Tomorrow Never DiesSeemingly cornered by a gang of nefarious villains who have surrounded his BMW 7 Series, James Bond has a pretty clever trick up his sleeve. Whipping out a phone that doubles as a remote control for his car - a 007 Series, you might say - Bond stuns the gang before jumping through the back window, going on a hair-raising car park chase, surviving a rocket launcher attack and finally plunging from the roof down to the street below.
The Man with the Golden GunOver 20 years earlier, Roger Moore showed Pierce Brosnan how to do it with one of the most iconic stunts in cinema history. Sure, you have to try and ignore the somewhat bizarre swan whistle sound effect, but Bond’s 360-degree corkscrew jump over a broken bridge is a moment of brilliance. Even more incredibly, stuntman Bumps Willard nailed it on the first take - bravo, sir.
Bad Boys 2Not many people would choose a huge car transporter as their vehicle of choice for a high-speed car chase. That’s what bad boy cops Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are up against here though, as they dodge the vehicles being aimed at them by the baddies they’re after. There’s even a speedboat thrown into the sequence for good measure.
The Dark KnightAnother sequence involving a massive truck, Batman is hot on the heels of the Joker when he uses his Batpod to wrap a wire around the crazed villain’s 18-wheeler. The truck flips right over, courtesy of a hydraulic pole inserted into the road which the stuntman had to drive over.
The Blues BrothersFamous for lots of tyre-screeching car tricks, this iconic film hired over 40 stunt drivers and destroyed more than 100 cars, setting a new world record in the process. At one point, the Bluesmobile goes on a rampage through a shopping mall chased by the police - luckily the Dixie Square Shopping Centre was already abandoned, so those stuntmen could smash it up as much as they liked.
Mission Impossible: Ghost ProtocolFollowing hot on the heels of an incredible sequence featuring Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Tom Cruise has to rely on his GPS system to navigate his way through a sandstorm. It’s clearly on point though, allowing Ethan Hunt to smash headlong into his enemy’s car - after he’d already made his escape, of course.
Fast FiveThe Fast and Furious is one of the most successful film franchises ever made, so it’s no surprise there’s a huge number of jaw-dropping stunts across the series. However, in the Fast Five, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel take things to the next level by towing a bank vault through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Director Justin Lin never uses CGI to depict the giant safe, which is said to have wrecked almost 200 cars.
The Bourne Identity
Here at Inchcape, we’re huge MINI fans. Although it may pain us a little to see a classic model thrashed around by daredevil Jason Bourne, we still love the fact that it takes centre stage in an exhilarating car chase. The crowning moment is when Bourne takes the car for a bumpy ride down a set of steps in a bid to shake the police.
A third and final entry for the world’s most famous spy. We never like to see beautiful cars destroyed, but at least Casino Royale set a new record for the highest number of cannon rolls in a film. 007 swerves to avoid Bond Girl Vesper Lynd, but flips his car and rolls an incredible seven times before coming to a halt.
We end with quite possibly the most iconic car chase of all time. It may like a single, hair-raising, standout moment, but Steve McQueen hurtling around the atmospheric streets of San Francisco and leaping into the air on countless occasions gives us more than enough reason to include Bullitt on our list.
In the end, it was incredibly hard to pick just ten. Some seriously epic stunts just missed out on a place, so it’s only fair we give some honourable mentions.
• Already famous for the hair-raising stunts of its prequels, Furious 7 upped the ante. The film sees the all-star cast skydive from inside their cars, finishing with a smooth parachute landing.
• 1998 Ronin, which sees Robert De Niro navigate the streets of Paris within incredible precision and at electrifying speed.
• More recently, 2017 flick Baby Driver impressed us with its intense, 6-minute cop evasion sequence. And that’s just the film’s opening.