Follow TV Tropes


Drives Like Crazy / Live-Action Films

Go To

  • The Princess Diaries:
    • Mia Thermopolis does some reckless driving in her light blue Mustang up the hill as it rolls into a San Francisco trolley car (but luckily Queen Clarisse prevented the young princess from getting her driver's license suspended or revocated due to the Genovian Order of the Rose).
    • Subverted as Mia is getting away from her house in the same light blue Mustang but is unsuccessful (as Joe arrives). Next time, Mia, use Benny the Cab (from Who Framed Roger Rabbit) instead.
  • Men in Black:
    • Crazy Awesome Agent Kay.
    • The Taxi drivers in New York are also implied to be terrible drivers. When the ambassadors arrive at dinner for negotiations and what ultimately turned out to be their last meal, the short ambassador apologizes for his lateness and explains that the taxi drivers in the city are terrible. (see also the Real Life folder below)
  • James Bond does drive insanely once in a while. Usually justified by his needing to get somewhere in a really, really big hurry. Sometimes to get laid. Often it's both.
    • But the prize goes to Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall...
    Eve cuts it a bit close and loses a side mirror.
    Bond: No problem, you weren't using it.
    Eve deliberately wipes off the other one.
    Eve: Wasn't using that one, either.
  • The bus driver played by the Late Great Ray Charles (yes, the blind guy) in Spy Hard. Tends to say "Next stop, X... I think," on one occasion ending with an Offscreen Crash.
  • Benny the Cab in Who Framed Roger Rabbit; the first time Eddie and Roger meet him in the film, they have to spring him from the Weasels' paddy wagon, because they arrested him for driving on the sidewalk. ("It was only for a couple of miles!" complains Benny.) Of course, when Roger and Eddie have to use him to escape from Judge Doom and his goons, he really drives likes crazy. (Of course, Benny is a toon.)
  • Advertisement:
  • Corrando literally invites Death, in Death Takes a Holiday by his insanely dangerous driving.
  • Another Leslie Nielsen flick, The Naked Gun, has Frank Drebin. He's competent behind the wheel, but he sucks at parking.
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle: About halfway through the movie, Rocky and Bullwinkle are gifted a car by a pair of college students. Bullwinkle takes the wheel and promptly crashes. It only gets worse from there.
    College Student: You do know how to drive, right?
    Bullwinkle: Please. What moose can't drive an automobile?
    (Bullwinkle goes to back the car out of the parking space, but puts it in drive instead, crashing head-on into a brick wall.)
    Bullwinkle: Never said I could drive it well.
    • In a later scene, he also has to take the controls of a plane. He flies about as well as he drives.
  • Police Academy:
    • Hightower. Mahoney from the same movie parked a car in a two-foot space between two other cars, and taught Hightower a refresher course.
    • The Commandant always crashes his golf cart when parking.
  • The entire point of the Taxi series of action-comedy movies written by Luc Besson. In the second movie, he actually upgraded his cab for limited flight (well, increased jump-length, but still, it had WINGS...), and installed automatic barf-bags for the passengers.
  • Anna from Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, played by Sophia Loren, manages to rear-end three different cars during one short drive to the country, and she nearly hits two different pedestrians.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Kurgan has a scene like this in Highlander, where he terrorizes the Damsel in Distress by driving on the wrong side of the road. His immortality makes this much safer for him.
  • Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "I've never missed a plane yet."
  • Annie from Speed 2: Cruise Control. What made this egregious is that she was a perfectly capable driver in the first film who just simply lost her license for "speeding", but she then mutated into a completely incompetent driver incapable of handling a motor vehicle.
  • Batman Begins:
    • Batman's scene with the Batmobile, considering the chase that ensues. One officer radios in and is asked for a description of the car, and all he can come up with is "It's a black... tank."
    • "... on the roof."
    • Also, Jim Gordon, later in the movie. If he didn't have the excuse that he was driving the goddamn Batman's tumbler, he, as a police officer, would probably have been fired for gross incompetence.
  • Stuntman Mike in Death Proof, who drives "crazy" while trying to kill various women on the road.
