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2013 Car Chase/Racing Films

  • Created on Sunday, 20 January 2013 13:34
  • Written by Martin BIgg

2012 may have had a slow start in terms of high-octane Hollywood car chase content, but it soon picked up as the year panned out, with notable releases including Safe House, Taken 2 and Jack Reacher. 2013, on the other hand, looks like it will start with one hell of a bang, with a multitude of films released in the first half of the year that promise significant car chase action. Here’s hoping it’s a sign of what’s to come in the summer and beyond.

Varaces 2013

As is tradition on VaRaces, we thought we’d gather every film due out this year we could find to give you an idea of lies on the road ahead for chase fans in 2013.

Gangster Squad

Loosely based on a true story, Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer tells the tale of an elite squad of cops who form an allegiance to take out Mickey Cohen, a ruthless mob leader who has taken over the city of Los Angeles circa 1949.

With Drive’s Ryan Gosling playing a central role, it’s logical to assume there’s a high chance that a car chase will erupt in this gangster action thriller. And you’d be right, as one of Gangster Squad’s pivotal action scenes happens to be a multi-car pursuit in which a plethora of vintage cars, including several 1949 Cadillacs, crash, flip and explode as the protagonists attempt to intercept a drugs convoy.

Much like the late H.B. Halicki, many of the rarities seen in the film were sourced by Ruben’s personal collection, private car collectors and junkyards in order to make the 1940’s Los Angeles look as authentic as possible. And yes, don’t worry – all the cars you see getting dismembered were written-off junk cars specially modified for one last send-off in the film.

Release date – January 10th 2013

Broken City

Mark Wahlberg plays an ex-cop seeking revenge after being double crossed by the city’s corrupt mayor played by Russell Crowe.

The film features a short yet pleasingly destructive chase – you can watch an excerpt from the scene in an official video below where we get to see an Impala get impaled by a Charger down some night time rain-soaked streets. Despite the numerous crashes, Broken City continues the Hollywood tradition where airbags don’t seem to have ever been invented.

Release Date – January 18th 2013

Death Race: Inferno

This direct-to-DVD third chapter in the Death Race saga sees Luke Goss reprise his role of notorious racing driver Frankenstein who once again finds himself driving for his life in a series of prison yard races with a deadly twist. Expect explosions, bad acting, explosions, cars with guns and explosions.

Indeed, while Death Race: Inferno offers more of the same racing action and OTT fatalities we’ve come to expect from the not-so-subtle series inspired by the cult-classic Death Race 2000, it at least manages to shake things up by moving the action over to the desert landscapes of South Africa in contrast to the dingy prison arenas seen in the last two instalments.

Our advice: put your brain in the backseat, don’t take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.

Release date: January 22nd 2013

The Last Stand

Arnie’s iconic “I’ll be back” catchphrase resonates very true here. After a supporting role in last year’s sequel to The Expendables, the ex-Governator has redonned his action hero sunglasses to star in The Last Stand, his first leading role in 10 years since Terminator 3.

Arnie plays Ray Owens, a hardened town sheriff who represents ‘the last stand’ between a runaway felon and his freedom in the Mexican border. Of course, being an Arnie film we can expect a barrage of bullets, one-liners and, you guessed it, car chases.

The real star of the show is a souped-up Corvette ZR1, which takes quite a battering in the film – only two out of seven of the Corvettes provided by Chevrolet were returned in decent shape according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who also worked on the Transformers films.

We know there’s at least one car chase between the Corvette and Arnie in a Camaro through a cornfield, but car action seems to be prominent throughout the film as the trailer shows a truck ploughing through a police roadblock and an SUV flipping onto its roof – a stunt that was apparently responsible for wrecking one of the Corvettes.

Release date – January 24th

A Good Day to Die Hard

Bruce Willis reprises his role as cocky cop John McCLane in the fifth entry to the seminal action series Die Hard, this time venturing outside the US to inflict some considerable damage to the city of Moscow.

In what promises to be a sure contender for the Most Destructive Chase in VaRaces’ annual awards, A Good Day to Die Hard will feature a highly destructive truck chase that could well rival last year’s rampage through Rio de Janeiro in Fast Five.

Apparently, the mammoth scene took 78 days days to film and there are rumours that the Top Gear team helped out with the chase just like they did in The Sweeney last year. We should therefore be in for something special indeed.

Release date – February 14th 2013

Identity Thief

From the director of Horrible Bosses comes Identity Thief, a comedy film starring Jason Bateman who becomes the victim of identity theft by a seemingly harmless woman.

While Horrible Bosses’ chase was nothing to write home about, Identity Thief looks as if it will have more ambitious stuntwork, as a van can be seen rolling over and a pristine Ford Taurus gets broadsided by a passing semi-truck in a freeway chase.

Release date – February 8th 2013


In addition to Fast and Furious 6, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stars in the far-fetched flick Snitch, playing the role of a father whose son is about to go down for selling illegal drugs. Johnson’s character subsequently hatches a deal with a U.S. attorney, acting as an informant in order to infiltrate a drug cartel.

