Greatest Chase Scenes
in Film History

Part 10

Greatest Film Chase Scenes
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Description of Chase Scene

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

This film featured an incredible 12-minute, 100 mph, with- and against-traffic freeway chase sequence between the evil, white-suited albino Twins (Neil and Adrian Rayment) (driving a black Cadillac Escalade EXT), who were firing at driver Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in a silver coupe carrying freedom-fighting Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and The Key Maker (Randall Duk Kim), resulting in numerous overturned and damaged cars. One of the Agents jumped and then leapfrogged from one moving car to the next, smashing them down in this spectacular sequence, to get to the hood of their silver vehicle. When their tires were shot flat, Trinity stole a black Ducati 996 motorbike from a transport truck and grabbed the Key Maker as her passenger, ending up traveling toward the traffic on the busy freeway.

Soon after, Morpheus found himself atop a freight truck fighting in mid-air against one of the Agents after grabbing the Key Maker from the accelerating bike. The sequence ended with the surprise appearance of Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith) in a dark blue '67 Firebird, who caught Morpheus ("Gotcha") as he somersaulted backwards off the top of the truck and landed on her hood. Morpheus then leaped back onto the top of the truck from there to try and save the Key Maker.

The sequence ended with a head-on collision of two 18-wheelers, resulting in severe damage as the two freight trucks crushed into each other like an accordion, exploded and produced black smoke and flames - while Neo (Keanu Reeves) miraculously flew like a superman to snatch both Morpheus and the Key Maker who were sailing through the air from the impact, saving them from certain death.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

A thrilling crane-truck-motorbike (and other vehicles) chase occurred on downtown Los Angeles streets between the Terminator T-850's (Arnold Schwarzenegger) police motorcycle, the Terminatrix T-X's (Kristanna Loken) giant wide-load truck (with a mounted crane), and John Connor (Nick Stahl) who was driving Kate Brewster's (Claire Danes) Toyota Tundra animal hospital pickup truck (with her 'kidnapped' in the back).

Driverless multiple vehicles (remotely-controlled) and other parked vehicles were destroyed, including many cop cars and dozens of other cars, fire vehicles, and other emergency-response vehicles. During part of the sequence, the Terminator clung from the end of a massive construction crane mounted on a truck that smashed him through buildings.

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

As in the first film of the series, this sequel also featured an extended high-speed car chase through the crowded streets of Moscow between injured CIA agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) who was driving a hijacked yellow taxi, hired Russian assassin Kirill (Karl Urban) in a stolen black Mercedes SUV, and multiple police cars.

There were multiple collisions and spin-outs, and the chase (including an exchange of gunshots while driving) ended in a spectacular tunnel crash when Kirill's vehicle hit a concrete exit abutment. Bourne satisfied that Kirill was about to die from his injuries, walked away from the scene.

I, Robot (2004)

  1. A highway tunnel attack by dozens of robots on Detective Spooner's (Will Smith) moving car
  2. A robot attack that demolished a house with Spooner inside
  3. Thousands of robots chasing Spooner and Sonny (voice of Alan Tudyk) under a malicious AI's control

Casino Royale (2006, UK)

One of the most exciting and spectacular foot-chase scenes ever recorded, called the Parkour Chase, was set in the African-island nation of Madagascar at a crowded local mongoose-cobra fight.

007 agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) (and a second junior agent Carter (Joseph Millson)) were tracking a scar-faced, freelance terrorist bomb-maker named Mollaka (Sebastien Foucan). Bond's assignment was to fight the funding of terrorism. When the suspect received a text message ("Ellipsis"), Mollaka became suspicious after Carter kept touching his earpiece and blew their cover, and he made a run for it.

During the lengthy sequence through jungle and into an ocean-side construction site, Bond hotly pursued Mollaka - at one point commandeering a large New Holland bulldozer-tractor. As both scaled steel girders high in the sky, three individuals lost their lives (one construction worker was pushed and two police guards were shot by Mollaka). Both of them climbed cables on towering cranes and fought precariously before jumping to the ground and free-running through other buildings under construction.

The chase ended at the Nambutu Embassy (Mollaka was an employee there), where security alarms sounded and Bond found himself under-fire and breaching diplomatic protocol. He grabbed Mollaka as a hostage and used him as a human shield, as Mollaka was shot in the leg.

