Car chases have been a staple of the action genre for decades, with each film trying to up the ante on how crazy their chases can get. From Bullitt's iconic pursuit along the winding roads of San Francisco to the wild Mini Cooper hijinks in The Italian Job, car chases consistently provide pulse pounding excitement no matter the context.
Just from the trailer for Furious 7, we've already been treated to an amazing shot of Vin Diesel driving a car out the window of a penthouse skyscraper and into a neighboring one, because Vin Diesel does not have time for physics.
So, in honor of Furious 7, ETonline is taking a look at the seven most insane car chases ever filmed on the big screen. This isn't a stuffy list of the "best" chases -- which worry about things like logic, reason, or possibility – this is a list of chases so off-the-wall you simply can't help but gape in child-like amazement.
*CAUTION: Some of the videos below may have some NSFW language*
7. Wanted (2008)
This chase already starts off about as crazy as you can get. By the time the red viper is flipping sideways over cop cars, landing on the side of a bus and knocking it over, then driving off the side of the toppled bus and continuing on, the chase goes being crazy to just following the bizarre rules of dream logic. Yet it never ceases to be fun.
6. The Blues Brothers (1980)
The fact that a comedy holds a place on this list might seem strange until you realize that the film's legendary chase through the streets and freeways of Chicago held the record for the most cars ever crashed for a movie. An amazing 103 vehicles were totaled in the filming of this hilarious and unforgettable sequence.
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are chasing cop-killing Haitian drug lords down the freeway in Smith's pristine Ferrari. The Haitian gangsters are racing away on a car carrier, loaded with sedans. Soon, this ordinary freeway chase goes nuts when the criminals unhook the cars and start pushing them off. Watching Smith dodge flying, tumbling cars is easily the highlight of this over-all crazy action flick.
4. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
The craziest part of this selection is that most of the chase happens between a bad guy fleeing in a car and Tom Cruise in hot pursuit, but on foot! That man loves to run in his movies. And, to complicate matters, the whole thing takes place in the middle of a blinding dust storm. There's really nothing else like it in movies. It's going to be interesting to see what amazing car stunts the upcoming Mission: Impossible 5 is going to try and pull off.
3. Die Another Day (2002)
While not the best Bond movie this bonkers entry in the franchise features an amazing chase over the frozen, icy tundra at insanely high speeds. Also, Bond can make his car invisible. Later, he out-races a solar ray from a space mirror that forces him to surf an ice tsunami … but before that nonsense, the good old-fashioned chase on slick arctic ice is amazing to watch.
This is the chase that Furious 7 is trying to out-do. To explain it too much would be pointless and would kill a lot of the fun. Suffice it to say, it involves a bunch of muscle cars and a live-firing tank. You have got to check it out.
1. The French Connection (1971)
What makes this chase the craziest isn't what you see on film as much as what happened behind the scenes. Director William Friedkin shot the thriller's fast-paced and super intense chase through the streets of Brooklyn with absolutely no permits! They cleared the streets as best they could, but legend has it the chase almost ended in actual catastrophe. Filming a chase, in the middle of New York City without warning people is crazier than any CGI or professional stunt could ever hope to be.