What was your favorite movie car chase scene of 2017?
2016 was a great year for movie car chases with standouts such as the Jason Bourne's destructive chase set in Las Vegas. In 2017, there were more car chases in movies than we could possibly count. Fate of the Furious, the eighth instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise which is showing no signs of slowing down, predictably smashed Box Office records, but movies like Baby Driver and the Netflix-only Wheelman stood out more for their innovation. Here’s our rundown of the best movie car chases of 2017 you need to watch right now.
Baby Driver was the clear standout this year in many ways. Directed by Edgar Wright, it was refreshing to see an original film that wasn’t a sequel, a remake or a superhero film setting up a cinematic universe. For car enthusiasts, Baby Driver was a love letter to classic car chase movies, favoring practical stunt driving instead of sinful CGI that plagues many modern movies. The film’s opening chase sequence, in which lead character Baby evades police in a Subaru WRX STI, features some of the best on-screen driving we’ve seen in years performed by legendary stunt driver Jeremy Fry. The stunt where Baby does a 180 in and 180 out in a tight alleyway particularly stands out.
Combine the daring driving with Edgar Wright’s signature slick direction and a unique premise where every scene was precisely choreographed to the soundtrack, and you have one of the most thrilling and memorable movie car chases in years. And all this action happens in the opening five minutes of the film.
It was always going to be hard to top the spectacle of Furious 7, which featured cars parachuting out of the sky and a Lykan Hypersport smashing through multiple skyscrapers. And yet somehow, Fate of the Furious managed to crank up the carnage to more absurd levels than ever before. The opening race in Cuba was a fitting homage to the series’ forgotten street racing routes culminating with Vin Diesel driving a car on fire. The stunts get progressively sillier from there, from a crazy car hacking scene in New York in which dozens of cars fall from a parking garage, to a destructive arctic chase pitting cars against a rampaging submarine.
It’s all unapologetically over the top and unrealistic - and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We wouldn't like to guess how Fast and Furious 9 will up the ante again when it speeds into theaters in 2019. Staggeringly, Fate of the Furious made over $530 million at the Box Office in its opening weekend, making it the biggest movie opening ever.
It’s fair to say we were spoiled with car movies this year. One of the most underrated was Overdrive, which was essentially a mash-up of early Fast & Furious movies and Gone in 60 Seconds. It’s probably no coincidence that one of the writers worked on 2 Fast 2 Furious. The plot wasn’t very original: Scott Eastwood plays a cocky car thief who is forced steal a Ferrari 250 GTO from a rival crime boss in exchange for his freedom. The acting wasn’t Oscar-worthy either, but the on-screen cars had us salivating. Vintage cars you don't normally see in movies get some screen time, such as a Bugatti Type 57 S, Porsche 356 A Speedster, and Jaguar XK 120.
There’s a lot of BMW product placement, but Overdrive features several chase scenes worth watching including a police pursuit set in an airport and a finale featuring an assortment of exotics battling it out on winding French roads such as a Porsche 911 Carrera, AC Cobra 427 and Maserati Quattroporte.
While Fate of the Furious was a Box Office success, there’s a good chance you missed Collide starring Mad Max Fury Road’s Nicholas Hoult. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on some of the craziest car action scenes of the year that aren't quite as far fetched as Fate of the Furious. Again, the story isn’t anything to write home about, but some of the car stunts are superb. A chase involving a Jaguar XFR is superbly shot, as we see Hoult make his initial getaway in one seamless shot. The movie wasn’t afraid to damage expensive cars either, as the XFR smashes into an office hut and crashes into a BMW Z3.
There’s also a high-speed showdown on a German autobahn between a Citroen C5, Porsche Cayenne, Volvo V70, and Mercedes ML, all of which get wrecked in some awe-inspiring stunts. An Aston Martin Rapide S also makes an appearance speeding down the autobahn - but don't worry, they didn't have the budget to damage it.
Who would have thought a chase between some underpowered 1920s and 1930s Fords and Buicks could be so exciting? In the hands of a less skilled director, this car chase could have been decidedly dull, but the opening bank heist and subsequent police chase in Live By Night, a gangster flick directed by and starring Ben Affleck, gets your pulse raising.
It’s a shame the film flopped so badly at the Box Office. If nothing else, it deserved recognition for its masterfully shot and edited action sequences. Live By Night’s car chase is no exception, thanks to its frenetic pace, pulse-pounding music, and crashes that will make you wince.