2011 Chase of the Year Nominees

The third of the scene awards is the chase of the year, which can consist of car chases, foot chases, or mid air chases.  Of course there’s room for more than that if a film can come up with some sort of unique and original chase that doesn’t fit into any of those boxes.

  •  Doors- The Adjustment Bureau: This chase doesn’t necessarily work the way most Hollywood chases do, but it makes up for this through creativity and for its context in the overall movie.  One of the major science fiction ideas at the center of the film is that there’s a network of teleporting doors that allow people to quickly travel from place to place.  In the film’s final moments Matt Damon jacks this technology and runs off with his love interest from place to place in an attempt to escape the regulators in suits who are closing in.  The scene gives the viewer a feeling of breaking out of an established order that gives the scene a power that’s grander than its run time.
  • Bagghar Chase- The Adventures of Tintin: This chase through the fictional Moroccan port city of Bagghar is certainly the year’s largest and most ambitious chase sequence.  The scene begins with a motorcycle chase, incorporates the flooding of a large valley, has a tank rushing through the streets with a architectural structure attached to it, and culminates in Tintin zip-lining down a line while chasing an intelligent hawk that’s stolen something from him… that’s a lot of stuff.
  • Chasing Down Nazi Spy- Captain America: Most heroes need to spend some time to get used to their new powers, but Captain America launched into a big action sequence just a few minutes after he was turned into a super spy in Captain America: the First Avenger.  Chasing the Nazi spy who shot his creator through 1940s New York, Steve Rogers shows his sheer determination by refusing to give up on the chase even when a submarine comes into play.
  • Opening Heist- Drive: The driver in Drive promises to help people escape in five minutes or less and in the opening scene he lives up to that promise.  Using a simple looking but powerful car he helps a set of bank robbers escape with their loot by using police radios against his pursuers and then carefully outrunning his pursuers.  The audience isn’t quite sure how he’s going to get out of this situation, but once he manages to use a crowd at the Staples center in his final escape you feel he’s earned it.
  • Sandstorm Chase- Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol: Shortly after the already famous hotel climbing sequence we get this chase scene that begins in the lobby of that hotel and continues on foot as Ethan Hunt and his target run straight into a sand storm.  Here the film makes good use of the lowered visibility in order to give the scene a cool tension, especially once Hunt and his target finally get into some cars and play a high stakes game of blind chicken.

The Golden Stake Goes to…


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