Have you ever tried to parallel park? It can be a little bit challenging. How about dodging obstacles while driving down narrow streets at high speeds as people chase behind you spraying machine gun fire? Yeah, that’s a bit harder than parallel parking. It is this difficulty level that makes high speed car chases so fun to watch in movies. Everyone and their grandmother is a professional driver who can make hairpin turns at 90 mph while returning fire on their chasers. Nothing gets the adrenaline going like the throaty roar of a car being pushed to its limits, and a good car chase can really bring a movie together. Here are some of the best.
Gone in 60 Seconds
Both the 2000 Nicholas Cage remake and the 1974 original are amazing movies with multiple great car chase scenes. The plot of the movies is a group of carjackers attempting to steal a large amount of cars, so yeah, that story lends itself to multiple car chases. The highlight of both movies is Eleanor, the 1967 Mustang GT500, or 1973 Mach 1 Mustang depending on which version you are watching. Both Mustangs lead the police on a wild chase, causing massive property destruction and multiple car pileups, all at the cost of poor Eleanor. Either one of these movies is sure to fill your desire for car chases and explosions.
If you love classic American muscle cars, you will go crazy for 1971′s Vanishing Point. The 1970 Dodge Challenger the main character, Kowalski, drives throughout the film is absolutely gorgeous. This movie is basically one giant car chase, as Kowalski is hired to deliver the Challenger from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco, California. While Kowalski actually has several days to make the delivery, he decides it would be a lot more fun to buy some speed and make the trip in a day. Of course this leads to an epic police chase and a destructive climax. Disclaimer, doing large amounts of speed and driving cross country is only cool in movies.
Oh, Vin Diesel. You were totally relevant back in 2001 when The Fast and the Furious came out. Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster also looked really good in it. The part of the movie actually pertinent to this article is how The Fast and the Furious made drag racing popular. The many drag racing scenes were pretty cool on their own, and then the drag races became souped up cars running down semi trucks as the truck drivers shot at them with shotguns. Oh you crazy truck drivers, always taking the law into your own hands. The car chase scenes were so good that people got confused and thought Paul Walker was actually a good actor.
You know Smokey and the Bandit was a great movie because it propelled Burt Reynolds to the height of stardom. Burt Reynolds plays the character Bandit, whose job is to attract the attention of the smokeys, AKA police, so his friend can bootleg beer across state borders. This involves driving ridiculously fast in a black Pontiac Trans Am so all the police chase him. Burt Reynolds being Burt Reynolds means that he also manages to pick up a runaway bride on his way. If you ever wondered why black Trans Ams with the phoenix painted on the hood were so popular for a little while, it was because every man wants to be Burt Reynolds.
Unlike the other movies on this list, The French Connection isn’t centered around cars. It is actually more of a cop movie, following a drug smuggling operation from France to New York. This movie makes the list with one of the greatest chase scenes in history. There were accidental collisions that were left in the movie, tight cornering, and a woman almost gets run over. No explanation I can give would do this scene justice, so just watch it and be amazed.
Now compare this to what an actual car chase looks like. Yeah, movies make everything awesome.