In my daily glancing of Grantland.com I came across an article discussing awesome chase scenes. With the upcoming film Premium Rush focused on chase scenes, it behooves us to discuss the best chase scenes of all-time. We all love the fast paced, action packed and edge off your seat thrills of a car chase through Italy or a foot chase through NY. So without wasting anymore of your time, here are my top 20 Chase Scenes.
20) Death Proof (2007)
Only Quentin Tarantino would create a chase scene with Kurt Russell driving his “Death Mobile” as he chases 3 stunt girls on a highway. The scene is awesome. And yes that is a girl hanging off the hood of the car.
19) Die Hard
Bruce Willis chases down the bad guys in an 18 wheeler while avoiding F-18 missile fire. This is one of those where it needs no further explanation.
Will Smith’s car chase scene in this film is both futuristic and awesome. Driving high speed while avoiding kamikaze robots is no easy task, yet Smith pulls it off brilliantly.
This artsy gory film received very good reviews and Ryan Gosling shines as a getaway driver who gets a little bit too involved in the dealings of a local gangster. The real star of the film are the two chase scenes; the opening scene in which he helps two robbers evade the cops and the other being the high speed chase after pulling off the final heist. Both scenes are very crisp and simply well done.
16) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
(A) John Connor on a dirt bike.
(B) T1000 in tow truck
(C) Arnold on a motorcycle with his shotgun
15) Bad Boys II
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were awesome in these films. There were two awesome chase scenes. One scene was instantly famous for the carnage and cost it took to make. The Bad Boys basically destroyed the Miami highway on the way to Miami Beach. The other scene had the two on the run through the famously packed slums of Rio De Jenero. To put it simply the Bad Boys did chase scenes well.
14) Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Who would have thought a scene with a minivan would make the list. But Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s awesome chase is full of awesome shots, crazy shooting, and hilarious banter as the two underwear clad lovers fight off a bunch of assassins.
13) Back to the Future Part II
One of the first chase scenes I ever saw, Marty McFly is running away from future Biff after he went into the future. The genius of having the chase occur on futuristic flying skateboards was amazing. And the twist of “Those boards don’t work on water!” was simply priceless.
As always, Nick Cage should be on every list (Thankfully he makes two appearances here). The film has two main chase scenes, one involves Sean Archer (John Travolta) in a Humvy chasing down Castor Troy (Nick Cage) who was in private Jet. The other is at the film’s ending when the two participate in a high speed boat chase. Explosions, jumps and crashes all sum up to awesomeness.
11) Fast and the Furious Movies
There was no possible way to select just one chase scene from this film series. These scenes include an awesome Tokyo race down a curvy road (Tokyo Drift) and awesome chase through the streets of Rio De Jenero as the two lead actors are dragging a two ton safe full of $100 million in cash. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
10) The Rock
This was always an underrated chase scene. When Sean Connery escapes the FBI custody he leads the FBI on a high speed chase through downtown San Francisco. A Trolly, Humvy, Ferrari and awesome motor bike all partake in this very destructive chase. Nick Cage, thank you ones again.
This is widely considered an underrated film (yes I know that makes no sense). The high speed chase down the streets of Paris between a BMW and Peugeot was awesome. With tons of expensive cars being destroyed in its path, this chase scene is well worthy of a spot in the top 10.
8) French Connection
Many consider this the best chase scene ever; though before my time it still earns a spot on in the top 10. Gene Hackman stars in this awesome scene that ends with a car facing off with a train.
7) Gone in 60 Seconds
There is over 40 minutes of awesome car chases in this ‘all about cars’ film. But none of the smaller scenes compare to the insane and awesome final chase as Nick Cage (#3) drives (and even flies) away from cops in his ’67 Mint Green Shelby Mustang, also known as Eleanor. Trust me, this scene will make you love this car.
6) The Way of the Gun
I just recently watched this film and I fell in love with this scene. This unknown film by Christopher McQuarrie (the writer of The Usual Suspects) was a crime movie starring Benicio del Toro, James Caan and Ryan Philippe. The film got horrible reviews but I just think it was before its time and would now receive a better reception. This awesome scene involves the most hilarious and slow “high speed” chase of all-time. In my opinion, the scene is genius; let me know what you think.
5) The Italian Job
A clear fan favorite, this thoroughly entertaining film is one of the modern day king of chases. With three Mini Coopers, two jaguars, and a bus all involved in a multi-million dollar Italian gold heist, this film has it all. The chase scene is one of the most famous ever and truly the highlight of the film.
4) Casino Royale
The opening scene of the Daniel Craig’s Bond is simply shocking in the best of ways. The foot chase between Bond and Sebastian Foucan goes through market places, homes and even a construction site. Not only is the scene long and well done, but I honestly felt the grittiness and pain with every leap and punch. In my opinion, Craig is one of the best Bonds ever and this chase was his welcoming party.
3) The Return of the Jedi
This high speed Endor Speeder bike chase has to be one of the most original and best chase scenes ever. The sound editing and filming are both amazing. Sit back and enjoy.
2) Matrix Reloaded
There were plenty of options from the Matrix trilogy to pick from, but the highway chase scene in the Matrix Reloaded is one of the most underrated and amazing chase scenes ever filmed. The producers literally built a fake highway outside of LA to film this and it paid off. With over 14 minute of awesome driving, car crashes, Trinity on a motorcycle and two of the freakiest twins ever, this scene easily earned this spot on the list.
1) Dark Knight
Not often thought of as a chase scene, the Joker’s chase after Harvey Dent is one of my favorite scenes ever. You have the joker with an 18 wheeler, some machine guns and of course a bazooka taking on an entire police caravan and it is awesome. Not only is the Joker both hilarious and chilling in the scene but we get all the batmobile we could want as well as being introduced to the Batpod. Oh and if you are wondering how batman can take on an 18 wheeler with a motorcycle. Just take a look.