We’re back from our roadtrip and our better halves have forgiven us for blowing R500 000 on a new car. There’s a long weekend ahead and the weather is turning a bit cold and wet. What better time than to catch up on our favourite car-related movies?
This week the CAR team was tasked with selecting its favourite motoring scene/scenes from a movie. While there are some obvious choices that always come to mind first (including Bullit and Gone in 60 Seconds) we thought we’d try and think out of the box slightly.
Wilhelm Lutjeharms – Ronin
I remember Ronin for only one thing, the chase scene with Audi S8.
It all started when the group of skilled mercenaries had to decide on a getaway car to suit their mission. Something fast and something spacious. After an inevitable shootout, the guys jump in the S8 and, chased by the Frensh police, perform perfect drifts and high-speed manoeuvres around the narrow streets of Paris. This is followed by a chase through the countryside with even a stint on gravel road – in order to show off the S8′s Quattro technology of course.
Mike Fourie – Loving the Beast
Aussie actor Eric Bana, known for his roles in JJ Abrams’s Star Trek, Steven Spielberg’s Munich and Ang Lee’s The Hulk, is a irrecoverable petrolhead and a few years ago he directed and starred in a docudrama Love the Beast. The Beast refers to a Ford GT Falcon Coupe that Bana’s owned since he was 15 and the film depicts his obsessive love affair with the car and the compulsion he felt to campaign his pride and joy in road rallies. Amid the thrills and intensity of being at the wheel of an intimidating lump of a V8 and the friendships and camaraderie built around his ownership of the car, Bana turns in the most compelling performance at the climax of the film. When Bana crashes heavily during the Targa Rally in 2007, his beloved car is damaged so severely that it seems it cannot be repaired without a complete re-shell. Seeing the Australian’s haunted expressions and grief, borne from the realisation that he may have “killed” his beloved machine, is an experience that will pull at the heartstrings of every petrolhead.
Ian McLaren – The Island
While I’m a huge fan of the Bourne franchise and could watch the chase scene from The Bourne Identity (the one where our hero pedals a Mini around the steets of Paris) a million more times, there is one particular scene from the Michael Bay movie, The Island, that has to rate as one of my favourites. Ewan McGregor and the rather fetching Scarlett Johannson are being hunted down after escaping a compound in which they discovered they are actually clones of real people living in the outside world. In their escape they jump aboard a truck transporting old train wheels and proceed to roll these items off of the load bed and into the path of their pursuers. What I particularly love about this scene are the sound effects. While the chasing pack are driving monstrous-sounding V8 Chrysler 300C wagons, the sound of the train wheels bouncing off of the road before stopping on-coming cars “dead” in their tracks adds that much drama to the scene. At one point an armoured van, transporting the brains of the bad guy’s operation, is hit head-on by a train wheel and the soundtrack slow dramatically as the massive van comes off second best before performing a cartwheel.
Nicol Louw – Ducati chase scene from Matrix Reloaded
Ok, so not technically a car chase scene but spectacular nonetheless. Many cars and trucks getting trashed during this high energy chase scene. I saw it for the first time on the big screen and the excellent graphics combined with the soundtrack left me with a lasting impression. I suppose a pretty girl riding a fast bike has some appeal on its own!
Kelly Lodewyks – Deathproof
This movie is actually all about cars and car movies. I like the last chase scene between stuntwoman Zoe Bell and her friends as they chase down Stuntman Mike in his death-proof Dodge Charger. He had just tried to knock Zoe off the bonnet of the Challenger during a stunt she and her friends were pulling. All the cars in this movie are classic American muscle and all make reference to other car movies. The plates on Stuntman Mike’s cars are the same as the plates on the cars featured in the film Bullit. Great cars and a great movie about girls who kick ass.
Kyle Kock – Bad Boys 2
This scene manages to meet my high expectations when it comes to film chases. It boasts wise-cracking detective duo Marcus Barnett and Mike Lowrey (played by Martin Lawrence and Will Smith) in a Ferrari 575 Maranello chasing down Haitian gangsters who drive classic muscle cars, the beautiful Gabrielle Union trying to outrun the dreadlocked hoodlums in a GMC Yukon and lots of automatic gunfire and the extensive use of profanity – all the makings of an epic road battle. With the explosion-loving Michael Bay directing, the chase also features a car-transporter, a speedboat gone wild, and lots of police cruisers totaled for good measure.
Juliet McGuire – Grease
Again, a tricky choice here, I could have gone with something new and cool, but instead I am going to go with vintage and much cooler. I have chosen the race scene in the 1978 movie Grease. Any race that starts out with someone saying, “The rules are, there aint no rules” is bound for greatness! The race was filmed in the Los Angeles River with Danny Zuko (John Travolta) in a 1948 Ford De Luxe Convertible and Leo Balmudo (Denis Stewart) in a 1949 Mercury Custom. These two guys are racing for pink slips and it’s the scene that sends Sandy to get makeover! It had to be good.
Duwyne Aspeling – The Man with the Golden Gun (Bond)
The famous corkscrew jump from The Man with the Golden Gun was totally insane.
Peter Palm – Casino Royale (1967 James Bond spoof)
An hilarious but brief car chase when Peter Sellers (playing Evelyn Tremble) tells Stirling Moss to “follow that car”. So Stirling hops out of the car and gives chase on foot.
The movie remains one of the best classic comedies and also stared David Niven as Sir James Bond, Woody Allen (his cousin Jimmy Bond), Orson Welles and Ursula Andress.