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Car Chase Shoot-Out

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"In a firefight on the road, you've got a few options. Without something high-caliber, you're not going to be able to penetrate the radiator or the fire wall behind it. That leaves two options: the windshield, or ricocheting bullets off the ground, up through the undercarriage, which is one of the least-reinforced parts of a car. For sheer panic, it's hard to beat bullets coming up from the floorboards."
Michael Westen, "Lesser Evil", Burn Notice

When a Car Chase meets a shootout.

This can play out in several different ways. A moving vehicle doesn't make a very steady firing platform (though combat vehicles with mounted gun turrets, such as tanks, may use gyroscopic stabilizers to solve this), so a lot of spraying and praying is going to take place. The shooters might attempt to shoot various weak points of the vehicle: shooting out the tires or the engine (the latter is generally unrealistic with handgun rounds), trying to fire through the windshield and windows into the passenger compartment to incapacitate the driver (which can cause a Dead Foot Leadfoot), or firing at the gas tank because Every Car Is a Pinto. If guns don't work, ramming the other car just might.

Sometimes this will take the form of rival criminal gangs shooting and chasing each other, most often being Gangbangers or The Mafia. This would also be related to Gangland Drive-By, usually when such an attempt goes wrong or as a form of retaliation or revenge by the rival criminal gang. These can also happen following an Assassination Attempt, when the assassins are in the midst of their getaway from either their rival gangsters or the police.

This is an example of Artistic License Law Enforcement if police officers are doing the shooting. Most law enforcement agencies don't allow their personnel to fire at or from a moving vehicle: not only is the officer even less likely to hit their target than usual, but especially in a city setting they risk hitting innocent bystanders. The curve and hardness of a windshield also causes bullets to deflect, reducing accuracy. This has been done a number of times in real life, but often has poor results.

An Unconventional Vehicle Chase can be a variation of this trope when the chase involves vehicles other than cars such as tanks or APCs doing the chase, which can either be Played for Laughs or Played for Drama depending on the genre of the work.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Lupin III:
    • The Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin and Jigen have a running gun battle with a car full of Mooks at the start of the movie. Lupin drives while Jigen shoots. The Mooks have the advantage of a car with bulletproof wheels, but Jigen has special ammo that takes care of that once he's aware.
    • Lupin III Part 6: In "Last Bullet", Jigen and Lily try to escape Jigen's old nemesis, Brad Roark, who pursues them in a car chase. Roark also tries to take them out using a grenade launcher, but Jigen takes advantage of this by hiding his car in a smokescreen and causing Roark to crash into them and tumble off course.
  • Jormungand's very first story, no less, "Flaming Hare", has a moving gunfight as its main action scene, as Koko and her men are pursued by a country's elite military unit that's trying to prevent them from delivering equipment that could increase tensions among neighboring countries. Similar shootouts happen in "Musica Ex Machina" and "Castle of Lies".
  • My-HiME: Alluded to. Natsuki, sensing an Orphan on a city bus, follows on her motorcycle. She witnesses the Orphan attacking people, and materializes one of her pistols, accelerating towards the bus. A moment later we see that both the bus and Natsuki's bike have crashed, and Natsuki is holding a shoulder as if injured.

