Like Bond fights, there have been many chases in the film series and Never Say Never Again over the years. Chases can take many forms: Bond chasing someone or being chased; they can take place on foot, in motor vehicles, in the air, on or in the water, or on ice or snow. Every film has at least one good chase in it. But which ones are the best? Or the most creative? Or even overrated or underrated? Or simply the worst?
What constitutes a chase is someone running/driving/flying/skiing/swimming et al after someone and the person being chased knows they are being chased and are trying to get away. So following/tailing someone is not a chase. Also, a gunfight that involves stalking or running after someone to a different location is not a chase. That’s just part of a gunfight.
My opinion for best chases:
SEAN CONNERY: Bond chased by 4 SPECTRE Helicopter Pilots in aerial chase (You Only Live Twice)
GEORGE LAZENBY: Bond chased by Blofeld and SPECTRE Skiers in snow chase (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
ROGER MOORE: Bond and Melina chased by Gonzales’ Thugs in car chase (For Your Eyes Only)
TIMOTHY DALTON: Bond chases Sanchez, Truman-Lodge, and Sanchez’s Drivers in tanker truck chase (Licence To Kill)
PIERCE BROSNAN: Bond chases Giulietta in boat chase (The World Is Not Enough)
DANIEL CRAIG: Bond chases Mollaka in foot chase (Casino Royale)
And my top pick is Bond chases Mollaka in foot chase in Casino Royale. It perfectly sums up James Bond. It’s finesse vs. physical. It’s quick-thinking and adapting to the environment. It’s going full bore after your objective, throwing caution to the wind. And ultimately, fulfilling the mission and leaving the viewer both shaken and stirred.
Great lists. To pick from Double’s Oh’s original post, I’ll say, on a very straightforward “thrills-per-minute” basis, it’s hard to top it (though I’m old enough to remember LALD’s boat chase which enjoyed “iconic” status for many years. But picking a winner out of them, however…
My first instinct was to go with the parkour sequence - the first 20 mins of CR (including Kleinmenn’s terrific credits) were vital in establishing DC - more so than the opening of any other actor’s tenure (SC excepted of course). It makes it the most “important” chase for me.
But the best - I’m going with LTK. Glen - a director I’ve taken my fair share of shots over the years here - is at his very best. The stunts are first-rate, TD outstanding, the humour never detracting from the danger. And it’s the climax of the film which I think put’s it under extra pressure to deliver. It must thrill as well as delivering the dramatic denouement.
I remember reading somewhere how proud Glen was of the whole sequence, and it’s a fitting end to his time in the chair, and to be fair, “old” EON.
First: thanks so much for these lists Double-OhAgent
I look at these two as one diptych chase: it starts with Bond in the moon buggy, then switches to him riding a motorbike (hinge moment), and finishes with him driving a red Mustang. The chase moves from a lunar/desert terrain to the streets of Las Vegas–from abstract to materialist.
Question: is DAF the only film with one chase sequence (albeit an extended one)?
Watching this sequence always makes me happy.
So wonderful except for that slide whistle.
My favorite of the Moore Bond chase sequences.
I just re-watched the film the other day, and I was both pleased and dissatisfied by this scene. The sequence sometimes feels like a successful cross between a Craig Bond chase and a Moore Bond chase, and at other times like an unsuccessful Frankenstein-hybrid of the two.
Yes, I know all the objections. It still pleases me when I watch it.
As for the Bond chased by Hinx car chase, I watched that the other day and I don’t think it’s as bad as it’s made out to be. I know some aren’t wild about the phone call with Moneypenny, which is used for information and comical purposes. I’m okay with it. What bothers me a more is that I do think there should be more vehicles involved than just a slow driver and a truck to get in the way of Bond. It is like 3 am, but there should be a few more cars on the road which would help ratchet up the suspense of the chase. But other than that, it is still a pretty good chase though not one of the very best.
So am I. I actually think it adds to the sequence. In a way, the phone call replaces the other cars which you miss (and which I had never thought about until your comment). Maybe the sequence is as much of a “race” as it is a “chase.”
How many films are we on to now? 24? 25? (I’ve been at this Bond thing so long I’ve forgotten!!) - but this moment, along with Barry’s music (sampled by Lionrock…can’t remember the album…) is one of single greatest shots in the whole series.
Always taken the position that EON made a hash of the Blofeld trilogy - out of order, 3 different actors, no real thought to the series’ arch-nemesis. Fortunately, Barry didn’t get the “memo” - it’s hard to top those 3 soundtracks in a row.