The 5 Best Races and Chase Sequences in Movie History

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Paul Walker stars as an undercover cop who works his way into a group of thrill-seeking road racers led by a mechanic (played by Vin Diesel), in hopes of finding a tie to a truck-hijacking ring. But when he Walker's character gets caught up in the dangerous world of wild wheels, his superiors begin questioning his investigative moves. Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune & Michelle Rodriguez also star.
Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
March 28th, 2014

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Races and chase scenes get hearts pounding and adrenaline pumping and keep viewers' eyes glued to the screen as they wait to see who comes out the victor. These five high-speed races and chase sequences are some of the best in movie history, utilizing a combination of realistic stunts, unique camera angles, strong music and fast driving to create unforgettable scenes that are sure to be watched again and again for years to come.

 

fast-furious.jpgPhoto Credit: Universal Pictures

The Night Race from "The Fast and the Furious"

In "The Fast and the Furious," Brian O'Conner is an undercover cop who befriends the leader of a street racing gang. In one race scene, Brian has the chance to prove himself to Dom through his racing skills. As the race commences, the cars rev their engines, flames shooting from the exhaust pipes. Dom takes the lead with his Dodge RX7, but the other drivers follow close behind. As Brian attempts to catch up to Dom, who is cool and collected in the lead, his car begins to literally fall apart from the screws as he nearly reaches 160 mph. This brings Brian neck and neck with Dom, and the rest of the race is pure tension. Throughout the race, viewers see fast shots of the cars' engines thanks to some clever CGI, and glimpses of the cars zipping past bystanders give audiences a feeling of velocity.

 

 

french-coonectio.jpegPhoto Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The Car Chase from "The French Connection"

This race scene from the 1971 classic action flick features the main protagonist Popeye as he chases after Nicoli, a man who just attempted to assassinate him under the direction of a French drug lord. Nicoli hops on a train to escape, but Popeye follows close behind in his 1971 Pontiac Lemans. Driving at full speed under the train tracks, an angry Popeye weaves through traffic while Nicoli threatens the train's passengers with a gun. The high-tension chase scene is made even stronger with realistic stunts and strategic camera angles from inside and outside the car.

 

 

matrix.jpgPhoto Credit: Warner Bros.

Race Between Trinity and the Agents in "The Matrix Reloaded"

Occurring in the second film from the popular "Matrix" trilogy, this chase scene features Trinity as she attempts to protect the valuable Key Maker from the nefarious Agents, who are programs able to defy the laws of physics within the Matrix. Trinity and the Key Maker ride a Ducati motorcycle off the back of a truck, zipping through traffic at top speed. Police begin to give chase with sirens wailing, but as they approach Trinity, their bodies are taken over by Agents. Trinity must ride fast to escape them. A series of slow-motion action shots, electronic music and an eerie level of green saturation create an epic atmosphere for this action-packed race sequence.

 

gone-in-60-seconds.jpgPhoto Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Car Chase Scene from "Gone in 60 Seconds"

Starring Nicholas Cage, "Gone in 60 Seconds" is a high-octane action flick about a master car thief who must pull off the most difficult heist of his career. In the chase scene, a pair of disguised police officers are in hot pursuit of Raines' Ford Mustang. Raines must use his savvy driving skills to outrun the officers, which include driving backwards through tight alleys and weaving in front of huge semi trucks. Utilizing great sound effects, exciting stunts and some well-placed humor, this scene is one audiences do not want to miss.

 

car-chase.jpgPhoto Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film

Chase Sequence from "The Transporter"

When professional transporter Frank Martin helps a group of thieves escape a crime scene, he must act fast when the police give chase, leading to a high-speed race through the streets of Europe. Though his criminal passengers are panicking, Martin remains cool as he weaves through traffic on narrow streets, barely missing pedestrians and making some tight u-turns. Things really heat up as Martin pulls into an alley while being followed by two police cars. Just when the situation seems hopeless with the officers getting out of their cars and pointing their guns at Martin, the transporter takes off at top speed over a bridge in one of the best car stunts in the movie. Some of the situations that Martin and his group find themselves in are far from realistic, but the scene is nonetheless completely entertaining.

From "The Matrix Reloaded" to "The Transporter," these action-packed movie scenes vary greatly in their stunts, choreography and overall atmosphere, making each scene a completely unique experience. Chase scenes and high-speed races are enough to get viewers' hearts racing, but the context in which they take place adds to their value. These films are well worth watching both for their great action sequences and their fast-paced plots.