Friday, January 4, 2008
Ford Stars In "I Am Legend"

Cars in movies are common these days. The Transformers film has marketed General Motors vehicles while Volkswagen used the Bourne Ultimatum. Recently, it was Ford's turn to have their vehicles starring in a Hollywood film.

Autoblog has the lowdown on Ford's placement of its car in the movie. And here are the scenes where you can find Ford vehicles driven by Will Smith playing the role of Dr. Neville.

  1. Ford gets major play in the opening minutes of the film, which have Neville racing through deserted city streets chasing a herd of deer in a red Shelby GT500 that Manhattan Ford no longer needed, seeing its clientele is either A) dead or B) hairless, bloodthirsty monsters. Dr. Neville seems like a pretty good driver, too, as he powerslides the Mustang through corners (with Sam the dog riding shotgun, unfettered), steering with one hand while lining up a fleeing deer in the sights of his M4 at what must be 70 mph. It's so much fun to watch (and listen to... especially when the blower whine cuts through the deafening cacophony of the engine) that you're more than happy to ignore the fact that the car looks like it was just detailed. Granted, Dr. Neville does have plenty of free time on his hands.
  2. Mustang fans will be disappointed to learn that after the film's opening scenes, the GT500 doesn't make another appearance. The "hero car" for the remainder of the film is an accessorized black Expedition, which appears to be one of a pair that Neville rides in during flashback sequences showing the evacuation/quarantining of Manhattan after virus hell has broken loose. It also gets used in a memorable scene that takes place following a highly traumatic encounter between Neville, his dog, and some monster baddies. We learn that off-road lights aren't popular with night-stalking creatures, and jumbo SUVs make for excellent bowling balls when they're driven into swarms of monsters. At least until the monsters get organized and flip said SUV onto its roof, putting our hero in peril.
  3. The final scene of the film involves Anna and Ethan, two other survivors who (very conveniently) find Dr. Neville and rescue him as he is about to become monster chow in the scene described above. In the final minutes of the movie, they pull up to a gigantic walled and gated survivors' colony in Vermont. They're carrying Dr. Neville's cure to the virus in an inexplicably immaculate Ford Escape that's lovingly photographed head-on as it arrives. My first thought after noting the product placement was, "Who knew that keeping your cars sparkling was such a critical part of humanity's fight for survival?" Then comes the closing voiceover and we fade to black.
  4. The most interesting bit of Ford placement is something only car geeks are likely to notice, and only if they pay very close attention to the background. It happens early in the picture. At the end of the GT500 deer hunting sequence, we're presented with a wide shot of Times Square, which is, as you know, covered in advertising. All the fanboys in the audience immediately noticed a billboard for a mythical Batman/Superman crossover movie. I was drawn to another billboard - a make-believe Ford advertisement for some future model. That future model, in this case, happened to be the Ford Interceptor Concept. Damn you, Ford, for waiting until the apocalypse happens to give it to us!

posted by Car Addict @ 6:22 PM  
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