The thing about most car chase scenes is that they’re fairly predictable. Someone’s after someone else, or someone’s on the run from someone else. Cops are typically involved. They’re often speeding through a city, because cities provide tons of potential fruit stands to crash through, empty cardboard boxes to fling up into the air, or old ladies with pushcarts to possibly run over. None of that nonsense in Quentin’s Tarantino’s half of the bad movie homage Grindhouse (Death Proof, which ran in theaters joined to Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, has since been released separately on DVD). This is a high-speed race to the death through the empty back highways of Tennessee. Here, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) isn’t just chasing a carful of women. He is trying to kill a carful of women with his automobile. The fact that one of them, played with great gusto by real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell, rides out half of the chase on the hood of a car going way above the speed limit, makes it all that much more exciting. The second half of the sequence — in which the victims turn the table on their pursuer — seals the deal, turning what would have been just a fantastic car chase into a gleeful subversion of male/female cinematic stereotypes. But that’s just fancy film critic talk. In the end, this is the best movie car chase ever because it’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s never predictable.
The 15 Greatest Movie Car Chases of All Time
TIME, feeling the need for speed, decided to choose the best car chase scenes of all time.