Scene[s] Spotlight: Five awesome car chases in contemporary movies

Happy Tuesday folks! This past weekend ended up being chock-full of car chases for me with Fast Five and Ronin, both of ’em have long and spectacular car chases that made me stand up and cheer! Now, I’m actually a pretty good driver myself. Yes I tend to go fast in highways, but I rarely go above 10 MPH over the speed limit 😉 I don’t have patience for s-l-o-w or distracted drivers, those who have no clue they’re causing bottlenecks on the FAST lane as they’re too busy talking on the phone to pay attention to the surrounding!!

Man, I wish at times I had the kind of car that has the throttle like the Dom’s Dodge Charger in Fast Five! But then again, it’s not just the car, it’s the driver! Just look at what Bourne could do w/ a Russian taxi. Don’t let the rinky-dink look fool ya, that Russian-made Volga 3110 is practically indestructible!!

RussianTaxi_BourneSupremacy

It’s always an adrenaline-pumping ride to watch a deftly-filmed car chase, though of course if it’s not handled well it could actually be headache-inducing! So just for fun, I’d just post the five favorite car chases I enjoyed from contemporary cinema. I deliberately left off classic films here but if I were to include ’em, certainly the one in Bullit and The French Connection would make my list. I also try to just focus on CAR chases here, so no Truck/Chopper/Boat scenes or I’d include the Truck Chase scenes from The Dark Knight, Terminator 2 and License To Kill. I could watch these scenes over and over and was certainly the highlight of the respective movies they’re in:

*Naturally, if you haven’t seen any of these and don’t want to be spoiled, then don’t read/watch these clips*

Bourne Supremacy

When people talk about a great car chase, I always think of this one. Yes there’s another car chase in Bourne Identity w/ the mini cooper, but I always prefer this one for the reason I’ve mentioned above. It’s incredible what Bourne could do w/ a rickety car like this, he’d probably make an Aston Martin fly, ahah. I love Karl Urban too, as Kiril, too bad it doesn’t end well for him here 😦

Fast Five

Granted I’ve only seen two movies from this franchise, but I’d think this would rank pretty highly on the list if someone were to list ALL the car chases from all six of them. I mean, this isn’t just a car chase, this is a car chase with a steel VAULT chained to two cars as they sped away through the streets of Rio. As if that’s not preposterously spectacular enough, Dom proceeds to unchain Brian’s car and use the vault like wrecking ball of sort to take out a bunch of cars in his pursuit! It has to be seen to be believed folks!

For Your Eyes Only

Ok there are sooo many car chases in Bond films, why pick THIS one? Well, I love this in particular because it’s not the typical glamorous car chases where Bond’s got a super-charged and well-equipped Aston Martin or Lotus, but instead, Bond has to settle for his leading lady’s (the beautiful Carole Bouquet) beat-up yellow Citroën, but he managed to still out-maneuver all those thugs in far better automobiles. The score by Bill Conti is just perfect here, it adds to the sense of whimsy of the riotous scene. Plus you’ve got Roger Moore’s signature one liners to liven-up the already-fun moment “Love driving in the country, don’t you?” 😀

RONIN

I think I saw this car chase a long while before I actually saw the movie. But now that I watched it in context, it’s actually more awesome! The narrow European streets always make for a perfect setting for a car chase, it’s wonderfully-scenic AND bad ass! The scenes on the highways as the two cars are speeding against traffic just get your blood pumping. Of course the absolute absurdity is complete when one car flies off the road, flips over several times AND the people inside survived without a scratch!!

The Transporter

I actually never bother to see the sequels to this movie, but this first one is one of my favorite action flicks. It’s the only movie I actually like Jason Statham in, seems like it goes downhill as he becomes more famous. The car chase reminds me of the BMW short films that Clive Owen was in, it just exudes so much coolness as the driver is unruffled by all the carnage and destruction in his path. I have to include this scene simply for the part where the car somehow leap off a bridge and land perfectly on top of a moving car-transport caravan! There just so happen there’s an empty spot on top of the caravan to fit his BMW!! rolleyes Sorry I could only find the German-dubbed version of this clip, but really, the action speaks loud & clear in a universal language.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • The Mini Cooper car chase through the tunnel in The Italian Job (2003)
  • The Dodge Viper SRT-10 chase in Wanted with Angelina Jolie behind the wheel (and on top of the hood shooting at people!)

