Friday, 23 March 2012

Floor It: Car Chases

I love a good car chase.  The precision driving, the artful union of cinematography and editing.  Coordinating and filming a car chase is no mean feat and takes days of preparation, drawing on the talents of many.  A good chase should be exciting and fun to watch, tense and exhilarating all at once.


Ronin is basically three car chases with some plot thrown in between. Okay, it's an exceptional film regardless of its amazing car chase sequences.

The Transporter

Jasan Statham kicks all kinds of ass in the first (and best) Transporter film, and the car chases are just as good. Similar to what's seen in Ronin, The Transporter's opening car chase is a bit more stylized and fun, but no less thrilling.

The Rock

Let's take a moment to compare the above clips with this one from The Rock.

Note the close ups, shakey cam, and spectacular crashes and explosions. There's no question this is an exciting chase, but it lacks the finess and sophistication present in Ronin and The Transporter. Michael Bay relies on spectacle to carry the scene, while Frankenheimer and Leterier and Yuen let the car chases themselves do the work.


Fasten your seatbelts! Steve McQueen takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the strees of San Francisco. I do believe this was the fist movie to fly cars off the rolling rills of San Fran.

The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers holds the record for most car wrecks in one movie. But, even more awesome, it features a car chase through a mall. A mall with a store called "Disco Pants and Haircuts".


Chris Hewson said...

Have you seen the Italian Charles Bronson flick, Violent city? That has an awesome car chase as well! And one that's been compared to The French Connection and Bullit (I wouldn't know whether it's as good as those ones or not though, since I haven't seen either of those).

(As for the Transporter films, I like the second one best, mainly because there isn't some shoehorned love interest.)

MarkusWelby1 said...

Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry. The title alone is worth a mention, but the car chases in that film are oh so delightful! (been far too long since I paid your site a visit my dear)

DM said...

I have only barely scratched the surface of good chase movies. There are so many, and I've seen so few! I'm totally going to check out both your suggestions :)

Thanks guys!

SK said...

Don't forget The French Connection, Bourne Supremacy and both Italian Jobs!