Bond threw his hostage out a second-floor office window into a courtyard, and then, when cornered and surrounded by troops, he surrendered and dropped his weapon, but quickly drew a second gun from his belt, killed Mollaka, and shot at a gas tank-canister to cause a massive explosion and cover his escape.

Happy Feet (2006)

There were two exciting chase sequences by lethal predators who were in pursuit of young dancing Emperor Penguin Mumble (voice of Elijah Wood):

  • by a hungry leopard seal whose jaws almost caught Mumble, but he was able to thwart the seal when both ended up on the surface of the ice
  • the breathtaking attack by two killer whales who tossed Mumble and penguin holy man-charlatan Lovelace (voice of Robin Williams) into the air several times

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

This blockbuster sequel featured some of the most kinetic, elaborate stunts/chases ever filmed.

One was the action-packed scene in which Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), while tied on a spit by cannibals, turned into a "fruit shish kebob" - then toppled off a cliff and was hung upside down as the fruit caused weight shifts, and plummeted down through many rope bridges to hit the ground and flee.

Then, in homage to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Sparrow was chased by angry natives through the shallow shore water and grabbed onto his departing ship Black Pearl at the last minute to escape - and mockingly waved at his pursuers.

Death Proof (2007)

Director Quentin Tarantino wanted to prove that he could craft one of the best car chase sequences ever made in the history of cinema, in homage to the exploitation films of yester-year. The film told about a group of young daredevil women (including Abernathy Ross (Rosario Dawson) and Kim Mathis (Tracie Thoms)) who took a white, heavily-modified 1970 Dodge Challenger (the same vehicle from Vanishing Point (1971)) out for a test-drive. With Kim driving at high-speeds and Abernathy as a passenger, stuntwoman Zoe "The Cat" Bell (Herself) played a dangerous game called "ship's mast" - in which she hung onto the car's hood, held on with only two belts strapped through the windshield.

From a distance, psychopathic and deranged stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) saw them and pursued them in his souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger, and began to battle against them. He slammed into the back of their car and repeatedly tried to divert the car off the two-lane rural road, until continued rear-end collisions spun the white car around and sent Zoe flying off the hood. When he pulled over, he declared: "Hey! Ladies, that was fun!" As he bid them: "Well, Adios!", Kim shot Mike's waving arm. The two feared that Zoe was hurt, but she appeared unharmed from the bushes: "Whew, that was a close one."

Turning the tables on him, the females decided to follow after Mike in his car to seek revenge, after Zoe suggested: "Do you wanna go get him?" Abernathy agreed: "Let's kill this bastard." Zoe retrieved a lead pipe from the side of the road and hung onto the car's door/window as they sped off. After they caught up to the car, Zoe chased after Mike, and bashed in his window with the lead pipe. When he took off, they followed and rammed into him, giving him some of his own medicine ("You don't like it up the ass, do ya, you redneck lunatic bastard!").

Following a long chase, they caused his car to flip multiple times, and Mike fractured his right arm in the crash. The girls pulled him, screaming in pain from the car and continued to mercilessly beat him - with repeated punches (and then a final roundhouse kick) to his face, before he fell down.

THE END appeared as the women triumphed and cheered. After some brief credits, Abernathy dealt a crushing blow to Mike's neck with her boot.

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

The most impressive and inventive chase sequence in this fourth Die Hard installment was John McLane's (Bruce Willis) pursuit of bad-guy Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), who had seized McLane's daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as a "bargaining chip" - and fled in a small Haz-mat truck, followed by a semi-trailer-rig carrying a portable computer control center. An F-35 fighter jet was on its way, sent by the Pentagon, along with numerous other helicopters.

McClane escaped from the building and lept onto the top of the semi-rig to pursue them. He killed the driver of the semi-truck and then hijacked it to continue the chase. By CB-radio, McClane contacted Frederick "Warlock" Kaludis (Kevin Smith) to request a patch-link through to the FBI and its Deputy Director Miguel Bowman (Cliff Curtis). He was able to speak to Bowman, and informed him of Gabriel's updated location on the 695 interstate, headed north in a Haz-mat truck.

Gabriel instructed his final remaining computer hacker Trey (Jonathan Sadowski) to hack into the computer go-codes of the Pentagon's F-35 fighter jet, and to falsely communicate the location of the "terrorist vehicle" - misinforming the jet pilot that McClane's "big rig truck" was the confirmed target, and that he was "authorized to confirm and destroy." As the freeway above him collapsed from the jet's assault by missiles, McClane screamed out: "You're shooting at the wrong guy." After a second missile missed, McClane taunted: "Is that your best shot?!"

