Racing movies can certainly have your adrenaline pumping, especially if you are fond of plots that center on the competition. Since motor racing always involves the need to come first, ahead of rivals, it is undeniable that the best racing movies run through a common theme of performance modifications, sheer practice, and the usual internal struggles with both the protagonist and the antagonist. Who doesn’t wish that they could jump into a movie and become a part of a street race with no possibility of getting arrested?! There are, however, at least 10 movies in history that have best packaged those factors and generated that “wow” factor from audiences on the silver screen. Here are 10 examples of movies that make you want to race!
10) Speed Racer (2008)
A movie adaptation of the 1970s classic television series, Speed Racer showed up in the theaters amid tepid reception from moviegoers. Perhaps that may have something to do with the fact that it is technically the Wachowski Brother’s follow-up to their massively-successful The Matrix trilogy. But whether people are expecting something of that sort of caliber from the Wachowskis, that does not deny the fact that Speed Racer can stand alone. A plethora of colors and animation tricks that highlight both the Mach 5 and the Mach 6 has made Speed Racer, and its lead actor Emile Hirsch, far from a disappointment.
9) Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Probably one of the more esoteric items in this list, Two-Lane Blacktop features many metaphysical elements in a film that’s supposed – and it has successfully done so anyway, geared to pump viewers’ adrenaline rushes. It is set on a runway in the middle of the Tennessee nowhere, with competitors set to compete on getting to Washington, DC first
8) Speedway (1968)
Let us go way back to the 1960s and discuss what your grandparents would tell you about this movie that features no other than Elvis Presley racing throughout a musical. Speedway best encapsulates the high-energy character of the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s music, albeit not without a sensible storyline. Presley plays a driver whose tax problems are taken care of by no less than his eventual love interest, Nancy Sinatra as the tax inspector.
7) The Fast and the Furious (2001)
If you didn’t think that any of the movies from The Fast and the Furious would be on the list, sorry to disappoint because we had to add this one. This is the classic street racing movie that everyone loves. There’s love problems, beef between racing “gangs”, and undercover cops thinking that they are doing something illegal (well besides the obvious illegal street racing). Some of the most common street racing worthy cars of this time are featured in this movie; Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mazda RX-7, Acura Integra, Toyota Supra, and of course Dom’s famous Dodge Charger. What’s not to love? The adrenaline is always at its highest throughout the movie, so it had to be mentioned on the list, sorry!
6) Death Race (2008)
Jason Statham earned his billing as an action man on film through movies of the same caliber as Death Race, which is a revival of the 1975 classic of the same name. Statham stars as among the prisoners set to challenge one another in a closed-setting racing competition, complete with heavy modifications and sheer speed. And the vehicles in this movie…they are just awesome! They’re completely tricked out with armor, guns, roll cages, and missiles. We don’t condone doing that to your personal vehicle, but watching someone else drive them is still cool!
5) Stroker Ace (1983)
No other movie can best exemplify the rather-odd combination of NASCAR and comedy than Stroker Ace, one of those classics where Burt Reynolds features as the lead. This movie runs through the seminal win-whatever-it-takes plot, much to Reynolds and company’s comic effect, as the actor struggles around the fact of his sponsorship from a fried chicken business.
4) Thunderbolt (1995)
Any movie can turn out to be a classic as long as Jackie Chan is in it, as in the case of Thunderbolt. Set in seminal Hong Kong, the movie is a staple of Chan’s physics-defying stunts and his usual set of villains, albeit most scenes being set on the racetrack.
3) Le Mans (1971)
Steve McQueen is the quintessential, legendary, and veteran racing movie star, and his film Le Mans takes fans to the wild side of the infamous 24-hour race that has racing fans set on France. Although much of the movie’s plot has been subjected to poor acclaim, this one nonetheless merits attention insofar as is has among the most insane collection of featured automobiles in racing movies.
2) Grand Prix (1966)
The Grand Prix was the recipient of multiple Academy Awards – a fact that is good enough to have this classic on this list. Just the fact that the film includes much of the motoring world’s fastest monsters at the time, with the 1966 F1 season taken into fictional account, makes this movie a remarkable one and one of the must-watch racing movies.
1) The Love Bug (1968)
Who could ever dare forget Herbie, probably the most popular Volkswagen Beetle in the history of film? Although much of The Love Bug’s production boils down to a rather-disappointing mix of predictability and sugarcoating among characters, it pays that his Walt Disney classic has come to further popularize the Beetle’s already-charming image.