10 Best Movie Chase Scenes

OK, I have been flaking a lot on my blogging lately, but the fact is I have been super busy getting ready for this Warhammer tournament.  I am sitting in the bar at the hotel in San Antonio and had some time to kill, so I thought I would crank this out.  I have been working on this list for a while, and like it a lot.

The weird thing is I checked a bunch of other lists and they don’t exactly have a lot in common with mine.  I guess I have a different perception of what is cool in a chase scene.

10.  Bullitt.  Great scene all around as they tear ass through San Francisco, my second favorite city.  Ever wonder what it looks like when you manual a car?  This movie can show you (that was a skateboard joke).

9.  Ronin.  This one, Bullitt,and the next one on my list are pretty standard for best chase scene lists, but it’s obvious this one is on it for a reason.  This movie is like a huge single chase scene across Europe, with occasional pit stops to load up on food, fuel, and ammunition.  They destroyed over 80 cars in the shooting of this flick, and even hired an F1 driver to do a lot of it.

8.  the French Connection. Yes, I guess I am slowly turning into one of those snooty movie jackasses who feels the need to reference “the classics”, but I can’t deny this one is pretty epic.  There has been a rumor around for years that they filmed this one in New York without permission from the city,  but I have my doubts.

7.  Bladerunner. I never said this was all car chases.  I have always liked the scene where Deckard chases down Zhora, the replicant girl with the snake.  Great foot race, and she takes a header through a plate glass window, only to have Leon almost choke him to death.

6.  the Blues Brothers.  Hey, they wrecked a mall and a bunch of cop cars.  That mall was scheduled for demolition, but it must have been a ton of fun to film.  Just thinking of driving through all that plate glass makes me all tingly.

5.  Smokey and the Bandit.  This movie was nothing but a chase scene.  Great film, with good humor.  Unfortunately it introduced us to the incompetent hillbilly sheriff who plague films for about 15 years afterwards.

4.  Terminator 2.  Motorcycle to helicopter to big rig hauling liquid nitrogen, this scene had it all.  The best line was Arnold saying “This is the vehicles maximum velocity” as they ripped along at 5o MPH.

3.  Last of the Mohicans.  Another foot race, but one of the best.  To be honest, this movie kind of drags for a long time, but the final chase scene with Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook chasing down Magua makes it all worthwhile.  Even more amazing was the soundtrack for the scene, which to this day rocks for me.

2.  the Empire Strikes Back. Yes, I’m a fanboy, but the Millennium Falcon running through an asteroid belt chased by six TIE fighters only to hide in a cave that is actually the gullet of a giant sock puppet and eventually escape by attaching itself to the outside of an Imperial Star Destroyer is in all ways awesome.  Watching this movie over and over again sometimes makes the pain of Episodes I-III feel more like a severe bowel obstruction rather than getting punched in the balls over and over again for six hours.  (Empire logo courtesy of the Star Wars T Shirt category)

1.  the Road Warrior. The final chase scene makes this movie, which is great anyway.  An interesting fact is from the moment Max starts the engine until he crushes Wes on the grill of the Humungous’s car and lays the truck on it’s side the camera never stops moving.  Another interesting fact is they did stunts in this film you will never see in another film.  The reason is they didn’t hire stunt drivers.  They hired guys off the Australian demolition derby circuit, and those guys would do anything.  The differences are subtle, but if you pay close attention you will realize that, instead of the standard “car gets hit and crashes because the driver is planning it or not even in the car” they would do stuff like have the car get t-boned by the truck, straiten out, and keep on driving.  It doesn’t sound like much until you think about it, but once you do it kind of blows your mind.  Watch it again and understand how the lack of huge crashes and explosions is actually an improvement over the standard Hollywood pap.

I also like the fact that Max didn’t really start kicking ass until after all his helpers were killed.

That’s it.  I have to get to sleep.  Big day of Warhammer tomorrow.  I will be seeing a bunch of movies this week and will try to write something every day.  Follow me on Twitter @NerdKung Fu.  Thanks for reading.  If you disagree with this list or think I missed something feel free to post a comment.  Talk to you soon.



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