The trailer shows numerous glimpses of a high-octane freeway chase as Johnson evades pursuing bad guys in a semi- truck, with some well-executed stuntwork. There’s a smattering of gun-fire, cars flip and explode and the stunt in which the trailer detaches from the moving truck looks particularly thrilling.

Snitch’s director Ric Roman Waugh also has some car chase credentials too, having worked as worked as a stuntman and co-ordinator for over 17 years with notable films including Tango & Cash, Total Recall (1990), Hook and The Crow.

Release date – February 22nd 2013

Vehicle 19

Fast and Furious star Paul Walker gets back behind the wheel in independent thriller Vehicle 19 that has all the hallmarks of a typical Paul Walker film.

Walker playing the role of an ex-cop? Check. Lots of car action? Check. Sold.

Indeed, the majority of Vehicle 19’s screentime seems to take place behind the wheel of a minivan, after Walker’s character takes it for a drive believing it to be a rental car, only to become embroiled in a conspiracy involving corrupt cops in South Africa after discovering a suspicious woman being held captive in the back.

It’s currently unclear whether or not Vehicle 19 will get a theatrical release outside of Japan which is scheduled in February, implying that other territories may get a straight-to-DVD release.

Release date – February 23rd 2013

The Host

An unlikely entry in a list of films containing automotive action, this film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s (the person responsible for corrupting millions of teens with the Twilight series), book of the same name about an alien species taking over human minds will contain a chase set on desert roads involving a truck, a group of exotics and a helicopter.

Release date – March 22nd 2013

Fast and Furious 6

The never-ending Fast and Furious franchise is set to race another money-making lap this May directed by Justin Lin, who has been at the helm of every film in the series to date since Tokyo Drift.

Fast and Furious 6 will reportedly be a direct sequel that sees the likes of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s bulging biceps reprise their roles, but other than that little is known about this latest sequel other than the fact it will continue the new action heist movie format established in Fast Five.

While it’s difficult to imagine how the inventible auto action scenes in Fast and Furious 6 will trounce Fast Five’s gloriously destructive finale, in which two Chargers preposterously towed a bank vault destroying half of Rio De Janeiro in the process, Justin Lin has yet to disappoint since he took over the series.

We certainly can’t wait to find out, but for now we know that scenes have been filmed in Glasgow and London, and some amateur behind the scenes footage confirms a police chase set in Glasgow, with one video capturing a rollover stunt.

Additional footage shot in Spain also confirms another action sequence involving some classic Mustangs, a Roadrunner and…a tank.
You can always rely on the Fast and Furious series to deliver thrilling, destructive and innovative racing and chasing scenes which automatically makes Fast and Furious 6 one of our most anticipated auto action films of the year, but will it be able to secure the coveted VaRaces Chase of the Year award just as its predecessors consistently did?

Fortunately, we won’t have too long to wait for an official trailer as Vin Diesel recently confirmed it will air during the Super Bowl on February 3rd before the film’s final release in May.

Release date – May 24th 2013

Now You See Me

The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenburg plays one of four illusionists capable of pulling off bank heists during their magic performances and rewarding audiences with the loot. Other big star names include Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

From the brief glimpses seen in the trailer, it looks as if a car chase occurs on a freeway bridge, as an Impala is seen flipping over the divider and exploding.

Release date – June 7th 2013

Red 2

The original Red, based on the limited comic series, was surprisingly lacklustre in terms of car action. Fortunately, its recently announced sequel, the aptly named Red 2, looks to up the ante, as the teaser trailer shows some action in London as a Lotus Exige sweeps under a truck Fast and Furious-style while a Range Rover flips spectacularly in front of a truck on a British motorway.

At long last, then, it seems that car chases set in Britain are becomingly increasingly common, with last year’s The Sweeney concluding with a chase filmed by the Top Gear crew in a caravan park and the upcoming Fast and Furious 6 featuring scenes set in Glasgow and London.
Additional scenes featuring a Citroen 2CV and a Porsche barrelling through the streets of Paris can also be seen, but it’s unclear if these scenes are part of a car chase.

Release date – August 2nd 2013


Before you get excited, no this is not a remake of The Getaway with Steve McQueen. While there’s currently no trailer available, the film’s premise hints at the possibility of car chases being at the forefront, as Ethan Hawke plays an ex-racing driver following orders behind the wheel from a mysterious man in order to save his kidnapped wife with the assistance of a young girl. It may have direct-to-DVD written all over it, but Getaway is slated for a theatrical release this August.

Release date – August 30th 2013


While not strictly a car chase film as such, Rush still deserves a place in our list considering it’s a film revolving around motor racing.

Following the success of Senna, Formula One is about to return to the big screen in this American adaptation of the 1976 grand prix which follows the rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda that picks up after a near-fatal fiery crash at the Nürburgring. The film documents the driver’s contrasting personalities and Niki’s miraculous comeback from his accident after just 4 weeks. Both real and replica vintage cars were used to dramatise the action.

Rush is being directed by Ron Howard, who is no stranger to automotive action having directed the cult-classic Grand Theft Auto and starred in Eat My Dust and American Graffiti.

Release date – September 20th 2013

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