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Cutting to the chase

The Weekly List

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The opening of Transporter 3 has us thinking about great chase scenes. After a rigorous screening process, the staff of Las Vegas Weekly (and one dad)—accompanied by much beer and pizza—have assembled this list of some of the best, starting with the best.

1. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The top-ranked chase on our list. The absolutely bruising climax of the second movie in the Bourne trilogy showcases a wounded Jason Bourne careening through the streets of Moscow in a stolen taxi.

2. Ronin (1998) John Frankenheimer’s gritty tale of mercenary spies in France culminates in a long and breathtaking car chase across Paris.

3. Casino Royale (2006) Our favorite chase on foot: James Bond pursues a free-running bad guy into, on top of and then off a construction site. The stunt work is fabulous.

4. Bullitt (1968) and The French Connection (1971) These two classics tied on our list. Everyone knows them, the modern chase scene would not exist without them, and they still look great.

6. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) A conceptually brilliant chase along the streets and rooftops of Tangier: The police chase Bourne, who’s chasing an assassin, who’s chasing Bourne’s colleague.

7. The Bourne Identity (2002) Call it Ronin Lite: the first of the Bourne pics features a nimble chase through Paris behind the wheels of a Mini Cooper.

8. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) Director William Friedkin’s French Connection follow-up introduces a new staple to the genre: driving against traffic on the freeway. But the best bit may be when unnamed assailants pop up everywhere and open fire on our heroes.

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Harrison Ford takes on a Nazi convoy on a desert back road in this crowd-pleasing classic, one of the best set pieces of Steven Spielberg’s career.

10. Point Break (1991) Keanu Reeves has an amazing knack for showing up in seminal action movies; here he chases bank robber Patrick Swayze through Venice Beach, California.

Also-rans …

The Seven-Ups (1973) The offspring of The French Connection (Roy Scheider basically plays the same role) and Bullitt (structurally almost the same chase).

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Movie Review
Transporter 3 (11/26/08)

The Matrix Reloaded (2003) A sci-fi CGI show-stopper of a chase.

The Transporter (2002) A lively blend of wit and punch.

The Corruptor (1999) A mean, smash-mouth chase through New York’s cramped Chinatown. Pedestrians beware!

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) Melodramatic, to be sure, but the motorcycle stunts are amazing.

Death Proof (2007) Quentin Tarantino’s daredevil chase is not for the faint of heart.

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