  • Alan Parrish in Jumanji. Justified (sort of) because he's been stuck inside a board game for about 26 years and never actually learned how to drive.
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. "Like a glove." In both movies, the driving is made even worse by cracked windshields that forces Ace to drive with his head out the window. Though he drives like that anyway even if the windshield isn't cracked. Especially if there's a dog in the car with him.
  • Sean from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift moved across 4 different states and ended up in Japan because he just loves speeding through the road in his 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo.
  • Detective Rosewood of the Beverly Hills Cop series.
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin Skywalker, even when he's not in an extreme sports race or space battle — and on Coruscant, driving is a three-dimensional affair.
    Obi-Wan: I don't mind flying — (has to duck) — but what you're doing is suicide!
    • Anakin's piloting: Crazy? Yes. Bad? Anything but. He's one of if not the best pilot in the entire series based on the ridiculous lengths he's willing to go to. Remember, he's been at this since he was podracing as a kid.
  • The irreverent old Maude in Harold and Maude. Donuts in an intersection is the closest she comes to a stop, lanes (and indeed roads) are only a suggestion, and she has no compunction about stealing all her rides... and telling the cops!
  • Annie Hall. Her brother Dwayne isn't too good, either.
  • A Fish Called Wanda: Otto West drives on the right side in London. And blames the other drivers for getting in his way.
  • In Jackie Chan's Who Am I?, the female lead that isn't a CIA operative has this as her one redeeming feature. She Drives Like Crazy... with amazing skill. She gets through an alley by essentially driving over something to tip the car on it's side. After she's through the narrow passage, she... somehow... manages to get the car right-side up again and zooms off. In the final part of the chase scene, she's driving through what is largely a parking lot/road in Amsterdam and sees a spot. Without hardly breaking her at least 50 mph speed, she turns and backs into the spot, stopping on a dime, and everyone in the car ducks down as the pursuers drive by. Other than that, she's The Ditz.
  • Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez:
    • In this French film series, there is a recurring character (and running gag), Sister Clotilde (France Rumilly), a very enthusiastic nun who drives like crazy. By the way, she's myopic. Once a movie, the eponymous Gendarme is forced (each time more reluctantly) to enlist her help for a Chase Scene, and then all bets are off. Thankfully, most of the time she's driving a 2CV, a not-too-powerful car... which certainly isn't supposed to do some of the things Sister Clotilde manages to do with it.
    • In Le Gendarme en balade, it's a younger nun at the wheel... unfortunately:
      Sister Clotilde: I taught her everything!
    • Cruchot himself isn't the most prudent of drivers, especially when stressed (i.e. most of the time).
    • Josépha during her arrival in Saint-Tropez (Le Gendarme se marie). Cruchot wants her arrested for this until he learns who she is, and before falling in love with her.
  • In Scrooged the Ghost of Christmas Past takes the form of a maniacal New York Cabbie who makes a u-turn through a hotel's front awning right after Frank gets in. Turns into a Brick Joke when Claire hails his cab at the film's end.
    Claire: Taxi! Can you get me to the IBC building in three minutes?
    Ghost of Christmas Past: [chomping cigar] Which floor?
  • Night Watch:
    • Alisa in Day Watch. She even at one point drives along the side of a building (automotive Parkour), which is probably only possible because she's not exactly a normal human.
    • Semyon in Night Watch avoids running over Zavulon by somersaulting the truck over him.
  • Elwood Blues from The Blues Brothers. From the bridge jump at the beginning to his awesome parking skills (he flips the car around instead of backing up), Elwood is Crazy Awesome. But no mention of Elwood's driving would be complete without the mall scene. And if that's not enough, during the film's climactic ten-plus minute chase scene, he manages to reverse his car off an incomplete highway drop in a way that makes his car pull a backflip of all things over some Illinois Nazis who are chasing him, which only astounds them, and makes them completely miss the fact that they are running out of road, making them launch off the incomplete highway into the air, before plummeting from a height that rivals the height of the Chicago Sears Tower.
  • In The Replacements (2000) (the football movie, not the animated series), Annabelle does her share of crazy driving while taking Shane back to his house-boat.
