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High-Speed Hijack

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Hopefully the door's not locked.

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 Take the Wheel, 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.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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." His magic drastically enhances the jet's speed, causing the helpless pilot to be reduced to pulp from the G-forces.

    Comic Books 
  • At one point the Batmobile gets stolen while parked. When Batman and Robin in turn take the crook's car to follow it Tim starts crawling out the window in order to jack back the Batmobile mid chase. When Bruce tries to stop him Tim points out he's actually trained for this and wonders what the point was if he never gets to actually use his training, then successfully gets the Batmobile back.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Eye of the Storm series: It's not moving particularly fast at the time, but Artoo does this to an AT-AT Walker during the battle for Tatooine in The Armor of Vader.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • A series of these is central to the plot of the original movie, which is why the LAPD sent O'Connor undercover. The very beginning of the movie was the target truck being loaded, followed by the heist - we don't know who or why yet, but a gang driving Civics with underglow use a grappling hook to get into and subdue the truck's driver. Towards the end, the Torettos are revealed to be behind the thefts when they try another, failing miserably thanks to a shotgun-toting target.
    • The fourth movie has Dom and crew separating tanker trailers from a truck, hitching up to them, and driving off. In the climactic chase of the film, Dom uses a more traditional High Speed Hijack against a Mook that has him boxed in. Unable to avoid crashing into a wall of explosives, he steals the Mook's car and continues the chase in it.
    • Fast Five one-ups that when the gang steal DEA-seized cars right off a train.
    • Although not a hijack, Fast & Furious 6's runway scene does this with an Antonov AN-220.
  • James Bond has done a couple of these.
    • 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.
    • He escapes Colonel Moon's base in Die Another Day by leaping into one of the Mooks' hovercrafts. He leaps in just as it begins moving, but completes the hijack as the craft accelerates.
  • 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.
  • In The Tournament, Bogart leaps from an overpass onto the top of a moving bus, and then smashes through the back window to get inside and fight Lai Lai.
  • In Fair Game, Ringo jumps from the Beast onto Jessica's ute, then clambers over the top and onto Sparks' truck while all three vehicles are in motion.
  • In Speed, Jack must use this method to board a bus wired to explode if it drops below 50 mph. Interestingly, this was Plan B, after he fails to get on the bus before it reaches the crucial speed.
  • In Dead Again in Tombstone, Boomer's men capture the stagecoach by galloping up to it on horse, jumping aboard, and battling the stage crew.
  • The climax of Mission: Impossible – Fallout has Ethan hijack a helicopter in mid-flight to stop Walker from escaping with the detonator.
  • The Sheriff leaps from his horse onto the killer's speeding wagon in The Rawhide Terror.
  • In Thirteen Women, Sgt. Clive has to jump from the police car on to the running board of Laura's driverless limousine.
  • Savaged: When Trey and his gang abducts Dane, Zoe jumps into the back of their speeding truck and gets in a fight with Wes in the back of the truck.

  • 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.
  • Leverage: Parker attempts to rob an armoured car while it is motion in "The First David Job". It would have actually worked if Sterling hadn't known she was coming.
  • Cannon: In "A Lonely Place to Die", Cannon attempts to escape from an ambush by commandeering an old pickup truck. One of the thugs jumps into the back of the truck, then clambers on to the step, throws out Cannon's passengers, climbs into the cab, and tries to kill Cannon: all while the truck is in motion.
  • Knight Rider. The episode "Inside Out" had Michael Knight go undercover with some criminals being trained for The Caper without being told what the target was. They had to succeed in several tasks, which turned out to be what was needed to hijack a truck without stopping it.

    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 

    Western Animation 
  • Fillmore!: At the start of "Codename: Electric Haircut", Fillmore jumps from his skateboard on to the back of a stolen bank of lockers that are being towed by a golf cart before clambering over the lockers into the golf cart to fight the driver.
  • Kim Possible: In "Car Alarm", Kim jumps from her car onto a stolen rocket Motor Ed has converted into a drag racer.

    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.
  • This was commonplace in Age of Sail maritime warfare.


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