Ok, so this is just a sampling of great car chases in contemporary cinema. Obviously there are some I missed out on, so tell us YOUR favorite car chases from the 80s through today.

58 thoughts on “Scene[s] Spotlight: Five awesome car chases in contemporary movies

  1. Fine list, Ruth. Mine is slightly different:
    • Bullitt (the one that started it all)
    • The Matrix Reloaded
    • Ronin
    • The French Connection
    • To Live and Die in L.A.

        1. Oh no worries! I probably should put in giant letters, top car chases BESIDES those two, ahah. I agree those scenes are awesome Michael.

          I LOVE the Tumblr chase, I always rewind that scene, ahah. I almost include Bourne Identity but can’t have TWO Bourne on the list, he..he..

  2. Fun list Ruth. I always think of the freeway sequence in The Matrix Reloaded. It is phenomenal! 😉

    I’m really not crazy about The Matrix Reloaded as a whole. I’ve always described it as a weak movie with three spectacular scenes. The freeway chase is one of them!

    1. I actually haven’t seen the Matrix sequels, hence it’s not on the list. I might check out the car chase scene on Youtube though. I’m sure it’s awesome Keith.

      Btw, I was originally gonna post this yesterday but didn’t want to compete w/ your Phenomenal 5 😀

      1. LOL! Thanks Ruth! You’re awesome.

        Yes I would HIGHLY recommend you skip the movie but don’t miss the freeway scene or the Mr. Smith fight. Both are awesome. Too bad the rest of the movie falls a bit flat.

    1. Thanks Cindy! Ahah, I knew The French Connection would get a lot of mentions, that’s why I had to mention that one (and Bullit). I’d include Speed too but I focused on just CAR chase in this one 😀

  3. I think the opening chase scene from Drive is something special. This clip doesn’t give you the whole lot but you’ll get the idea

    [Youtube=http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uX0H9moUGsI]

    1. I’ll watch that clip. Not really interested in the movie at all but I always love a good car chase 😀

      P.S. I prefer Gosling silent anyway, ahahaha!

  4. PrairieGirl

    I’m with you 100% in your first paragraph… I don’t think driver’s these days even know there is such thing as a fast lane, much less move over if they’re in it. But my favorite car chase of all times is in Chicago at the end of the Blues Brothers (1980) ;-D.

  5. Couple people have said it already, but Matrix Reloaded! If that movie overall had been better I think it’s car chase is much more memorable to people. And while I’m not a Mini Cooper fan, The Italian Job tunnel chase is pretty sweet!

  6. Not sure if it counts but the cool one in The Living Daylights is one of my favourites.

    Also the Bourne Supremacy chase you talk about is my favourite movie car chase ever. It’s basically two guys fighting with cars!

    1. Oh yeah, I like the one in TLD too, I mean I’m a card-carrying member of the Dalton-is-Best-Bond brigade 😀 But I love how whimsical this one from FYEO 😀

      Yeah, the Bourne Supremacy Moscow chase is so well-filmed, I LOVE it! I always rewind that one every time I watch it, Bourne is like a machine!

        1. Likewise man! Dalton gets A TON of mention here on FlixChatter, and not just his Bond movies 😀 Btw, do you prefer TLD or LTK? Both are great in its own way, of course.

            1. Y’know, it’s hard to say. Upon recent rewatch, I might put The Living Daylight slightly above Licence to Kill but I also like the fact that LTK has quite a different tone from a typical Bond film. I think if I were to grade it based on Dalton’s performance per se, I’d say LTK though. I mean he’s just soooo bad ass but it also shows his vulnerability, esp. when he found out what happened to Felix!

  7. Ted S.

    I love car chases in movies but there are a lot of bad stage ones though, loved The Bourne Supremacy and Fast Five chases.

