High Speed Hijack

Boosting a car from a parking lot isn't that hard, when you get right down to it. You open the door, start the ignition, and as long as no one takes note of you, you can just drive off in your shiny new stolen wheels. If you've somehow managed to nab the keys to said car, then it's even easier. And as we all know, Rule of Drama dictates that easy things are boring.

You know what's cooler? Stealing a vehicle while someone's driving it, preferably at breakneck speed.

Depending on what kind of vehicle you're taking over, there are many ways you could pull off that stunt. A favorite of action movie heroes is to jump from one moving car to another (or from a motorcycle to a car, or a train to a car), taking down the driver (preferably by throwing him from the vehicle), and grabbing the wheel. For bonus points, let vehicles without drivers drift off, crash, and explode.

Don't let the limitations of your vehicle (or lack thereof) limit what you can steal. Jumping from one speedboat to another is child's play. Stealing a helicopter when you're on foot with nothing but a Grappling-Hook Pistol is better. Ramping a boat into the air and jumping from your flying boat into a helicopter? Crazy Awesome.

This trick has long been a staple of action movies of all types, and not just ones where gas-powered vehicles are common. Horse-jacking or carriage-jacking are fair game for action movie period pieces, and stealing a Phlebotinum-fueled Flying Car is remarkably similar to stealing a rolling one.

Compare Outside Ride and Hood Hopping, which frequently precede a High Speed Hijack. In space it may be accomplished by means of a Boarding Party that may use Boarding Pods. And please, don't try this at home.


Examples

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    Anime 
  • The Berserker of Fate/Zero does this on a still-airborne F-15 Jet in order to engage a dogfight with Gilgamesh in his nuclear-powered Babylonian spaceship. And by hijacking, we mean "climbing on top of the jet and piloting it from there without even getting into the cockpit."

    Film 
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy hijacks the truck carrying the Ark of the Covenant from horseback, then uses it to bust up the rest of the convoy.
  • In Return of the Jedi, Leia gets her speeder bike up next to a scout trooper so Luke, riding second seat, can hop to the other bike and throw the unfortunate mook off.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Sundance Kid jumps down from a nearby hill onto the top of a moving train, then runs along the top to the engine and makes the train crew stop it at gunpoint.
  • Matt Helm movie The Wrecking Crew. After using a ploy to slow it down, eight of Count Contini's men climb aboard a moving train, kill the guards and hijack its cargo: a billion dollars in gold. Check it out.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
    • One of the most badass examples in film history is a scene in which the T-1000 (the evil one) rams his tanker into the rear of the good guys' pickup truck and the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) responds by grabbing an assault rifle, walking from the back of the pickup to the front of the tanker, shoots the T-1000 through the glass, grabs the wheel from the outside and makes it turn on its side and then rides the top of the sliding truck until it comes to a stop.
    • A bit earlier, the T-1000 rides its motorcycle out through the window of a building and takes over a police helicopter while it's in the air.
  • In Back to the Future Part III, Doc and Marty hijack a passenger train from horseback with the intent of using the locomotive to push the out-of-gas DeLorean to the requisite 88 mph.
    Engineer: Is this a holdup?
    Doc: ...It's a science experiment!
  • The Fast and the Furious:
  • The fourth movie has Dom and crew separating tanker trailers from a truck, hitching up to them, and driving off.
  • Fast Five one-ups that when the gang steal DEA-seized cars right off a train.
  • Although not a hijack, Fast 6's runway scene does this with an Antonov AN-220.
  • James Bond does this when he hijacks one of Sanchez's tankers in the climactic chase in Licence to Kill: He drops onto the back of the tanker from a light plane before climbing into the cab where he gets into a knife fight with the driver before finally forcing him out and taking control of the truck.
  • Joy does this to stop the truck getting away at the end of Bangkok Knockout: climbing along the top of the truck, and swinging through the cab window to knockout the driver, so she can bring the truck to a stop.
  • The Good, the Bad, the Weird: During the battle with the Japanese troops, Tae-goo leaps from his motorcycle into a jeep which he immediately commandeers. The soldier who jumps from the jeep to the motorcycle is less lucky, as the bike immediately crashes.

     Literature 
  • More of "cruising speed" than "high speed", but honorable mention nonetheless to Voort saBinring's single-handed capture of the corvette Night Caller in Wraith Squadron. Trapped in an out-of-the-way system by mines, his allies hit on a brilliantly absurd plan for escape — by improvising a Boarding Pod, stuffing their biggest, toughest member inside with an X-Wing laser cannon for a gun, and launching it at the enemy's minelayer when it shows up. It works.

    Live Action TV 
  • Arrow: Done during the flashback in "The Fallen". Oliver and Tatsu jump from a moving car on to an army truck. Olivier jumps into the back and deals with the soldiers there, while Tatsu climbs into the cab and throws out the driver.

     Tabletop Games 
  • This is covered under the Stunt rules for Feng Shui.
  • While not explicitly given rules in the sourcebook, lots of promotional art and related fiction for Eberron describes hijacking airships, or the Lightning Rail. It's also one of the encounters in the published adventure, "Voyage of the Golden Dragon."

     Video Games 

     Real Life 
  • Frigatebirds and skuas acquire many of their meals by diving full-speed at smaller seabirds to force them to drop their catch, then scooping up the dropped fish before it can fall back into the water.