    Fan Works 
  • Sixes and Sevens: Dottie and Emily get stuck in one when the FBI raids one of the Invaders' safehouses, with the two of them fleeing on a motorbike (after grabbing several guns from storage, of course). They also get away ahead of another chase, but that one sees the other Invaders evading the feds in a boat.
  • Vow of Nudity: While escaping the demon city in the back of Carnerri's carriage, Haara finds herself catching and returning javelins thrown from the pursuing royal chariots.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Incredibles: The opening scene features a car chase in which the police pursue two robbers. One of the robbers opens fire on the cops prompting them to shoot back.
  • The Simpsons Movie: During the beginning of the film, Bart is challenged to skateboard across town, naked. He quickly gets tailed by a police car for obvious reasons yet refuses to stop, prompting the passenger officer to lean out his window and shoot out one of the wheels of Bart's skateboard, causing it to go flying forward and making Bart hit the Krusty Burger window.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The action film, Big Bullet, closes its second act when Sergeant Bill and his team of rookies have to pursue the two main villains, The Professor and The Bird and their team of terrorists, in a high-octane shootout, the occupants of each vehicle firing repeatedly at each other as their transport goes through the busy streets of downtown Hong Kong, an underpass, and a tunnel. More often than not, the Professor would indiscriminately gun down entire waves of policemen at roadblocks for getting in his way, and at one point shooting a random traffic cop not involved in the chase just for shits and giggles.
  • Cool World: Holli Would and her goon squad are being pursued by "the poppers," that is, Cool World's version of the local police. The poppers are so named because their weapons are pop guns. They present no mortal danger to the fugitives, but keep firing their pop guns anyway, not really bothering to aim. Nevertheless, Holli and company have no desire to engage with them, though Slash does urinate on them once they get close enough.
  • The Corruptor has an intense pursuit where the two police protagonists, Detective Nick and Danny, take on the triads in a car chase across Chinatown, firing at each other, with the triads using an Uzi to mow down bystanders in their way.
  • The Green Hornet: The climax of the movie is one big long action scene that begins with the Green Hornet and Kato being chased by the Big Bad and his henchmen because they have a recording of his confession. While in pursuit on the highway, they're fired upon by villains, one of whom tries taking them out with a rocket launcher.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has two of these:
  • The Invisible Woman (1983) has one between the museum robbers and the police, when the robbers force Sandy to drive their escape car.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: During the truck chases, everybody shoots at everybody at some time or another, yet there don't seem to be any stray rounds hitting friendly targets (nor much concern evident about it).
  • The Matrix Reloaded: When Neo, Trinity, and Morphus try to get The Merovingian to hand over the Keymaker, he refuses though Persophone allows them to rescue him. While Neo holds off the forces in the Chateau, Morphus and Trinity grab the Keymaker and flee onto the highway with The Merovingian's top henchmen, The Twins, in pursuit. This ends up attracting the attention of Agents in the process who join in as well. Not only is it a gunfight but a few close-range martial arts and sword battles as well.
  • RoboCop: Murphy shoots at Clarence Boddicker's gang from the car after they try to shoot him from the van. It is implied that he's the only police officer who does this and other reckless things such as Gun Twirling.
  • Superman: The Movie (1978). During a car chase between the Metropolis police and a group of armed criminals, the cops and criminals shoot at each other as they're driving along.
  • Swordfish: Part of the way through the movie, Gabriel and Stanley notice they're being tailed while out driving. Gabriel decides to shoot the pursuing vehicles, and then the vans start shooting back, he reveals he has a whole light machine gun tucked away in the trunk of his car for these occasions. He also orders Stanley to drive, despite the latter claiming not to know how to use a Driving Stick. ("Learn!") He acquits himself pretty well given the circumstances.
  • Terminator:
    • The Terminator: The chase between Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor in a car and the T-800 in another in Los Angeles has Reese and the T-800 exchange pump shotgun shots while Sarah drives. The sound of the shotguns has been altered since the mid-2000s.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000 (in a helicopter flying very low) shoots at the van in which the protector T-800, Sarah and John Connor make their escape, with a submachine gun and through the helicopter's broken cockpit glass. Sarah retaliates as much as she can with her assault rifle.
  • To Live and Die in L.A. has an inversion: when an informant tells the Cowboy Cop about a courier arriving in town with money for a drug buy, he and his partner decide to rob the courier, only to find themselves shot at (the courier is accidentally killed by a stray bullet) and chased by an ever-increasing number of well-armed men with vehicles and radio communication.
  • Wanted: Proceeding Cross attacking Wesley and Fox (who was sent to protect Wesley) in a grocery store, Fox escorts Wesley away using a sports car while Cross steals a delivery truck culminating in a car chase. It doesn't become a shoot out until halfway through when Cross starts using his pistol, to which Fox takes out her own pistol and a shotgun to return fire.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: As Eddie and Roger escape on Benny the Cab, the weasels chase them on the Toon Patrol van, and the head weasel fires a couple of shots at them.

