2014 Chase of the Year Nominees

The chase scene is another staple of the action movie and this year did not have a real shortage of them.  As always, the only real requirement here is that two or more parties in pursuit of one another.  Car chases are the usual standard, but foot chases are also eligible and if some other vehicle is being used that counts too.

  • Nick Fury Ambush- Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury hasn’t been as big a part of Marvel’s second phase but he’s finally given an action showcase in this second Captain America film.  The scene begins with a bunch of fake police cars wedging Fury’s futuristic SUV and trying to shoot through it, this fails and Fury is eventually able to lead them into a very destructive chase through the streets of New York.  The chase finally ends when The Winter Soldier himself manages to take out Fury’s vehicle in a fairly badass fashion.
  • Truck Chase- A Most Violent Year: The protagonist of A Most Violent Year is not really a man of action, but desperation thrusts him into that role when he learns that one of his trucks has been hijacked.  Determined, the character slowly chases the truck until the thieves try to drive the thing onto some train tracks and crash it off screen.  From there it transitions into a foot chase where Oscar Isaac’s character carefully pursues the surviving driver through an elevator train and finally tackles him and puts a gun in his face.  The scene isn’t as sensational as some of its competition, but it has a (relatively) realistic edge that makes it stand out.
  • Traffic Mayhem- Lucy: This short but memorable chase scene from Lucy begins with Lucy, who has never driven a car before, insisting on driving a police car to get to her destination incredibly fast.  She does this by using her supernatural mental powers to anticipate traffic patterns and then use her reflexes to seamlessly weave in and out of traffic and cause all sorts of chaos along the way.  What makes the scene work so well is that she never breaks a sweat or makes a less than perfect maneuver along the way.
  • Post-Diner Chase- Nightcrawler: Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler gets a big jolt of energy in its climax with this chase scene through the streets of Los Angeles.  What makes the scene unique is its perspective.  Rather than focusing on the cops or robbers, the focus here is on the cameraman going after them and trying to film the whole thing all while driving just as fast and taking just as much of a risk.  It’s a thrilling action scene to finish what is otherwise more of character drama but it doesn’t feel out of place at all and is actually pretty important to the plot.
  • The Chase- The Raid 2: The Raid: Redemption was notable for having some great shootouts in addition to its hand to hand fight scenes, but I never considered that they’d branch into vehicular chaos in the sequel and certainly never expected them to handle said vehicular chaos in a way that was every bit as assured as the fight sequences.  This sequence has a lot going on in it: a fistfight in the backseat of a car, a car obliterating a shed, a shootout with a motorcyclist who’s trying to leap into the driver’s seat of a car, a dude leaping from the back of a moving SUV onto the hood of a moving car… it’s pretty spectacular stuff.

And the Golden Stake Goes To…

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