films which sees a singer join a rescue team dropping into East Germany.
What do you mean that doesn’t make the clip above seem any more relevant? Oh well. We tried…
10) The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Skiing
The pièce de résistance of espionage badassery, this unbelievable ski-to-skydive cliff drop was filmed on Baffin Island, Canada, where stuntman Rick Sylvesters took the big leap.
This clip will always hold a place in skier and snowboarders’ hearts for the way it inspired the legendary Shane McConkey to not only give it a shot himself, but to re-enact the full scene in this entirely awesome tribute:
And if that’s not enough comedy for you, here’s Alan Partridge narrating the entire opening of the film so we can end on a bit of a laugh… You’re more than welcome.