The Guinness World Record organization is the international arbiter of all records, whether it is fastest to drive a car, or highest freefall, all the way down to the longest sitting in a bath full of custard. According to them, the current world record for the largest film stunt explosion belongs to Spectre.
Near the climax of that movie, Blofeld’s base in the crater of an ancient meteor strike Morocco is destroyed by Bond. That set the record for a single explosion done in a single take that had a total yield of 68.47 tonnes of TNT equivalent.
Not so fast 007! Michael Bay claims he holds the record, for Pearl Harbor. He says:
“James Bond tried to take the ‘largest explosion in the world.’ Bullshit. Ours is.”
His claim is that Pearl Harbor had an even bigger explosion during the central attack sequence. His scientific logic on this:
“[Producer] Jerry Bruckheimer showed Ridley Scott the movie. And the quote [from Scott] was, ‘Fuck me.’ No one knows how hard that is. We had so much big stuff out there. Real boats, 20 real planes. We had 350 events going off. Three months of rigging on seven boats, stopping a freeway that’s three miles away.”
Attempting to verify the record, Bay was out of luck with Guinness who confirmed that not only was the Spectre explosion bigger, by force, but that the Bond franchise scored yet another explodey record with No Time To Die.
They now also hold the Guinness World Record for the most high explosives detonated in a single film take. The equivalent total of 136.4kg TNT. Bond stunt co-ordinator commented:
“While we were rigging the explosions, one of the guys from Event Horizon, the explosive company, came up to me and said, ‘Oh, Chris, you know that there is a different record out there?’. Now I thought we had got that with Spectre, but apparently, there was another one for the most high explosives in one shot. The record was for 65 kilograms of high explosives in one shot. We had 140 [kilograms] in our one.”
Bad luck Michael. Two for two. However Bay still does know his explosions. He is not the king of Bayhem for nothing. In an interview with Empire he spoke about the secret behind a big bang:
“There’s a special sauce for explosions and [many explosions in Hollywood films today] look cheesy, or they won’t have a shockwave.
There are certain ways with explosions where you’re mixing different things, and different types of explosions to make it look more realistic. It’s like making a Caesar salad.”
Bay’s latest movie, Ambulance, opens in theaters on April 8.