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Chain-Link Fence

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It seems that in the majority of chase scenes on foot, our runners eventually head down a dead-end alley. There's usually a chain-link fence at the end. The chase almost always ends here, with the chasee either surrendering or confronting the pursuers. Other times, one or both parties will just climb over it, either struggling or bounding up it with acrobatic Parkour. Since climbing is hard to do with this kind of fence, this is a good opportunity to end the sequence with the pursued trying to do so and the pursuer arriving to pull them down.

A basic fence is just chain links. Level two security is a few twists of agricultural -style barbed wire, which a savvy escapee can deal with by throwing a heavy coat over top. Level three, for a military base, prison, or Black Site, is interleaving big coils of razor wire.

Escapees may cut through the wire if they have tools. Some escapees may crash through the fence in a getaway vehicle. Escapees may manage to disentangle themselves from the wire, but they may leave behind forensic evidence such as blood or torn clothes that helps the detective to figure out their identity.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Not actually a chase scene, but Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex definitely deserves some kind of prize for a scene in which a big, heavy Tachikoma climbs over a flimsy chain link fence at the top of a high-rise building.
  • Kagewani has an area on an uninhabited island in Japan surrounded by a chain link fence with yellow caution tape. The scene where Banba examines the hole in the fence with the ripped tape suggests that explorers were ignoring the warnings not to go in there.


    Films — Live-Action 
  • A chase scene in the movie Barbershop ends with the main character jumping over one... and then jumping back because there's an Angry Guard Dog on the other side.
  • At the start of Blood Work, the protagonist is chasing a Serial Killer, only to suffer a heart attack after encountering a fence that he would easily have been able to climb otherwise.
  • In Christine, during the chase scene, Moochie climbed over a fence to escape from Christine. Unfortunately, the possessed car just plowed through the fence and kept pursuing her prey.
  • In Metallica: Through the Never, the mob chases Trip through a series of alleys. He comes across one fence, which he climbs. The mob climbs after him. Later he comes across another fence, which is topped with barbed wire, leaving him trapped.
  • Police Academy:
    • In the first film, Blanks and Copeland are shown taunting criminals on the other side of a fence until they get to a gap in the fence, where a large thug simply takes their revolvers off them.
    • Spoofed in the fourth movie when Lt. Harris Proctor climb a chain-link fence only to have a caretaker come along and unlock the gate while they're climbing over it. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Revolver (2005), the protagonist escapes over a wooden fence and his pursuer tries to follow him with a shotgun in one hand. He drops it. Ouch.

  • Animorphs: During their Dynamic Entry in to Joe Bob Fenestre's mansion, Jake runs into several fences. Thing is, Jake is in rhinoceros morph...
    This time it was just chain link. I felt something sort of tug at my horn.
    Jake: <Where's the fence?>
    Cassie: <You just went through it.>

    Live-Action TV 
  • Police shows in general love this. Pick one and it's likely in at least one episode.
  • Bargearse (a Gag Dub sketch that appeared on The Late Show (1992), based on the Australian cop show Bluey (1976)) rather cannily takes advantage of an out-of-focus fence to trap a fleeing criminal.
  • Better Call Saul: Jimmy finds a group of three youths who previously mugged him. He offers to cut them in on his burner phone business if they agree to not hassle him. Instead, the youths demand everything he has, with one of them pulling out a switchblade. Jimmy runs away, and the youths chase him into an alleyway with a chain link fence at the end. Just as the youths think they've got Jimmy dead to rights, Jimmy reveals that he was actually leading them into a trap, at which point Huell and Man Mountain come up on the thugs from behind, knock them out, and tie them up like pinatas.
  • CSI: NY: In, "Unspoken," Det. Flack pursues a suspect fleeing a rally. The guy outruns him and ducks down an alley with a chain-link fence at the end, which he scales. He is eventually caught, partially due to his ball cap falling off in the process and him leaving behind some blood when he spears his hand on a rough piece at the top of the fence.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Age of Steel", Mickey Smith and his Alternate Universe double, Ricky, are running away from a squad of Cybermen. They wind up on opposite sides of a chain-link fence, which Ricky has to climb to escape the Cybermen. He doesn't make it.
  • Done with a corpse in Ghost Whisperer. He climbs the fence, drops over the other side, and lands with his leg in a squicky position. He then proceeds to re-set the leg and run off. Definitely breaking some fundamental laws of physics and biology there...
  • Law & Order: SVU uses this multiple times, usually ending with Elliot pulling down the perp from the fence.
  • The Batwoman (2019) episode "I'll Give You A Clue" sees Mary, Sophie, and Ryan encounter one when tracking down Cluemaster's latest victim. As it's secured with a padlock, they have to scale it. Mary makes it over with a boost from Sophie. Much to Ryan's annoyance, Sophie (who is secretly aware that Ryan is Batwoman) proceeds to climb over the fence without also offering her a boost, leaving her to awkwardly scramble over.
  • The Professionals. In "Kickback", Doyle is chasing a criminal who climbs a large chain link gate. Doyle just unlatches the gate and pulls it open while the crim's still hanging off the top of it.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in Assassin's Creed, where due to Altair's Spider-man-esque climbing abilities, there is no such thing as a dead end. However, during climbing, he's vulnerable to thrown rocks, or arrows if archers are nearby.
  • Detroit: Become Human has a chase sequence between two main characters, Connor and Kara. The chase can either end at the fence with Kara escaping, or continue past the fence should Connor decide to climb it.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has the standard chain link fence, which can be vaulted over, and chain link fences with barb wire at the top, which can't be climbed over.
  • This works surprisingly well in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, since you can vault fences, but it generally doesn't occur to the cops. They can still shoot you, though...
  • Faith from Mirror's Edge laughs at chain link fences. Unless they are electrified—then she first turns off the power, then laughs at them.
  • In the stealth sections of Sid Meier's Pirates!, you can jump over short walls in order to elude the night watch; the manual lampshades this by suggesting that they're too fat and lazy to follow, or even to just run the long way around to corner you.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in Family Guy, where a perp is confident that he's eluded Joe for the second time by climbing over a fence. Joe, however, is able to use a steel girder to catapult himself over and land on top of the chasee. It turns out that Joe landed on his spine, killing him in the process.
    Peter: Ah, a fence — the cripple's natural enemy.
  • In King of the Hill, Hank angrily chases Jimmy Wichard. Jimmy climbs over a chain-link fence and taunts Hank who can't climb it. Hank then kicks through the fence and kicks Jimmy's ass.
  • In an episode of Static Shock, two young men trying to escape the Big Bang ran headlong into a fence. The gas ended up fusing the fence to their bodies, forming steel Combat Tentacles.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): In "The Garbageman," two men in the Professor's group escape from the Garbageman by scaling a chain-link fence, while a third is grabbed after climbing halfway up.
  • The opening to X-Men: The Animated Series includes a shot of Jubilee being chased by an Angry Mob, running into a chain-link fence.