Range Rovers On The Edge
We all know that Range Rovers are popular with villains and heroes on the silver screen. But what about the little-seen movies where Range Rover Classics are pushed to the absolute edge?
You will already know about the Range Rovers used in the Bond films, or the various appearances and drive-on scenes from the likes of Anger Management, How To Get Ahead In Advertising and Frankenstein 90. But you could hardly call these appearances hair-raising. We’re talking about scenes where Range Rover Classics take on the city or the wilderness, sideways, to a V8 burble where the stunts are real and CGI is non-existent.
Here we present five scenes where Spen King’s engineering prowess was tested to extremes – and while the budgets may not have been high, the stunt action is second to none.
Edward Woodward is on a mission – to prevent a gun-running kingpin from escaping his lavish Kent-country home. After finding his boat disabled (as all 1970s bad guys do), the villain makes a run for it behind the wheel of his S-type Jag – although Woodward’s Callan already has it covered. Using his manager’s white 2-door Range Rover, Callan traverses the countryside and hustles as the crow flies, the automotive game of cat-and-mouse resulting in the destruction of fences, gates and one incredibly large greenhouse. Needless to say, just like all British crime films, it doesn’t end well for the Jag. But who cares? Never has a white Range Rover been so menacing.
The Range Rover used for filming was one of Land Rover’s main press fleet vehicles, later appearing in The Omen (1976), Terry Nation’s post-apocalyptic Survivors series (1975-1977) and John Wayne’s Brannigan (1975). Sadly, it looks as though this Rangie was scrapped during January 1983 – unless you know otherwise, in which case get in touch!
Face of Terror (2004)
If you want to witness a Range Rover Classic really pushed to it’s handling limit – this is going to be 4 minutes in which to treasure. Ploughing through traffic on three wheels, before forcing lesser vehicles out the way and destroying anything that isn’t planted into the ground, this is how you properly tackle traffic with a Range Rover; especially when undercover police are chasing you in a Renault 21 diesel.
The highlight of the chase finds the Rangie tackling a large flight of concrete steps at ridiculous speed, which shows the true capabilities of the coil suspension, and finds the top of the tailgate bouncing around like a big, uncontrollable spoiler.
If you can imagine Ronin set in Spain, on a budget, then you are ready to give this rarely seen escapism a try.
Playing God (1997)
If Angelina Jolie was your lover, and some ego-spouting crime boss had kidnapped her with the intent of turning her face into a mince pie, you would probably give chase too – although you would have a problem. Because evil bigwigs have so much time on their hands to rehearse being evil, they usually concoct ways to ensure you don’t catch them – in this case, hiding Angelina away in one of three identical black Range Rovers, which all set off through Los Angeles at the same time before splitting away to drive like lunatics – including a nifty handbrake turn and some serious leaning around street corners. That’s three trails of oil to follow, not just the one…
Exit Wounds (2001)
Don’t let the face of Steven Segal turn you away from this action-packed feast of cheesy one-liners and DMX music. If you are looking for a Friday night popcorn movie in which to enjoy as you wind down from a hard week of Land Rovering (is that a word? It is now), this is just the ticket – especially as there is an epic car park chase resulting in the best jump in Range Rover history – through a glass window on the second floor. However, being an old Rangie – and this being Hollywood – we get Range Rover destruction in the form of a crash test demonstration against a fire engine. For shame.
The chase is also a hotbed for errors, chief among which being the use of the horn – which we all know is on the stalk for a model year such as this, rather than the steering wheel – but, now we are being pernickety; especially after it survives a two story landing unscathed….
The Kingdom (2006)
It’s not everyday that you witness Jamie Foxx rallying around Saudi Arabia in a Range Rover Classic, chasing the only thing to guzzle even more fuel over the same distance – an S-class Mercedes. Although filmed in Arizona, we can believe there are a fleet of Classics out in the land of oil, as those with money snapped up as many as they could back when they were new.