Toronto the body double

toyotamatrix.jpgI always get a kick out of seeing shots of Toronto in popular media. From Short Circuit 2 to Good Will Hunting, films have used Toronto as a kind of body double for grander places. For example, the historical landmark of Casa Loma sat in as the X-Men‘s school for mutants.

My latest sighting is from the recent Toyota Matrix movie trailer (Quicktime movie is here).

In the beginning the cars race under the Gardiner Expressway and then head north through the Bay St. underpass toward Union Station. The “anime” is being shown on multimedia billboards at Yonge and Dundas, across from the Eaton Centre. Another shot shows one of the spinning neon records from the “Sam the Record Man” on Yonge Street. At the very end you see the BCE Place in the skyline.

It’s very surreal because the streets are deserted and all the store signage has been edited out, but it’s TO alright.

Only months before, moviegoers saw Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Apocalypse run down the Toronto City Hall before it was blown up with (computer generated) bombs. The movie poster also features the uniquely steepled roof of the BCE Place tower on the righthand side.

I’m not sure if it’s that comforting flash of recognition, or pride that my hometown is being seen to millions of people and they won’t even realize it. Or the silent satisfaction of being able to see through the disguise of an American city, a disguise spawned from the curious Hollywood belief that Americans won’t go watch anything that indicates there is civilized life outside the USA.

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