Boating in Hollywood: Films With Fast Boats
As a boat guy there is nothing more annoying than seeing a boat chase or boat scene in a film when the engine sound doesn’t match the boat. Often the sound engineer will sub in the sound of a V8 when it is an outboard boat, or the revs don’t really match the speed of the boat. In film, all the sounds you hear are done in post, from the traffic noise to birds chirping, it is usually all fake. Getting the dialogue right is hard enough, so I understand when they use stock sounds for things where 99% of the population would never notice.
Having said that, there are some good movies featuring boats. Here is a list of my favorites and why, plus a little about the movie. In descending order (from good to best).
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Is it a good movie? Not really but Michelle Pfeiffer is in it so it is worth watching. Plus there is a 1987 Chris Craft Stinger 312 Fittipaldi edition. I believe the story is that Emerson Fittipaldi custom ordered an all red 312 Stinger with the hardware blacked out and the interior in all white. The boat in the movie has a black interior I believe but nonetheless, it’s a Fittipaldi or made to look like one.
The movie is a love triangle story where two old friends, who live on opposite spectrums of the law; Mel Gibson’s character being a “former” drug dealer and Kurt Russell’s being a well known police officer. They both fall for Michelle Pfeiffer, which is totally understandable, I think everyone fell for her in the 80s and the movie plays out as Russell suspects Gibson may be up to something.
Spoiler alert: apparently the rigging was not great on the Scorpion and it catches fire at the end. Maybe that’s why it was a fake Fittipaldi? Who knows.
Mel Gibson drives a Chris Craft Scorpion 312
Into the Blue (2005)
Jessica Alba is amazing and so is this movie because she is in a bikini for about 87% of it. Also starring the late Paul Walker, the movie takes place in the Bahamas with Walker and his fiance, Alba, running a tour boat company that also searches for lost treasures. Turns out the competing treasure hunter, Josh Brolin, is mixed up in some shady business and Walker gets tied up in when he comes across a missing airplane full of cocaine. Scott Caan pushes Walker into some bad decisions and Brolin and Walker end up in a dangerous game.
The movie is pretty good for a cheesy action picture. Great photography and some great scenes with Jessica Alba. Are there any boats? Ya, there are some Jet Ski stunts and a boat chase with some center consoles. Walker and Caan also use a beautiful Uiesse 57 (Italian sport yacht maker) to roll around in. The underwater photography is really good, especially the scene with Jessica Alba snorkeling in her bikini.
All About the Benjamins (2002)
Decent comedy that takes place in Miami. Starring Ice Cube, there a few boat scenes and Cube’s character drives a 1994 Impala SS. Notable boats in the movie are a 41 Apache, a 42 Cigarette Tiger and a 47 Fountain. There is a chase at the end where they run the Fountain on to the shore.
Overall, funny movie, worth checking out if you’re drunk.
Boat chase with a Fountain and a Cigarette
License to Kill (1989)
All Bond movies seem to have boats. I think it has something to do with evil rich guys loving boats and hot women liking boats, since that is what James Bond is all about, stands to reason there would lots of boats. This movie is pretty good for an older Bond movie and the first one not to be based on an Ian Fleming original. Starring Timothy Dalton and Robert Davi. The Bond girls were Carey Lowell and Talisa Sotto, both worth checking out.
The boat scene in question features a 35 Cigarette, Dalton makes out with Lowell in the boat as they cruise at night. Robert Davi’s character is awesome and has a pet Iguana with a diamond necklace. I have not seen the movie in a long time and can’t recall if it’s good because I watched it as a kid or if it is really cheesy. Either way, there are some good scenes and a cool boat scene.
Miami Vice (2006)
This is the film, not the TV show. The TV show has an epic number of boats and boat scenes but this piece is about movies, not TV. Having said that, the movie is the best film with amazing boats scenes. When it first came out, the movie was featured on the cover of Powerboat Magazine and there was quite a bit of hype about it. Boat guys tended to pan it but the reality is it is a really good movie. Michael Mann, who produced the TV Show, is an Oscar winning director and has directed some amazing films like The Insider, Heat and Last of the Mohicans. Amazing soundtrack, good story but the dialogue is a little much at times. The camera work is stunning.
The story is loosely based on the original story by Anthony Yerkovich, who is the creator of the original TV show. Crockett and Tubbs infiltrate a violent criminal group responsible for a rash of murders, disrupting the drug trade in Miami. A chief informant’s family is killed and that’s when Crockett and Tubbs get involved. They infiltrate as transporters and start running drugs for the group out of Port-Au-Prince. It seems easy but Crockett wants to get busy with the mysterious woman in charge of the group, who also dates the leader. Another guy in the group never liked them from the start and gets jealous of Crockett, complications arise, guns are drawn, boats are driven fast. It’s pretty awesome.
The boat scenes are incredible too, partly because they aren’t gratuitous. Boat guys wanted gratuitous boat scenes and the theater version of the film didn’t have the opening race scene, the DVD version has a race scene to start, which is really cool. The reason why the scenes are so good is that the sound is legit, they made their own audio tracks for the boats. One great scene is when they take the 39 MTI to Cuba for Mojitos. And another is the shot of the Donzi’s flying in tandem toward Government Cut in Miami at night. Miami Vice is the best movie with boats and a great movie in general. Starring Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Naomie Harris and Domenick Lombardozzi.