Many movies are famous for their car chase scenes. Bullitt, The French Connection and Smokey and the Bandit are famous for their scenes of fast-paced, high-speed action sequences. The car chases that are most memorable to me are the ones that are so insane and off the wall that they stick in your memory like a popcorn kernel in your teeth. Here are my top ten most insane car chase scenes from movies.
10. The Matrix Reloaded- Fighting the Freeway.
The Matrix Reloaded was a mediocre sequel but it had an exciting car chase. In it, there are cars exploding, people leaping from car to car, and kung-fu fighting on top of semi trucks. The ghostly twins chase the protagonists are soon joined in the fight by the Agents. Besides having to make sure they stay alive they also have to make sure that the Key-maker stays alive. It makes for a visually interesting chase scene and was a clever place for a fight scene. The story stays dramatic up until the point that Neo flies in and saves people like a leather-clad Super Man.
9. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade- Chased by Nazi planes.
After escaping from a Nazi zeppelin, Henry Jones Sr. and Jr. take of f running from some Nazi planes by stealing a car. “This is intolerable.” Indy’s father constantly repeats. Together with some ingenuity they are able to dispatch the planes in a silly and exciting manner. One crashes in a tunnel creating an explosion they need to outrun. They then use a flock of seagulls to bring down the last plane. Like the mood of the rest of the series, it follows the pulp adventure serials of the thirties.
8. The Dead Pool- Remote control bomb chase.
This was the final film of the Dirty Harry series. In it a killer sends a remote control car after Harry Callahan. The car has C-4 on it and is rigged to explode. So the little remote controlled car and Harry race through the streets of San Francisco. It looks funny but it works since the threat is large enough and the villain happens to be a special effects expert in this film. The scene is played almost for laughs judging by the music they choose. Still, it is an incredibly memorable chase scene through an iconic city that almost seems to be paying homage to Bullitt.
7. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior- Final tanker battle.
In the post-apocalyptic world where gas is super rare, the bandits of the wasteland are trying to steal a gas tanker driven by Max. Hordes of these dirty bandits attempt to take the tanker as he is driving it. The people on board attempt to protect it to no avail. People fire arrows, throw Molotov cocktails, and crash themselves into one another in horrific fashions just to get at the gasoline. What folks do not seem to realize is that Max is essentially driving the tanker as a diversion. He is driving the wasteland bandits away from the real gasoline tanker.
6. Terminator 2: Judgment Day- The Somewhat Unstoppable Truck.
When the T-1000 has spotted John Conner he chases him relentlessly. When John takes off on his motorbike the T-1000 takes chase in a big rig. He even crashes the rig into a levee in order to chase after John. It isn’t until the T-800 shows up on his motorcycle to protect John that he even stands a chance against this monstrous threat. The T-800 eventually finds a way to blow up the truck and get John to safety for the time being. It is a gripping scene that is enhanced by rapid music and heart pounding.
5. Quantum of Solace- The Opening Tunnel Chase.
The James Bond film Quantum of Solace begins with a bang. It becomes a tunnel chase with fast cars and lots of bullets flying. Cars are realistically spinning out of control and falling off cliffs. After the villain is dispatched, he simply drives his damaged Aston Martin back into the Italian village where he is staying. It’s a remarkable scene for a remarkable character. Bond shows that he is still a cool and collected killer when it comes to his job. After the events of Casino Royale, James Bond is clearly still dealing with anger issues.
4. Drive- Sneaking in the Shadows.
Drive starts of with the driver taking a job as a driver for heist. Instead of having the chase rely on speed and crashes, the driver cleverly listens to a police radio and drives wherever they are not looking then stops the car in a safe location. The driver gives his passengers his full skill set for a limited time. When the time is up he parks the car and walks away expecting never to hear from his accomplices again. His stealth tactics are unique and suspenseful. It is a fun and original way to experience a car chase.
3. The Dark Knight- The Prisoner Transfer.
After Harvey Dent turns himself into the police for being Batman, they decide to transfer him to another prison. As they transfer him the Joker attacks. He takes out the helicopters in the sky using wires and grappling hooks. Then, he chases them in a semi-truck armed with a rocket-propelled grenade. Meanwhile, Batman is chasing the whole time in his tumbler. The tumbler is forced to take a massive amount of damage in order to protect Dent. Batman even has a chance to kill the Joker but because of his sense of justice he doesn’t do it. It’s comic book action at its finest.
2. Death Proof- Hanging on the Hood.
While test-driving a 1970 Dodge Challenger, real-life stunt-woman Zoe Bell, straps herself to the hood in an attempt to play a game called “Ship’s Mast.” Kurt Russell’s character shows up as a psychopathic killer and attempts to kill them by running them off the road. It’s a suspenseful and gripping scene that works really well. Zoe Bell’s stunt work is really impressive and it shows amazing talent. Everything builds up to the tense finale when Kurt Russell is given a very powerful comeuppance.
1. The Blues Brothers- Driving through the Mall.
This movie has a ton of car chase scenes. The most memorable one is where Jake and Elwood drive their car through the mall. The cops even take chase. It’s hilarious and chaotic as they tear though all the stores and magically seem to not kill a single person as they elude the police. During their adventure they do run afoul of the Illinois Nazis, a Country Band, and most of the police and military that is after them. It’s a fun and enjoyable movie that is totally worth seeing for the mall chase scene alone.
There are so many memorable movies with car chases. They span a plethora of various genres but you can always find something memorable in the destruction of property and vehicles. Movies will always find a way for extreme scenes that will impress and thrill audiences with highway stunts. If you find any of these intriguing, give them a shot, and as usual, happy watching.