  • Freeway Fighter and Freeway Warrior, two gamebooks heavily inspired by the then-recent Mad Max, have you driving weaponized armored vehicles outfitted with multiple machine-guns, and battling enemy vehicles with similar armaments in intense chases while swapping lead for most of the adventure.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Adam-12: Reed and Malloy end up in a car chase and start taking fire from the other car. Reed returns fire from the passenger seat and the other car goes off the road and hits a tree. In the aftermath, he's chewed out by their sergeant because it's against LAPD policy to shoot at a moving vehicle.
  • Burn Notice:
    • "Pilot": Michael is fired from his job at the CIA in the middle of meeting a Nigerian underworld figure and flees on a stolen dirt bike with mooks chasing him in a car and firing at him. The pursuers screw up and crash into a market stall, and get surrounded by a crowd of angry and heavily armed bystanders, ending the chase.
    • "Lesser Evil": Michael and Victor get into a car chase against some of Carla's suits. Michael fires behind them to discourage pursuit, resorting to firing under the other car to ricochet bullets up through the floorboards. That agent crashes but a second one takes over, so Michael MacGyvers a makeshift incendiary grenade out of Some Other Stuff in his glovebox. The agent dodges into a pile of dirt and flips his car.
  • CSI: The opening of "A Bullet Runs Through It, Part 1" has the LVPD in a car chase with a Latino mob gang. Bullets are flying back and forth and the standoff ends with a cop getting fatally shot and the CSIs having to determine if he was killed by the perps or from friendly fire.
  • Psych: In "Shawn Takes a Shot In The Dark", The Villain of the Week gets caught in a shootout with the cops while they're trying to arrest and stop him from getting away with Shawn, whom he has as a hostage.
  • A staple of Walker, Texas Ranger. Lots of episodes involve a lot of shootouts during car chases, whether Walker and Trivette are in pursuit or are called in for backup at any time, and the shooting goes both ways, from bank robbers to carjackers and the like.

