10 Best Car Chases in Movie History: Does Wanted Make the List?

Angelina Jolie and Wanted are about to hit the multiplex in top gear, with all the frenetic, adrenaline-soaked celluloid that it takes to make a gearhead action movie these days. It’s an Office Space-meets-The Matrix-slams-into-The Evil Dead tale, with nihilistic instant messaging embedded in linens. And all that breaking the laws of physics stuff aside, there’s one scene amidst the layers of blood and gibberish that could well be the first classic movie car chase of the 21st century. A Dodge Viper spinning at 75 mpg mph, Jolie clutching to it as she fires large-caliber weapons, the supercar literally driving off the side of an out-of-control bus—is this the stuff of Steve McQueen territory?

Ever since the automobile and movie businesses were born alongside each other in the 1890s, car chases have been putting the motion in motion pictures. But the last 40 years in particular—since the 1968 premiere of Bullitt, starring McQueen as a Mustang-wielding San Francisco cop—have been particularly fruitful in developing the art of on-screen motorized mayhem. Cameras have grown smaller, which means they can be mounted in places where the sense of speed is maximized. Stunt performers have grown bolder as safety advances allow them to simulate more and more dangerous antics. Physical effects have grown more sophisticated so that cars can be destroyed in ever more spectacular ways. Finally, digital imaging allows filmmakers to wipe away evidence of rigging, which has heightened the excitement even more.


"For me, it's gotta be the Blues Brothers for its sheer absurdity!"

No comments: