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2004 VaRaces Awards

  • Created on Sunday, 28 May 2006 00:00
  • Written by Super User

3rd Annual VaRaces Awards salutes the top achievements in car chases on film in the past year. To say that this year's awards were tough to compile would be an understatement. I'll give it to you straight, 2004 was not a good year for car chase films. Maybe after being spoiled by all the action in 2003 we were expecting too much. But no matter how you look at it, this year was lacking in big screen vehicle action. This year, the rules were stretched a bit to include a couple of movies. Gumball 3000 had a very limited theatrical release in late 2003 and Ong Bak had a scattered release that ranged from 2003-2004-2005. But in the interest of competition, they were included.

Most Inventive Car Chase : This award goes to the film that added the most new ideas to the car chase sequence. These nominees did more than show two cars following each other above the speed limit.

The Nominees Are

  • Torque This movie truly blurs the line between reality and CG. But even I'm hard pressed not to include a movie that has motorcycles racing on top or trains, hurtling down the street at near mach speed, and creating trails of flame on the asphalt.
  • Team America : World Police A Humvee chases after terrorists using machine guns and missles. And the whole thing is done by puppets
  • Ong Bak Not many people in the US know what a TukTuk is, but after seeing a fleet of them chase each other in the streets of Thailand, I'm sure everyone will want one.

Winner: Ong Bak

This movie sells itself on it's great stunt work, and you know the hype is real when you see guys jumping from car to car during the chase. The chase doesn't letup and goes on and on and on, but you don't want it to stop just so you can see what they do next.


Best DVD Release: This is a new category for 2004. With many great chases being made available on the small screen, it's only fair to recognize the releases that went a step further and gave people the chance to experience these chases again or for the first time.

The Nominees Are

Spielberg hit the small screen in a big way with Duel

Dukes of Hazzard: The Complete First Season - One of the most popular tv shows that regularly featured extensive chase scenes. The DVD set includes 13 episodes of the famous orange Dodge Charger running from the cops and jumping over rivers.


Knight Rider: Season One - If you're looking for a show about a talking black Trans Am that fights crime, then this is your choice. The set includes 21 episodes and even tosses in the TV movie 'Knight Rider 2000' for good measure.
Duel - This Steven Spielberg project started as a made for TV movie and grew into a cult classic. The DVD has a beautifully remastered picture and a number of featurettes.

Winner: Knight Rider Season One

This was the closest category of the year. Each of the nominees was long awaited and packed with features. But Knight Rider went the extra distance by including an extra movie, commentary tracks, an interview with the stunt coordinator, and even a tour of the Knight 2000's dash board.


Best Driving : Behind every good chase scene is a great driver. This award celebrates some of the best behind the wheel skills seen on screen.

The Nominees Are

The Bourne Supremacy ramped up the action this year

Bourne Supremacy- This is the second time a Bourne movie has been up for this award. And it's clear why. Two great chases each showcase some of the best driving seen on film in a long time.

Punisher � It's gotta be tough driving fast over uneven ground. It's gotta be even tougher with a trailer attached.


Winner: Bourne Supremacy

This is how a chase should be done. The stunt drivers toss the cars through crowded intersections and through tunnels with the precision of true masters.


Best Game: Another new category for 2004. With games getting better and better at portraying speed, realism and excitement, it's no wonder that some of the best chases on screen this year were being controlled by the game players.

The Nominees Are

This is one of the tamer, more subdued wrecks from Burnout 3

Burnout 3 � This series has set a new standard for arcade racing with it's incredible sense of speed and the best crashes anywhere.


Driv3r - The third game in this series came out of the gate with a bang. More cars and more locations were just a few of the enhancements made.

GTA3: San Andreas � The granddaddy of the genre. GTA came back with more cars and a bigger city to run away from the cops in.


Winner � Burnout 3

More than any other recent game, you can sit down with Burnout 3 and immediately start having fun. The background blurs and cars fly by as you desperately try to stay in control of your car. And if you get tired of racing, you can switch to crash mode and see just how much damage you can rack up by ramming into a semi at full speed in the middle of rush hour traffic. And on top of all that, you get to see it in slow motion.



Chase of the Year: This is the big one. The single most exciting, well done, car chase of 2004. This award takes into account everything from stunt work, how the scene enhanced the plot, how the sequence was shot, etc.

The Nominees Are

Gumball 3000 � This documentary follows the cross country race named after the Gumball Rally movie. Name an expensive exotic car and it's here, being driven at breakneck speeds across the US . They rack up speeding tickets and repair bills along to way. Easily the most fun I had watching a movie all year.
Bourne Supremacy � This chase embodies everything that makes chase scenes great. It's not bloated with the overuse of CGI, there's no MTV style cuts to get in the way of the action, and it's not just tacked on to the movie to fill out a quota. The chases move the plot along and feature incredible stunt work.

Winner: Bourne Supremacy

What more can be said about this film? The Bourne series will go down as one of the great chase franchises. Bourne Supremacy starts with a frantic chase through a crowded town and ends with a ballet of destruction in Moscow. And on top of all that, the chases aren't just tacked on. Each one is well thought out, executed to near perfection, and an important part of the plot.


Lifetime Acheivement Award: This is a special award to that goes to the people and vehicles that have become an important part of the car chase genre.

Person: H.B. Halicki

H.B. Halicki was a self made man that had a passion for cars and movie making. He wrote, directed, and starred in one of the most influential car chase films ever made, Gone in 60 Seconds. If he had stopped at that one film, his place in chase history would have easly been secured. But Mr. Halicki didn't stop there, he continued to add to the genre with The Junkman, and the ill fated Gone in 60 Seconds 2. His untimely death was a tragedy that is still felt today. His legacy can still be seen in today's chase scenes.

Vehicle: The Ford Crown Victoria

Over the years, a lot of cars have been in a lot of chases. The Crown Victoria makes up a big percentage of them. Whether it's as a police cruiser, a secret government agency vehicle, or a mobsters ride, the Crown Vic has been the �go to' car for years. It's been spun, flipped, blown up and sunk time and time again. You can see it racing to Chicago as the Blues Mobile, chasing the hero in Paycheck , transforming into a streetracer in Taxi, or flying off of bridges in Smokey and the Bandit. When you see a Crown Vic on the screen, odds are something exciting is about to happen.

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