Since its opening on May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge has been targeted by a power-hungry Silicon Valley entrepreneur (in the 1985 Bond adventure A View to a Kill), a super-villain bent on world domination (Lex Luthor, in 1978’s Superman: The Movie), and even an oversized octopus (in the 1955 camp classic It Came from Beneath the Sea).
Although the Bay Area’s most widely recognized landmark survived in all three cases, suffering only minor wear and tear in Superman, it hasn’t fared so well in recent years, as filmmakers in the wake of 9/11 have routinely reduced the bridge to so much rubble – presumably for the sake of spectacle, and not as an organized affront to Marin County commuters. A few examples:
Hailed by Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times as an experience “like taking a bath in nondairy coffee creamer,” The Core confounded physicists and moviegoers alike by using a high-powered beam of solar energy to melt the bridge in half.
X-Men: The Last Stand
The X-Men trilogy’s middling finale featured at least one exceptional, albeit head-scratcher of a visual: Magneto, the renegade mutant played by Ian McKellen, tearing the bridge from its foundations and removing it to Alcatraz Island.
Monsters vs. Aliens
When the world’s monsters are unleashed to defend earthlings against an extraterrestrial attack, it’s only natural to expect a little collateral damage. Here, the Golden Gate is ripped to shreds during a rock-’em, sock-’em showdown between the 350-foot Insectosaurus, a Missing Link knockoff voiced by Shrek 2 director Conrad Vernon, and an equally enormous robot inspired by The Day the Earth Stood Still’s Gort.
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
Released this May to little fanfare, this Lorenzo Lamas and Debbie Gibson vehicle finds the California coast under attack when two prehistoric monsters wage war for supremacy of the sea. The result, apart from a forgettable collection of B-movie clichés, is the desecration of some prime Bay Area real estate (pictured above).
As we learn in Christian Bale’s latest adventure, Skynet, the artificial-intelligence network responsible for the virtual annihilation of mankind in the Terminator movies, is based right here in San Francisco. So it only makes sense that John Connor, the Christ-like savior of the human resistance, should cross a broken-down Golden Gate en route to his showdown with the maker of the world’s deadliest machines, right? Actually, not at all. Connor, traveling to the city from Los Angeles, should have crossed the Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate – unless, of course, his Skynet-monitored GPS simply gave him lousy directions.
Can you think of more?