    Video Games 
  • Area 51: Shortly after you board a jeep driven by a surviving soldier from the initial outbreak, you are then transported to the military offices while facing multiple jeeps containing zombified soldiers, all of them which fires at you from behind their vehicles, and you have to gun them down while riding shotgun.
  • Battlefield Hardline's 6th episode, "Out of Business" ends with a car chase that has you and your partner switch seats midway through so you can hang outside the car to shoot the pursuing gang vehicles.
  • Call of Duty
    • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: The game ends in one where after the protagonists manage to stop a nuclear missile strike, they have to escape the compound in a stolen truck with enemy forces hot on their tail.
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2:
      • One mission ends with you and your partner having to use some snow mobiles to flee from an enemy compound. It wouldn't look too out of place in a James Bond film.
      • The finale takes place in a motor boat to catch the main villain. All the while having to dodge or shoot enemy forces.
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
      • One mission in Paris has a task force close in on some Russian terrorists and try to stop them from moving chemical bombs. The fight goes from a construction area to on wheels through a subway transit system, with our heroes just barely avoiding crashing into oncoming trains as they shoot at the terrorists.
      • Another mission in Paris has the protagonists have to track down a client for the main villain. He bolts just as you reach his hideout, forcing the heroes to jump into a van and chase him down. Enemy forces right on their tail trying to stop them. The fight even crashing through the Louvre of all places.
  • Call of Juarez: The Cartel begins In Medias Res with a chaotic car chase in the middle of Los Angeles, before the game goes 3 weeks back in time to show what exactly led up to such a clusterfuck, and then makes you fight through the entire chase properly once the story catches up.
  • Codename Eagle have these happening in a few vehicle-based missions, where after hijacking an armored vehicle you then use it's turrets to take down another vehicle pursuing you.
  • Dead Man's Hand has the stage where you're on your horse, swapping lead with enemy outlaws on horses of their own or riding in carriages. Some enemies may suffer What a Drag when you shoot them off their rides.
  • Land of War - The Beginning have the second level where the jeep you're on is pursued by a German armored half-track. As you're manning the heavy machine-gun, you're tasked with fending the half-track off by aiming for the slit where the half-track's driver would be
  • Far Cry 3 has this right after Jason and Liza escape a burning hotel that was moments away from collapsing only for the pirates nearby to start pursuing them. The player is given a grenade launcher with infinite ammo to fend them off for this segment only.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series makes use of this in several missions, with either the player character or a NPC companion taking aim at other vehicles during a chase. From Grand Theft Auto IV onwards, this can also occur during any free-roam police chase, as the cops will open fire from their vehicles at higher wanted levels and the player can respond in kind.
  • Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James: The second stage of Revenge of Jesse James have Jesse pursuing the town's corrupt sheriff who's making an escape with the loot from Fort Knox aboard a horse-drawn carriage, with Jesse on a carriage of his own, across a desert valley, where Jesse will swap lead with the sheriff's mooks from their respective carriages while fending off Confederate Officers (the time period's equivalent to policemen) pursuing on horseback. Fire enough shots at the sheriff's carriage and the whole vehicle crashes into a valley at the end of the stage.
  • Henry Stickmin Series:
    • In the Intruder on a Scooter route of Stealing the Diamond, while driving away from the museum, Henry is chased by a police car, and the passenger officer leans out the window to open fire on him.
    • In the Presumed Dead route of Fleeing the Complex, Henry is driving a Wall truck and being chased by Wall staff, and the player must pick an option to fight back. Picking shoot will cause Henry to pull out a handgun and open fire on the staff, then promptly crash into a tree because he was trying to shoot at the guards while driving, and was not paying attention to what was in front of him.
    • In the Toppat King route of Completing the Mission, the bridge to the rocket is blocked and the player must choose someone in the jeep to get through the blockade. Picking Ellie, the driver, has her pull out an assault rifle and attempt to shoot down the blocking guards. However, since she is trying to drive and shoot at the same time, this merely causes her to lose control of the vehicle and the jeep falls off the bridge.
  • The first and fourth levels of the Light Gun Game, Lethal Enforcers 1 have the player(s) taking on escaped bank robbers and drug dealers, respectively, in a car chase while firing at enemies periodically sticking themselves out to shoot at the players. Both levels culminate in a boss battle, respectively against a rocket-launcher wielding boss on an armored car and a helicopter whose side-turret spams missiles on the players.
  • Lord of Gun have the urban stage where you take on terrorists in a car chase, swapping lead with them all the way. And ends with you on an overpass battling a helicopter.
  • The entirety of the buddy-cop themed game, Lucky & Wild, which has the players engaging criminals in high-speed car chases and shooting at criminals in opposing vehicles. The arcade console is even shaped like a vehicle.
  • Mafia II: Several of these happen during the 1950s segment of the game, from the Assassination Attempt on Alberto Clemente involving Vito and Joe in a sedan chasing the latter's limo in the downtown district of Empire Bay, to a chase between rival gangsters and Vito, Joe, and Henry attempting to get away with recently-purchased heroin, and even Vito and Joe escaping the police and a number of federal agents following another successful Assassination Attempt on a former mafioso turned police informant.
