Editorial : February 20, 2009
Everyone on the planet has seen Steve McQueen careen down the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt or marveled at the vehicular insanity on display in the Jason Bourne movies. It’s amazing stuff to be sure, but it’s also pretty boring at this point. If you’ve seen one car chase you’ve seen them all…or have you?
To Live and Die in L.A. This is an undiscovered gem from the mid 80’s. William Friedkin, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist, brings you the most realistic, nail-biting car chase of all time. Filmed at actual speed with no visual effects (as opposed to the hyper-stylized, CG nonsense of the Fast and Furious franchise), the car chase in To Live and Die in L.A. grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go until you’re blue in the face. Don’t let the cheesy 80’s vibe scare you, this is a crackerjack car chase, and a great movie to boot.
The Way of the Gun. You can consider this one the anti-chase. A nasty, criminally underscene crime caper from the screenwriter of The Usual Suspects, the chase in Christopher McQuarrie’s Way Of the Gun takes everything you’ve seen before and throws it out the window. Like speed. This is the slowest car chase you’ll ever see, and it’s absolutely brilliant. I defy you to watch this sequence and not slap your forehead in disgust at not having thought of this before. From a tactical standpoint it’s absolutely brilliant and shouldn’t be spoiled in a blog. You’ll just have to see it for yourself.
Death Proof. Leave it to the demented brain of Quentin Tarantino to create the craziest car chase you’ve never seen. Unfortunately for Tarantino fans, Death Proof bombed at the time of release and no one but the hardest of the hardcore paid any attention to it. Shame as it’s easily the most insane stunt work ever put to film. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw a girl strapped to the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T while driving 135mph? I rest my case…
The Seven Ups. You’ve never heard of this one. Nobody has. It’s only just recently been released to DVD and the world is a better place for it. Admittedly, it’s not a particularly great movie. It’s a standard cop flick from 1973 starring Roy Scheider. What the movie lacks in…everything…the car chase more than makes up for. It’s absolutely badass, memorable for the giant ass beating that Scheider’s 1973 Pontiac Ventura Sprint Coupe endures.
Die Hard With a Vengeance. The whole movie is practically a race against the clock, and the taxi cab chase through Central Park is a sight to behold. Featuring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, Die Hard With a Vengeance throws in everything but the kitchen sink. Granted, out of all the chases on this list, you’ve most likely seen this one…However, nobody ever holds it in high regard compared to other car chases, which is kind of shocking when you consider the amount of vehicular carnage involved.
What’s your favorite car chase of all time? Leave us a comment below and let us know. We promise not to laugh at you…maybe.