  • In Bandslam, when Charlotte pulls up with Will in the passenger seat, he timidly suggests she might want to use her turn signals. Her response? "They don't need to know my business!"
  • A Clockwork Orange: Alex and his droogs have a game they like to play, called "Hogs of the Road".
  • In Raising Arizona, when she has to pick up H.I. following a robbery, Ed's police training kicks in, and she immediately turns into Bullitt.
  • In Mr. Holland's Opus, Mr. Holland takes a summer job as an instructor of student drivers. Ironically, one scene has him doing the crazy driving with two of his visibly worried students as passengers. He ignores traffic signs and signals, passes other cars on the right side, and traverses a one-way street in the wrong direction, all while going well above the speed limit. The reason for this insane driving is revealed when Mr. Holland reaches his destination: it's the local hospital, where his wife had given birth to their son shortly before he got there.
  • Kim from My Best Friend's Wedding.
  • In Ali G Indahouse, Sacha Cohen's character (Ali G)'s gang is outraged at the "crazy" driving of a rival gang that drove through a yellow light instead of stopping. This after a "street race" that consisted of both gangs going exactly the speed limit.
  • The Transporter qualifies given his ability to drive anything anywhere.
    • In the second film, the Miami cops are watching a car chase on TV. Inspector Tarconi takes one look at the driving and realizes who it is.
  • In L.A. Story the main character once, because of traffic reasons, decides to take what is probably one of the most ridiculous shortcuts EVER. Even MORE comic than that is the fact that no one reacts like "OMG!! WHAT THE FUCK is that crazy idiot doing!?", instead actually WAVING to him as he passes by, as if he does this OFTEN. For a straighter example, Sara, who is from England, doesn't understand that you're supposed to drive on the RIGHT side of the road in the US.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - four parties of normal, law-abiding types get word of a buried fortune and promptly turn into a mass highway menace. Everyone else who gets involved later acts the same way.
  • Father Thomas in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit is a menace on the road. How he got the job when he doesn't have a driver's license and his passengers do is unknown.
  • In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner and Dr. Betty Ross went to New York City, and decided on taking a taxi cab after deciding the subway would be too cramped for his comfort. It then cuts to them riding in a taxi with the taxi driver driving extremely recklessly, with Bruce Banner attempting to calm himself so he won't transform inside the cab, and just barely managed to keep calm when they arrived at the university. Upon arrival, Betty Ross also screamed at the driver at the top of her lungs about his recklessness.
  • In Get Smart, there is a scene in which Max drives through a golf course, entirely oblivious both to his surroundings and to the Chief's concern for his life.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bumblebee shows off his rather poor flying skills when he and the other Autobots head into battle. Wheelie and Brains don't fare much better when they stumble across the same ship.
  • Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk) in The In-Laws is a crazy driver in one scene during a chase; he actually backs down the wrong way on a highway. He doesn't think he's crazy:
    Vince Ricardo: You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away.
  • W.C. Fields as The Bank Dick is made to drive a getaway car for a bank robber - this proves to be a bad idea. Knowing him, it's probably drunk driving...
  • Earth Girls Are Easy - alien Jim Carrey goes joy riding. As he's not familiar with Earth cars, maybe he thinks you're supposed to sit on the window sill and steer with your feet.
  • In the Laurel and Hardy short County Hospital, Stanley drives patient Ollie home, having earlier sat on a hypodermic sedative - he's driving very recklessly to Ollie's horror, depicted by the most laughingly bad rear-projection effects ever.
  • The subject of the MST3K-ed Scare 'Em Straight short "X" Marks the Spot is a truly extreme example, speeding through school zones (though he gets better on that), turns in the wrong lane, and runs people off the road whilst passing. On hills. In the face of oncoming traffic, all while it never being his fault.
  • Several in The Gumball Rally. Lapchick The Mad Hungarian. Franco, to a lesser extent. Also Ace "Mr. Guts" Preston in the Camaro Z-28, toward the end, as he tries to get through a traffic jam by going up on two wheels (while giving a rebel yell).
  • Unlicensed driver Withnail in Withnail & I. When Marwood (AKA "I") wakes up in the back seat of his Jaguar to find Withnail at the wheel rapidly weaving in and out of early morning traffic on the M25, Withnail simply explains, "I'm making time."
