I am but a man of simple tastes. This past decade, we were treated with some jaw-dropping car chases. I had to narrow it down to a select five that are so good, they might give Bullitt a run for his money.
5) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (2018)
Tom Cruise is a crazy person. We all know this. That being said, that craziness has led to his dedication willing to risk life and limb for the sake of a great movie, and that’s nothing short of astounding. The motorcycle chase from MISSON: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is an excellent example. Driving full-speed through oncoming traffic on a motorcycle in small Parisian streets is something that is only more impressive by Cruise actually doing the entire thing for real. What would normally be the singular best scene in other movies ends up (in the case of FALLOUT) being the 3rd best sequence in a movie filled with nothing but all-timers.
4) BABY DRIVER (2017)
The opening scene of BABY DRIVER is an absolutely stunning feat. Not only does it start off as a loose remake of the music video for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song” (also directed by writer/director Edgar Wright), but it perfectly sets up the reveal of Baby’s (and his movie’s) not-so-secret weapon: the ability to time all the action based on the music he plays. It leads to a very impressively choreographed chase sequence set to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms,” where everything from being swarmed by a horde of cops to passing parking lot pillars are perfectly timed. Above all else, it’s just really goddamn cool.
3) FAST FIVE (2011)
It’s Vin Diesel and Paul Walker driving through Rio de Janeiro while using a gigantic vault like their own personal wrecking ball. I feel like I don’t need to explain this any further. The best set-piece of the entire series.
(Plus, you knew a FAST AND FURIOUS movie was bound to make it on this list somehow.)
2) THE RAID 2 (2014)
The car chase that takes place at the end of THE RAID 2’s second act seems like it could almost be too much of a good thing, but it never goes overboard. Not only is the chase itself thrilling, add in the fact that Iko Uwais is having an elaborately choreographed fight in one car, while shootouts are occurring at the same time in the others. The movie even features a very creative tracking shot across all these cars that I would highly recommend checking out the behind-the-scenes footage to learn how filmmaker Gareth Evans and his crew pulled it all off.
1) MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015)
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD may not just have the best car chase of the decade, I would go as far as saying it’s the best one ever made. It’s one thing to have an impressive car chase scene in a movie. It’s another thing to have a chase scene run nearly the entire movie. It’s a whole other thing entirely to use that chase as a way to properly build a credible world, story, and characters without bogging down in unneeded exposition. It’s a chase where the vehicles themselves have as much personality as the people driving them. It’s a chase that feels like it’s constantly evolving the more it progresses.
The moment you think it may run stale, a new element gets added that feels like it changes the game, whether it be attacks from rival factions like the Buzzards and Bikers, or a literal sandstorm. If car chases were paintings, George Miller may have drawn the entire roof of the Sistine Chapel.
Tags: Ansel Elgort, Charlize Theron, Christopher McQuarrie, Dwayne Johnson, Edgar Wright, Eiza Gonzalez, Elsa Pataky, fast and furious, Gal Gadot, Gareth Evans, George Miller, iko uwais, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Jordana Brewster, Justin Lin, Ludacris, Mission: Impossible, paul walker, Sung Kang, tom cruise, Tom Hardy, Tyrese Gibson, vin diesel