Is there anything more effective at keeping you on the edge of your seat than watching a car chase on the silver screen? Full of action, burning rubber, super stunts, stellar special effects and usually accompanied by a killer soundtrack, it’s an adrenaline rush like no other without having to get up out of your seat. Here’s a look back at some of the greats…
The Italian Job
A classic in the car film fanatic world. Michael Caine outruns Italians through stunning Turin landscapes and past cool landmarks in a fleet of Mini Coopers, still inspiring car buyers worldwide to invest in a classic Mini to speed around winding country roads.
The Matrix Reloaded
Morpheus and Trinity’s high speed getaway in the second installment of the Matrix really gets your heart pumping as they wind through freeway traffic on their souped-up motorbike. An impressive mixture of real-life stunt driving and CGI effects, there’s everything a car chase enthusiast desires, bullets whizzing by, cars somersaulting through the air and impressive weaving between the traffic.
Mad Max Fury Road
2015’s remake of the dystopian Mad Max featuring Tom Hardy is essentially an action-packed car chase from beginning to end, making the whole film impossible to drag your eyes away from. With unbelievable vehicles – even one including a suspended guitarist – speeding through the desert landscape in pursuit of Max and his accomplices, once you’ve seen it once you’ll keep coming back for more of its unbeatable adrenaline rush.
Gone in 60 Seconds
The original 1974 version of Gone in 60 Seconds, starring the ‘Car Crash King’ stuntman HB Halicki, included 93 cars being destroyed and a 40 minute car chase in which a Mustang shoots 30ft into the air. If that’s not a legendary car chase, I’m not sure what is.
The Bourne Identity
Another one for the Mini Cooper lovers, Matt Damon’s beat-up Mini speeds through the narrow streets of Paris in the rain to outrun a fleet of chasing police. Effortlessly plunging headfirst down a steep stone staircase, it’s definitely a don’t-try-this-at-home moment that makes for some sensational cinema.
Is there anyone that could out-chase the legendary Steve McQueen? In the 1968 classic Bullitt, the audience is put through all the emotions, flinching every time cool cop Frank Bullitt takes a corner too quickly or speeds head on through the San Francisco scenery. Ducking bullets at the wheel of his Ford Mustang from firing hitmen, the chase that defined a genre ends in a crash into a gas station that ends in a spectacular fireball.
Admittedly, none of these films should be used as material for studying for your theory or practical driving tests, but they’re enjoyable nonetheless.
They’re a classic bit of silver screen escapism, going against everything you’ll learn when studying for the theory test and preparing to master the practicalities of driving. Only once you’ve learned the ‘right way’ will you appreciate even more just how tricky it must have been to make these thrill-a-minute masterpieces.