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven has several notable shootouts involving car chases happen, with the most prominent being the opening level, where a then-cabbie Tommy Angelo is forced at gunpoint by Sam and Paulie to serve as their getaway driver from a group of Morello's thugs, themselves in cars, chasing them.
  • Maximum Force: The final stage have you boarding an ATV and chasing terrorists on jeeps in a jungle, swapping bullets with them all the way.
  • The 2001 Playstation game, World's Scariest Police Chases (based on a TV documentary of the same name) is made of this trope. The player is a cop in a police car getting assignments to pursue and hunt down criminals, who will repeatedly open fire at the player during chase scenes while the player shoots back. On two-player mode, player 1 controls the vehicle while player 2 shoots at enemies.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 5: After Doug saves them from some Majini, Chris and Sheeva board a jeep to go meet up with some of the BSAA forces in another village to chase after Irving. However some of the Majini give chase in their own jeeps and motorcycles, forcing the pair to defend their ride as they make their way across the Savannah.
    • Resident Evil 6:
      • In Chris and Piers campaign, they chase down who they think is Ada through the streets of China with some of her goons trying to stop you. Depending on who you play as, you'll either be driving or shooting at first, then switch at the halfway point.
      • In Jake and Sherry campaign, the pair manage to escape the Family compound they were being held in by grabbing a motorcycle and fleeing through the streets of China with the Family's forces in pursuit. If you're playing as Jake, you have have to manually steer the motorcycle through the chaos, while as Sherry you just have to shoot the pursuers coming after them.
  • Saints Row: The Third parodies this. In addition to being able to get into car chases which end with you blowing up your hunter's car, at one point the Boss has to rescue Zimos the pimp from a BDSM club where he's held captive in a human pony show. A bunch of other human ponies carrying Morningstar members in their rickshaws run after the Boss, and they can blow up if the Boss shoots them enough, just because.
  • The Stalin Subway have the stage in it's sequel where you hijack a civilian's convertible at gunpoint just as various KGB agents are catching up on you. Cue a furious car chase across Moscow's Red Square, with cars filled with mooks shooting at you while you shoot back from your ride.
  • Time Crisis:
    • Time Crisis 2: While not a car chase, the boss of the 1st level has the agents chasing after him in motorboats and dealing with his mooks in the process.
    • Time Crisis 3: The end of the 1st level has our heroes being rescued by a resistance member named Alicia who picks them up in a jeep right before they get blasted by a helicopter. The bad guys give chase, prompting the two agents to defend themselves against the vehicles and said helicopter coming after them.
    • Time Crisis 5: Our heroes chase down Wild Dog on motorcycles, shooting the mooks that try to protect him and eventually ending with Wild Dog using an arm mounted tractor beam to defend himself.
  • Tunnel B 1 have you in control of a weaponized hovercraft in a tunnel for most of the game, and occasionally enemies in vehicles will give chase, leading to your vehicle's turrets blasting away against theirs.
  • The second Ubersoldier opens with one such chase, your jeep pursued by Germans on armored vehicles of their own, where your ally Maria is the driver and you're manning the mounted heavy machine-gun. The camera gets knocked over at one point.
  • Uncharted: Practically a staple of the series and Once an Episode for each installment.
    • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune: Drake and Elena managed to get their hands on the map the bad guys had and make a run for it after Elena busts Drake from a prison. Prompting a chase through the jungle with Eddy's goons on their tail and Drake to fend them off while Elena drives.
    • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: Drake and Elena once again, this time in a stolen jeep following after Lazarvic's convoy to rescue an ally that's been taken. Unlike the last one, Drake jumps from vehicle to vehicle, both shooting and engaging in hand to hand with some of the mooks.
    • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception: Drake joins with a desert tribe in riding against Marlowe's forces headed for Ubar. There they must contend against another convoy where Drake can shoot from his horse and leap from vehicle to vehicle to engage the enemies.
    • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End: At King's Bay, Rafe sends his Shoreline goons after Sam, forcing Nate and Sully to go recuse him. The chase culminates with Drake and Sam having to escape on a motorcycle with a armored truck coming after them with Drake having to shoot at it as Sam drives.
  • Virtua Cop: The second game medium level features the cops following after the robbers in cars where players blast them as they pop out of their vehicles to shoot you.
  • The Yakuza franchise has such sequences in its first game and its remake, as well as Yakuza 0 (as a throwback to the original), where Kiryu has to fend off waves of cars, motorcycles and helicopters full of gun-totting thugs while on a highway. Despite Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's attempts to improve the sequences, they're generally reviled by fans for their Fake Difficulty, which leaves them a rare oddity in the series. Even Yakuza 2's equivalent highway fight turned out to be an over-the-top brawl atop several flatbed trucks, to players' audible sighs of relief.

    Web Animation 


Video Example(s):


Michael and Victor v. MIB

"Lesser Evil". Carla has realized Michael and Victor are working together against her and sends her Men in Black after them. Escaping the abandoned concrete plant where he stashed Victor in Michael's '74 Dodge Charger, they're pursued by the agents, and Michael starts firing behind them, resorting to ricocheting bullets off the pavement through the floor of the car when shots through the windshield don't work. The first agent crashes, and Michael deals with the second by throwing a homemade incendiary grenade at him.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / CarChaseShootOut

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