Every driver knows the dread that comes with a driving test. Even when we pass, we never quite forget the trauma that comes with the carefully-rehearsed manoeuvring of each roundabout, the religious checking of wing mirrors, keeping the needle just below the limit like our life depended on it.
Not all drivers are put through the challenge however; on the silver screen – anything goes. We couldn’t help but ask; how would it go if our favourite action stars were, in fact, put through their driving-test-paces? Our iconic movie heroes are free to flip, speed and smash their way through their epic car chases without consequence – so how many minors and majors would they rack up in reality?
From each-Bond-iteration’s precision handling of the wheel, through to Steve McQueen’s dominance on the streets of San Fran and Nicolas Cage’s near misses in Gone in 60 – our stars seem to know their stuff.
To see how they’d compare when safety comes first, we enlisted the help of Dr Lisa Dorn, a Professor of Driving Behaviour. She took a look at their most famous four-wheeled scenes and scored their abilities in line with a standard British driving test. And the results were telling.
Just one of the ten leading lads we looked at scrapped a pass. That was Austin Powers, whose careful driving in International Man of Mystery earned him just a single minor fault – a score to be proud of.
Next up was Marty McFly’s time-travelling drive in Back to the Future. It was all looking pretty good – with just three minors – until his use of speed earned him a major fault and an immediate test failure. Ouch.
Further down our ranking, Steve McQueen failed and failed some more in 1968’s Bullitt. With three major faults, for his positioning, use of speed and judgement – there’s no chance Frank Bullitt would be taking off his L-plates anytime soon.
And being ‘fast and furious’ didn’t work for Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. Unsurprisingly, his street racing antics earned him a major fault for use of speed.
If you think that sounds bad, just wait until you see how Jason Statham fared up! Head here to find out.