Falling debris from the overhead collapsing highway crippled the jet's engine, and caused the pilot to eject, as McClane fell onto the wing of the spinning aircraft from a destroyed ramp on an incline - he miraculously survived when he jumped to safety as it exploded upon impact.

The Dark Knight (2008)

The multi-car chase sequence in this popular Batman installment was in a nighttime scene in the city of Gotham, where a police convoy was escorting DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to the County Jail in a SWAT van. The scene was exceptional because of the wide variety of vehicles involved -- police cars, an overhead helicopter, a SWAT van, a 16-wheeler (driven by the Joker), and Batman's new wide-wheeled Batpod after his own Batmobile suffered "damage catastrophic."

During the trip, the police vehicles (with helicopter above and a SWAT van holding the prisoner) were furiously pursued and ambushed by the Joker (Heath Ledger), who fired a bazooka at the police vehicles during a shoot-out. The copter was brought crashing to the ground, and the 16-wheeler caused significant destruction.

The sequence ended with a face-off battle between the Joker in the 16-wheeler and Batman's Batpod - with the spectacular sight of the 16-wheeler flipping end over end. After crawling from the wreckage, the Joker stood in the street and challenged Batman's Batpod to hit him, when Lt. Gordon was able to put a gun to the Joker's head ("We gotcha, ya son-of-a-bitch!").

Quantum of Solace (2008)

During a high-speed car chase in the opening pre-title credits sequence, James Bond (Daniel Craig) was pursued in his gray Aston Martin DBS on a curvy and narrow mountainous road (with tunnels) near Siena, Italy with abducted Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) bound up in his trunk.

He eluded villains driving in two black Alfa Romeos behind him firing machine-guns - one of their cars crashed head-first into a dump truck. He performed a 360 degree turn, and avoided collisions as he passed vehicles and trucks, and ended up hurtling through a twisting, hair-pin dirt road within a rock quarry. A police van, which had joined in the chase, crashed and flipped off the side of the road, barely missing Bond's vehicle further below as it rolled by.

As the two remaining vehicles jockeyed for position and attempted to side-swipe each other, Bond overcame and sent the second Alfa Romeo off the cliff.

Wanted (2008)

Russian director Timur Bekmambetov's dark and brutal action summer blockbuster was a Matrix wanna-be sci-fi film with mind-bending and impressive special effects. The main character was 24 year-old Moravian-born American Wesley Allan Gibson (James McAvoy), a frustrated, aimless and broke, apathetic, hypochondriac, weak and wimpy ("pussy") account manager in Chicago. Soon, he was to be inducted into a top secret organization of super assassins known as the "Fraternity."

One night in a drug store pharmacy, Wesley was confronted by mysterious, anorexic Fraternity member Fox (Angelina Jolie), who claimed that she knew his recently-killed father, an elite professional assassin - and "one of the greatest assassins who ever lived." To his further surprise, she rescued him (actually herself!) in the store from being assassinated by an alleged killer - rogue ex-Fraternity member Cross (Thomas Kretschmann) who was thought to have betrayed Wesley's father before killing him in cold blood, and was now gunning down the members of the Fraternity one-by-one.

Fox rescued Wesley in a thrilling shootout within the store and then in a subsequent car chase. As Wesley was pursued in a parking lot by a Nibblers van hijacked by Cross, she drove up to him in a red Dodge Viper SRT-10, did a 360 degree turn, and scooped him up into the passenger seat as the car wheeled around. Then as they were chased, she shot out the front windshield, pushed it away with her feet, and laid on her back on the car's hood as she shot back at Cross. The chase ended when she flipped the Viper over a police barricade, and they sped away along the side of a half-turned Lakeshore bus.

In another sequence, Wesley flipped his 1966 Ford Mustang upside down over a bullet-proofed black limo (with the aid of Fox driving in the opposite direction in a silver Corvette with a wedge-shaped front to facilitate the flip) so that he could shoot the target (smoking a cigar and listening to opera) in the backseat through the open moon roof. After the successful hit, he said: "I'm sorry."

Greatest Classic Chase Scenes in Film History

(chronological, by film title)
Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

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