June 14, 2012
Car chases are the best part of any movie. That’s scientific fact. Screeching tires, roaring engines, occasional gunshots, and awesome crashes have highlighted some of the best films ever made. Everyone has a favorite chase, whether it’s from The French Connection or the Fast and Furious franchise. Your mom has one (probably one with Paul Newman), your uncle, your neighbor’s hamster…everyone. We asked fans on Facebook to tell us their favorites and we’ve narrowed it to five:
5) Ronin (Above)
Apparently they used Le Mans drivers to whip around the streets of France for these scenes.
At 1:01, due to some camera trickery, it looks as if Deirdre (Natascha McElhone) does a full circle around the statue, which doesn’t make much sense if you’re in a chase. We’re glad they got rid of the cop car quickly, solely because of that awful siren.
Love the random explosion at 2:55. Definitely necessary.
De Niro shows some solid car control at 3:18, pulling the E-brake and keeping the engine alive. The great thing about this chase is that there’s little to no dialogue, just engine sounds and pure awesomeness.
4) The Bourne Identity
First and foremost, before the clip starts, Bourne (Matt Damon) asks the girl if she takes care of the car. Have you seen it? It’s a rust bucket and she’s broke! You’re an uber-elite assassin for a shadowy government organization. You don’t have time to ask dumb questions.
The choice to use an old Mini is questionable, but the Paul Oakenfold “Ready, Steady, Go” track totally makes up for it. The Mini might as well be a street legal go-kart. And it can go down stairs. Classic Matt Damon, even in the face of extreme danger, he still has time to make witty quips like, “So uh, we got a bump coming up.” Solid comedic relief. You know what really grinds our gears? Hearing that car grind its gears.
The best part of this chase is that the Mini allows them to drive down stairs, on the sidewalk, or pretty much anywhere cars shouldn’t be driving.
1:13: “Turn your head away, look at me. Look at how handsome I am as I outdrive all of these cops.”
Like Ronin, driving against traffic makes the pursuit way more intense, and the way Bourne owns the cop at the end is classic.
3) The Italian Job
This is the original Italian Job, famous for the Minis racing through the streets. The playful music is more humorous than intense, and that adds to the fun of it. Once again, the Minis drive everywhere except the actual street. If you ever need to be part of a heist, drive a Mini Cooper.
The driving in this is more of a ballet than anything else. Elegant, smooth, and in sync with one another, the drivers are so good, it isn’t as intense as it is beautiful. To top it off, they fling all the cars off of a cliff. Who doesn’t like seeing cars fly off cliffs?
2) Gone in 60 Seconds
Ah, Eleanor. Maybe the greatest car in movie history. Just hearing the engine rev gives you goosebumps. The fact that this takes place in Los Angeles in heavy traffic makes for some great precision driving.
At 2:15, Nicolas Cage shows off his skills in reverse, and doesn’t even look at the garbage truck that’s about to kill him.
We’re pretty sure the GT500 can go faster than any of the those cop cars, yet they keep staying with it. Until, at 4:20…NITROUS!
Then somehow, Eleanor gets mad at Nicolas Cage and refuses to start until the cops are inches away. The pursuit moves to the docks and it’s awesome to see the cars weaving in and out of construction zones.
The best line in the entire chase comes at 7:27, “Are you sure? Cause you just went through a wall.” Classic. Everything culminates with the unmatched epicness of seeing Eleanor get massive air. It’s the perfect way to ditch the cops.
1) Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift
Tokyo Drift came out on top according to our Facebook vote. A variety of cars, a unique style of driving, and a killer nighttime Tokyo setting make for this great chase.
We’re going to choose to ignore the insane amount of gearshifts and focus on the violent driving style.
DK couldn’t care less about his gorgeous 350Z, which is sad, especially when you compare it to how calm Han is behind the wheel.
The best part comes at 1:15 when Sean thinks his horn is going to clear hundreds of people from the crosswalk. Have you ever seen downtown in an Asian metropolis? Every intersection is a spaghetti junction of cars, scooters, and people. If you think a zippy little horn is going to do anything, you're insane.
Shockingly, it doesn’t, and Sean's left to rev his engine into an epic slow-motion drift through the parting crowd. Could you imagine being some tourist and seeing that happen? You would want to live in Tokyo forever.
It’s fitting that the number one car chase is from a franchise that’s built around racing in the streets.