  • Beth Cooper from the movie of (almost) the same name and Kirby in Scream 4 both fit this trope like a glove, and they're mentioned together because both of them are played by Hayden Panettiere. So if there's ever a reboot of The Cannonball Run we know who'll be cast in the Adrienne Barbeau role (or the Tara Buckman role, if you go by hair colour rather than name recognition). See also her Star-Making Role in the Live-Action TV folder.
  • TRON: Kevin Flynn doesn't really know how to fly a Recognizer, and it shows. He bounces off canyon walls, takes out a bridge span, and ends up crashing it in the middle of town.
    Flynn: Pretty good drivin', huh?
    Bit: no
    Flynn: Who asked you?
    • Come the TRON: Legacy sequel, it certainly runs in the family as his son Sam is completely disregarding most traffic safety regulations while driving to the Encom Tower for his annual prank. Flynn's apprentice Quorra turns the tables on Sam later by blasting her way into the Game Grid with a light runner, rescuing Sam, and going top speed over the hostile terrain of the Outlands, leaving Sam holding on for dear life.
  • Bruce Willis's character Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element is introduced as such even before he gets behind the wheel via a phone call with his mechanic. In his first scene. Fittingly, he's an ex-Starfighter pilot turned cab driver - in New York City. There is a Chase Scene that show cases his driving "skills". And, like the Star Wars example above, driving in the future is a 3-d experience.
  • The first Mad Max movie was intended to demonstrate the dangers of reckless driving. The hoons and rev-heads who saw the movie left feeling that their lifestyles had been validated.
  • James T. Kirk, in Star Trek (2009), apparently learned how to do this when he was a kid in the rebooted universe (see the Live-Action TV section). He drives a vintage Corvette into an old quarry, while being chased by the futuristic Highway Patrol. He really didn't want his step-father to sell his dad's car.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000): The first film opens with an Establishing Character Moment for each character; Natalie is shown to be this - as far back as when she still had braces.
  • The basic premise of Steven Spielberg's Duel. The story consists of a man played by Dennis Weaver, being chased in his car by a Big Badass Rig. The rig goes from cutting him off repeatedly, to tormenting him, to trying to kill him, all the while their driving becomes ever more dangerous.
  • The title character of Dan in Real Life manages to get two tickets for the same stop sign and in an accident in 3 days, ultimately losing his license.
  • The Green Hornet Serials: Mike Axford. One of his police buddies once threatens to arrest him for "impersonating a motorist".
  • In the 1987 Dragnet film, Pep Streebek drives like this during a pursuit, much to the irritation of Joe Friday.
    Friday: [writing in his notebook] Reckless endangerment of human life, willful disregard for private property, failure to signal for a safe lane change...
    Streebek: Yeah, he's really racking up the violations, isn't he?
    Friday: Not him, YOU. This is your one-way ticket back to civilian life, Mr. I-Like-To-Throw-The-Book-Out-The-Window.
    Streebek: That sounds like a good idea. [Throws notebook out the window.]
  • Nikki Finn in Who's That Girl, once she gets a hold of Louden Trott's car.
  • This trope sets in motion the plot of Doctor Strange (2016). The accident that wrecks Strange's hands is entirely his own fault, seeing as he was speeding while driving at night, in the rain, while passing in a no pass zone on a blind curve and talking on the phone. The end credits include a warning about distracted driving.
  • Taken to extreme lengths in Avalanche. After the titular disaster strikes, a rescue crew races off to the scene and causes so much chaos trying to get there that they end up wrecking a store and killing a bystander. That's not counting the ambulance driver who ends up plunging his ambulance off into a ravine and causing it to explode with the leading male's mother in it!
  • Wyatt Earp in Sunset, mostly because he doesn't know how to drive.
  • Raphael Valdez Jr. in Kisses For My President is a Latin American dictator who, no matter if it's in a car or on a boat, drives like a maniac.
  • Detective Friedman makes an offhand comment about being a terrible driver early on in Judas Kiss. Turns into a Brick Joke much later when he crashes his car while trying to follow Rickles: breaking his ankle and Hawkins' nose.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: