The car chase is a Hollywood icon (although if you watch Fox News, you’re occasionally lucky enough to view the real thing). Assembling a list of favorite chases is a harrowing task, and requires deep research into movies of the muscle car 70’s, the screwball 80’s, the special effects-driven 90’s and beyond. Luckily, we are up to the task.
We watched (or re-watched) more than 50 sequences in assembling this list, and cut out anything that didn’t make us squirm in our seats. We’re left with a list of chases that demonstrates awe-inspiring creativity, that helps push the progression of the scene, and that leaves us wondering ‘how on earth did they do that?’.
10. C’etait un Rendez-vous
Shot in one take at high speeds, this film follows a nine minute dash through Paris. In light of the highly illegal nature of the shoot (the crew didn’t inform anyone that they were filming; look for scrambling pedestrians throughout the short), the director was allegedly arrested when the film was released. While we certainly don’t agree with endangering Parisians, we certainly do believe this is worth watching.
9. Clear and Present Danger
Discovered for the role of Han Solo while painting George Lucas’ house, Harrison Ford is also well known (and probably best cast) for his role as Jack Ryan. No actor better portrays the face of everyday man in extraordinary circumstance. Period.
8. Bad Boys II
As much as we hate to include a Michael Bay movie on this list, we have to give credit where credit is due. The guy knows special effects. Not only is this chase surprisingly visually coherent (despite the cars, bullets and boats raining from the sky), it’s borderline character driven.
Aside from the movie Bullitt (spoiler alert!), this is the most impressive stunt driving we came across. Many sequences are jaw dropping, including the Peugeot slipping between an upturned spinning car and a wall, and the BMW crow-hopping its way through oncoming freeway traffic.
6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Director James Cameron pulled out all the stops for this scene. In fact, he jumped a Freightliner semi from an overpass onto the LA River and added a motorcycle stunt for good measure! But more importantly, this scene solidifies that the Governator is the good guy this time around, and that the T-1000 is one scary invertebrate.
Watch it here: Terminator 2 Chase Scene
What do you think of the list so far?