Sam: Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That’s the first thing they teach you.
Vincent: Who taught you?
Sam: I don’t remember. That’s the second thing they teach you.
That’s a bit of dialogue between Sam (Robert DeNiro) and Vincent (Jean Reno) (see above). It’s from a film that is 20 years old in 2018. “Ronin.” Included in a wonderful cast are: Natasche McElhone as Deirdre, and the wonderful Michael Lonsdale (Jean-Pierre) In this film, he tells you the story of “The 47 Ronin.” And you may remember Mr. Lonsdale from The Day of the Jackal (1973). If you don’t recognize his name, perhaps his face would look familiar; he has 238 film credits.
“Ronin” is one of my favorite films. I’m sorry about digressing from the topic of this article, but there are bits of dialogue in the film I particularly enjoy.
Back to my topic: the best car chase(s) on film. Everyone has their favorite car chase and at the top of my list is “Ronin.” Obviously, a good plot and fine characterizations are in the film, as well. There are a number of car chases that I enjoyed, particularly the 7 minute one where DeNiro chases Ms. McElhone through Paris. Supposedly there were 300 stunt drivers in the film and they each earned their money. The plot involves the contents of a suitcase, bad guys, and some not so bad guys. Is Jean Reno ever really a bad guy? (Even as “Leon: The Professional”, he was a good bad guy.)
Here are some of my other favorite films that feature car chases. “The French Connection” with Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle. Hackman got a Best Actor Oscar for his work but I can’t forget his driving under NYC’S el train and almost missing a woman pushing a baby carriage.
Was “Bullitt” (one of) the first really great car chase? Steve McQueen drove a Ford Mustang in San Francisco and looked cool doing it (he always does). Who drove better: McQueen or Hackman?
And then there is the multiple vehicle driving in “Mad Max: The Road Warrior.” Mel Gibson versus The Humungus and friends. (Should I include here the driving in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome?” Can I include Tina Turner saying to Max: “Well, ain’t we a pair, raggedy man.”)
Of course, no list of car chase films is complete without “Terminator 2” with Arnold versus Mr. Liquid Metal.
Enough of my memories. What car chases stand out as your best?