They may not be as common as the action genre, but car chases in sci-fi films are definitely a thing. In fact the sci-fi films have produced some of the most unique, iconic, and thrilling car chases of all time on the big screen.
It doesn’t matter whether the film as about time travel or futuristic robots trying to end humanity, the best sequences can still boil down to a high octane chase between two or more vehicles. So, we’re taking a look at 4 of our favourite classic sci-fi car chases.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Even though the 1984 original film featured Arnie, guns blazing, chasing down Sarah Connor and Reese on a motorcycle, it’s arguably the second instalment that has the more iconic chase sequence.
The sequel featured one of the best ever stunts involving a semi truck and a motorcycle, which sees John Connor fleeing from the terrifying T-1000. The whole canal sequence culminates in a fiery explosion and is perfectly supported by a series of impressive practical effects, including a Harley Davidson jumping off a culvert.
The Matrix: Reloaded
This next sci-fi film features kung-fu, bullet-time and even people flying but it’s most adrenaline filled sequence was the now famous freeway chase. It begins as characters, Morpheus and Trinity try to get a man known as the Keymaker to safety. Before they know it, they’re being pursued by police, deadly Agents of the Matrix, and even dreadlocked twins who can become ghost-like at will.
It’s truly a sensational, creative and lengthy chase that sees cars smashing into each other, superheroic displays, such as one character taking out an SUV with a katana sword, and a Ducati 996 racing through oncoming traffic.
Mad Max: Road Warrior
The 1981 film fits more into the sci-fi subgenre of ‘post-apocalypse’ but nevertheless still boasts a massively memorable car chase sequence. The chase itself comes during the finale of the dystopian story, and sees Max himself operating a huge oil tanker full of fuel, while a giant gang of murderous marauders are in pursuit.
It showcases futuristic souped-up vehicles, with spikes sticking out of them, piloted by savage gang members sporting mohawks. The cars, trucks and motorcycles throw everything they have at the tanker, using flaming projectiles, machine guns and crossbows. It’s a high-octane sequence of metal and carnage, and one that really sticks in the mind once viewed.
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is perhaps one of the most polarising films ever made, and at the time was one of the most expensive European films ever. These days it’s still celebrated as a cult-classic and has become a crucial piece of sci-fi cinema history. It also features a particularly thrilling and quirky, multi-tiered, flying car chase sequence.
After the mysterious character played by Milla Jovovich crash lands into the back of Bruce Willis’s floating taxi cab, he proceeds to try and evade capture by the pursuing police. It’s a CGI enhanced exhilarating chase, that sees the flying taxi swerve through tunnels at breakneck speed, jetting past futuristic police vehicles that sport machine guns. It culminates in a classic car chase sequence, with Willis’s taxi narrowly avoiding an oncoming freight train as the police cars crash into it.