    Adding to the list, here my favorites:
    – Mr. and Mrs. Smith car chase scene
    – To Live and Die in LA highway chase
    – The Bourne Ultimatum, it’s basically a similar car chase from the second film, but it’s shorter and not as epic. I still can watch it over and over again though.
    – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol sands storm car chase. The most unorthodox and original car chase scene in a film I’ve seen in a long time.
    – Shaft remake/sequel climatic chase was pretty cool
    – I always love watching the opening car chase in Lethal Weapon 2
    – The opening car chase in Quantum of Solace was probably the only good action scene in the entire film.
    – The shootout/car chase in a hotel garage in Tomorrow Never Dies, pretty inventive sequence I thought.
    – The car chase in Cobra was pretty cool, probably the only cool action scene in the film.

    I can probably list several more but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.

    1. WOW man! I should’ve asked you to do your own list, Ted. Some of these I haven’t seen yet, but I should look ’em up on Youtube.

      I might do a list of NON-CAR chase (it may have cars in it but it also involves other stuff like chopper/tank,etc). Would you be a contributor? 😀

  8. I like your list, Ruth and am glad to see Ronin and Bourne Supremacy here among your choices. Also glad that Italian Job got an honorable mention. That one is great. There is a chase scene in Transformers that I like on the highway with Bumblebee and even though it’s not a real chase scene per se, I always liked the tank chase scene in Goldeneye! haha

    1. Hi T! Ah yes I remember the Goldeneye one, but I’m just not fond of Brosnan as Bond. That’s probably his best Bond film though, after that it went downhill… fast!

  9. Great picks! Love all five of them. I know there’s probably a few more great car scenes but right now my mind can only remember that scene in “Drive”, where Ryan Gosling put his car in reverse just so he turn the corner with speed (and the chasing car crashed).

    1. Hi Asrap! Someone has mentioned that Drive scene before, I might check that out on Youtube then. I don’t really care for the film nor Gosling though.

  10. Cannot argue with any of these selections (all bar the Bond one are dead-set home-cinema show-off sequences!) BUT i’d agree with several other commenters about The Matrix Reloaded’s stunning freeway chase. That sequence might be the most “manufactured” of all car chase sequences, but for excitement it’s yet to be topped. Good call on Ronin and Bourne Suprenacy in particular. Love those films, and love those car chases.

    1. Hi Rodney! Ahah, home-cinema show-off sequences, too funny! Well the reason I include the FYEO one is because it’s the least flashy from all the Bond flicks, but it’s a lot of fun! Boy I gotta watch that one from Matrix Reloaded, sounds like that’s the only good thing about that movie, ahah.

    1. Ahah yeah, that’s my reason too Chris, it’s a driver escapism. Man what I would give to be behind the wheel of some of those muscle cars! But I bet your car is a heck of a lot better than that Russian Taxi in Bourne Supremacy 😉

        1. My late brother actually used to volunteer at a race track where regular folks would take their cars and pretend they’re some pro racers or something, ahah. They probably have to change their tires regularly if they do it often though. Yeah, I’m a fan of driving myself, there’s something so liberating about it 😀

  11. Nice picks. Glad you included The Transporter, but my favorite in recent memory is easily the one from The Bourne Supremacy. It’s one of the best car chases I’ve ever seen.

    1. Hi Nostra! I don’t know about realistic but I guess when you compare it to the Fast & Furious movies it’s a bit less preposterous, ahah. But yeah those are fun!

  12. As a general rule I dislike car chases and tend to groan whenever I see one starting up in a movie I’m watching. They are just so bland and generic, they cannot keep my interest. The only exceptions are when they are expertly filmed, like the Bourne one you mentioned, but that is very rare.

    1. Hi Ian, that’s interesting that you didn’t like car chases. Well I guess for me growing up w/ a brother who’s into cars, I have an affinity for them 😀

  13. Awesome list! I love that you picked For Your Eyes Only. I’d have that in my Top 5 favourite Bond theme songs too 😉

    There’s two I would add that I think trumps every one on this list (but that’s just my opinion). The Blues Brothers and the original ‘The Italian Job.’ Those car chases are just sooo epic.

  14. Pingback: » Movie Review – Safe (2012) Fernby Films

  15. Pingback: Movie Review – Cars |

  16. Pingback: 41 favorite cinematic things to celebrate my b’day

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s