Any good action movie has to have one of three things - an explosion, a one-liner and a chase. Be it on foot, in a car or a motorbike, chases are an integral part of any good action movie.
Sure, it may not necessarily drive the plot forward, but they're necessary for keeping the pace of a film.
Here are the ten best movie chases.
10. RONIN - The Paris Chase
It may be punctuated by Natasha McElhone's god-awful Irish accent and Robert DeNiro looking non-plussed but the chase sequence in Paris in 'Ronin' is one of the finest examples of editing and pacing. Not only that, they're not sports cars - they're ordinary hatchbacks being driven to the absolute limit. It's a crappy BMW E34 and a Peugeot - not a Ferrarri or a Dodge Charger.
9. HOT FUZZ - The Supermarket Chase
Edgar Wright's known for making clever use of what's in front of him, as well as nods to his influences. 'Hot Fuzz' was replete with references to Asian action flicks like 'Hard Boiled' and more mainstream films like 'Point Break'. In fact, the foot chase in 'Point Break' (which features further down on this list) was the main inspiration for this. Just replace Keanu Reeves with Simon Pegg and LA with an English hamlet.
8. INCEPTION - The Mombasa Chase
'Inception' may be more known for its complex plotting and mind-bending visuals, but this chase sequence through Mombasa is downright impressive. Using no special effects other than editing, music and a steadicam, Christopher Nolan produced a pulse-pounding chase. That van bump made us jump in the cinema.
7. BACK TO THE FUTURE - The Skateboard Chase
Sure, there was a chase at the start with the DeLorean that (spoiler) ended with Doc Brown getting wasted, but this sequence with Biff and the manure was the best chase in 'Back to the Future'. Also, McFly invented the skateboard and nobody picked up on it. Why is that?
6. MINORITY REPORT - The Jetpack / Tom Cruise Chase
Nobody has a run like Tom Cruise. The arms flailing, the eyes wide as he sprints full-steam through scenery. We're convinced he's got it written into his contract that he has to run at least once in a film. This, however, from 'Minority Report' is our favourite. Jet-packs cooking burgers!
5. THE BOURNE IDENTITY - The Mini / Police Bike Chase
'The Bourne Identity' may stick in your mind as having some fantastic fight sequences, however its mid-point chase through the streets of Paris is particularly good. Using a Mini - as an obvious homage to 'The Italian Job' - to blast over staircases and down back alleyways is different, but it works. Also, that piece of music is Paul Oakenfold.
4. THE FRENCH CONNECTION - The Train / Car Chase
Trivia time! Director William Friedkin didn't get any streets blocked off when he filmed this infamous scene. Not only that, he cut the scene to Santana's 'Black Magic Woman'. If you watch the scene with 'Black Magic Woman' playing, you'll see that the cuts of the scene match in time with the beats of the song.
3. ET - The Bicycle Chase
It might have been just a few kids on BMX bikes, but the pacing of this chase was just as good as any of the entries on the list. Not only that, the soundtrack is now iconic. How many chases end with actual flying?!
2. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY - The Motorcycle / Truck Chase
Get down. BOOM! And so begins one of the finest chases in film history. Yes, you can clearly the stunt-people - but that doesn't matter. It's still one of the best chases and action sequences of the last thirty years.
1. POINT BREAK - The Bank Robbery Chase
As mentioned, the chase sequence in 'Point Break' has influenced countless directors. Its pacing, its use of music and smart editing makes it the finest foot chase on film.