Best and worst driving/motor racing films

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This topic contains 54 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  robbiepblake 5 years, 10 months ago.

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    Keith Collantine


    Best car chase scene (I haven’t seen Bullitt) I have seen was in The French Connection.

    That’s a cracking film, definitely worth watching. I’ve not seen Bullitt either.

    Ugh, can’t stand Herbie. Or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


    Fer no.65

    Senna, Le Mans, Days of Thunder, Grand Prix, I loved all those. Some don’t have good plots, but none is a bad effort for racing lovers. Even 60 seconds is just okay.

    But for the love of god, even if you are alone at home, nothing to do, life’s too tedious to watch X Factor or whatever DO NOT!!!!!!!!!! watch Driven.

    DON’T DO IT! I’d suffer the Nyan Cat for weeks before watching that movie again.



    It’s a long time since I’ve seen it, but Fear Is The Key (1973) has a great 10 minute car chase sequence. From memory it was quite a good action/mystery movie.



    “Ronin” has a brilliant car chase scene through Paris.



    @Fer . . . you watched Driven more than once??


    Fer no.65

    @jodrell: no, once was more than enough.



    As a filmmaker, I’m sad to say I’ve yet to see a “great” racing movie. The film snob in me and the racing nerd in me simply have too high of standards.

    Grand Prix is the highest, but definitely doesn’t go on my list of best films ever. It satisfies the racing nerd in me (and the vintage racing nerd, oh lord the old cars and tracks make me giddy), but the typical cheese of 60’s Hollywood is all over it. If anything, it makes for a fascinating and blunt commentary of the racing of the time: political, entertaining and above all: deathly dangerous. I recommend it for those who long for the days of old and love racing.

    Cars is probably my 2nd least favorite of the Pixar films (which I’m sure surprises some of my friends), but that’s like saying it’s the 2nd worst dish at a 5 star restaraunt. It’s solid, fun and endearing and doesn’t get too loose and wild with the realism of the racing while maintaining the cartoony feel of it. My biggest problem was that it still felt like a giant commercial ploy for toys. What’s interesting is when I recently watched Cars 2, the original Cars happened to be on TV the very next night. The differences in tone and quality of the color palette were astonishing. It made me feel much more lenient towards Cars (especially in terms of blatant commercialism). I think it goes without saying Cars 2 is now my least favorite Pixar film.

    Days of Thunder is okay, though I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve watched it as a whole. Going back and seeing scenes kind of simply reaffirms my suspicions that it’s a bit over the top at times, but pretty entertaining in the end. What really is interesting is that they actually shot at the tracks the Winston Cup (back when it WAS the Winston Cup) went to without skimping by fudging the shots. When the subtitle says it’s Bristol, you see those cars at Bristol. Kudos on them for that. But, the aggressiveness, contact and bump-&-grind is just too much to take seriously. Fun for some mindless entertainment, but you gotta work hard at times to turn off the “that doesn’t happen in real racing!” part of your brain.

    Talledega Nights – It’s a Will Ferrel comedy so racing realism doesn’t even enter the equation. As far as his movies go, it’s not his best. Felt like he was simply going through the motions of what people expect from him anymore. Overall pretty meh, but gets a few laughs.

    Driven – If it helps you understand, I keep two lists: one with all the films that get my snobby film nerd thumbs up and one with those that are so awful that I consider them the worst of all time and have pretty much nothing redeemable about them. It takes a pretty bad one to go on the latter. My worst list has maybe half a dozen. Driven is on it. If you watch this movie and enjoy it, I’m going to send you a punch in the face. By snail mail. Twice.

    I have yet to see LeMans. Senna was great, but it’s a documentary, so doesn’t go in the same category as fictional narrative to me.



    I generally prefer the less realistic racing action films or comedies. You can’t really compare them to Senna or TT.



    I love the chase scenes in every Bourne film. Possibly the first one as the best of those.



    Keith you gotta watch TT.It’s really good.Some of the helicopter shots are unbelievable.Other than that,Senna,Le Mans and GrandPrix are great (except for the shyte story of GP).I actually really liked driven though.But that was when I was about 16 so maybe I could be forgiven.



    La Carrera Panamericana, soundtrack by Pink Floyd.


    Alianora La Canta

    I wanted to see Driven at the cinema and was initially really disappointed when the cinema stopped showing it the day before I was due to go and see it (the release was pulled partway through its second week due to cringeworthy critical and audience reception). A few years later, it happened to be on TV when I turned it on. I’d seen a few reviews of Driven in the interim and remarked that the TV listings guide description of it as an “action film” probably should have read “action comedy”. Dad (who hadn’t seen the reviews) was sceptical – and then the chase scene unfolded just after he spoke. Completely overacted, zero plausibility, paper-thin special effects and, to top it all, even the good citizens of Chicago who were on the pavements either side of the chase didn’t give a second glance at the mayhem.

    When the extras don’t look interested in one of a film’s most spectacular moments, it’s time to switch channels…


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Talledega Nights – It’s a Will Ferrel comedy so racing realism doesn’t even enter the equation.

    Talladega Nights would have been brilliant if it had settled on what it wanted to actually be. Sometimes it was a simple comedy (like the dinner scene with Little Baby Jesus); other times, it was a parody of motorsports in general (like when he sells his windscreen for advertising space). It worked better as a parody than as a straight-up comedy.



    Absolutely, and that was probably it’s biggest downfall. Anchorman was really him hitting his comedic stride if you ask me.



    Worth mentioning are also Transporter film series and the Taxi series

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