If you’re creating an action packed movie then you seriously need to think about adding a chase sequence to keep people’s hearts pounding. Some of the best action and suspense films ever made have been successes based entirely on the inclusion of a kick-ass chase. So here are my top 5 chase scenes!
5. A mini adventure – The Bourne Identity (2002)
What makes this chase scene so great is that you get very little warning that it’s going to happen. When Bourne turns to Marie and asks her if she looks after her car you start to tense up in anticipation and then it’s adrenaline city, population: you! The way he drives that mini through busy Paris streets avoiding police, buildings and members of the public while managing to cause his pursuers as much grief as possible really makes you love the character, like you didn’t already! Italian Job? What Italian Job?
4. All Aboard! – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
While not a car chase this scene lacks none of the intensity of any of the others in my list. The hair raising action and suspense coupled with great humour makes this scene classic Indy. I’m talking, of course about the famous runaway train scene from Temple of Doom where Indy, Short Round and Willy Scott have to our-run sevral Kali cultists on a network of unstable makeshift railway. So memorable is this scene that it has been the focus of many a theme park simulator ride and has been mimicked in many other films since, though with not nearly as much success. Hold on to your potatoes!
3. Rush hour traffic’s a bitch! – The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Without a doubt the most special effects loaded scene in my count down, the freeway scene from The Matrix Reloaded had audiences around the world sitting in slack-jawed awe at just how over-the-top a chase scene could get. It may have been OTT but boy was it intense. Guns, motorbikes, brand new Cadillacs and even two 18-wheelers colliding head on while a fight was taking place on the roof of one of them. Certainly the highest civilian body count, although only implied, of any chase scene in history. This scene made this movie as far as I’m concerned.
2. Come with me if you want to live. – T2: Judgement Day (1991)
Terminator 2 has several superb case sequences (good job seeing as it’s essentially a 2 hour long chase) but none of them are better executed than the epic storm drain pursuit where John Connor and the T-800 are trying to outrun the T-100, them on a Harley and the T-1000 in a stupidly big truck. Of course in reality, the motorbike would have left the 20 tonne monster in the dust but for the purposes of this chase they stay pretty evenly matched, that is of course until the truck is destroyed by some conveniently placed concrete. Cameron be praised!
1. Fighting Irish – Ronin (1998)
Taking it’s MacGuffin directly from Pulp Fiction, Ronin sees a former US intelligence agent, played by Robert De Niro, drafted into a team of mercenaries to track down and obtain a mysterious case with unknown contents. Amidst a clusterfuck of double crosses and hidden agendas De Niro and another merc, played by Jean Reno find themselves in one of the most realistic car chases ever filmed. In heavy traffic on crowded french streets, this chase was filmed at full speed and makes a real effort to show the viewer just how much skill it takes to drive like that. In fact… I’m not going to talk about it any more. Take a look for yourselves:
So, there you go. As always I’d love to hear your suggestions.