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File:Thechase 9112.jpg

1994 movie starring Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson that goes out of its way to lampoon pretty much every single media tactic to get the scoop on the latest breaking news story.

Jackson Hammond (Sheen), an escaped fugitive, has stopped for gas and a candy bar in an L.A. convenience store, when two LAPD officers walk in. Spooked, he grabs a woman in the store, takes her hostage, and flees with her in her car. Little does he realize he's just kidnapped heiress Natalie Voss (Swanson), unleashing the biggest police chase Southern California has seen in at least a week.

Tropes used in The Chase (film) include:


  • Action Girl: By the end of the film Jackson has surrendered to the police. But Natalie uses his discarded weapon to take a television producer hostage, exchanges the hostage with her love interest, hijacks a news helicopter and heads to Mexico. Not bad for a poor little rich girl.
  • All Part of the Show: When Natalie takes a cop hostage and uses him as a bargaining chip for Jack, her father assumes that it's all just a stupid stunt designed to humiliate him.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Jack accuses Natalie of being this - and, to her credit, she admits that it is true.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Perhaps not thinking clearly but desperate to do something, Natalie makes the wrongheaded decision during the early stages of her kidnapping to remove the cigarette lighter from the front of her car and push it into Jack's neck, hideously burning him. He screams, flies into a rage, and shoves his gun into her face, pointing out how that was a really stupid thing to do.
  • The Chase: Duh.
  • Clear My Name: Deconstructed, really: Hammond was accused and convicted of a string of crimes he didn't commit. He ended up being sentenced to San Quentin, and rather than take his chances with a legal system which got him convicted on a technicality, he busts out, steals a car, kidnaps a heiress, steals another car, and makes a mad dash for Mexico.
  • Cool Car: She's the daughter of a multi-millionaire; of course her BMW is top notch.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: The scene in which cadavers come tumbling out of an ambulance.
  • Did I Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Natalie looks as surprised as anyone else after she opens fire on a police helicopter, causing sparks to fly, the pilot to flee the craft in a panic, and she and Jack to commandeer another helicopter and make their getaway.
  • Dramatic Irony: Most of the teevee reports speculate that Hammond planned this kidnapping meticulously, pointing out that he kidnapped the daughter of the richest man in California. The audience, of course, knows that Hammond was spooked by two cops recognizing the car he drove as a car reported stolen, used a candy bar to hold Natalie hostage, and used her car as a getaway because she was the only other one in the store at the time.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: And so are the choppers that blow up with one gunshot from a standard issue police pistol.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a chase.
  • Face Heel Turn: Well, more like a Face to Loveable Rogue turn for Natalie.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: You know who Charlie Sheen is...but you've also got the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Henry Rollins, Ray Wise as Buffy's daddy, and cameos by Anthony Kledis, Flea, and Westley, among others.
    • WHOA! Is that Director Vance doing the blow-by-blow in the helicopter?
  • Hollywood Driving: Yes, we're pretty sure that having sex behind the wheel is a bad idea.
  • Hot Pursuit: And pretty exciting for (mostly) being confined to (what is supposed to be) the Golden State Freeway. (This movie was actually filmed in Texas.)
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: At the end, Jack imagines going out in a blaze of glory...but comes to his senses. Astute watchers will note that he lights his cigarette with the car lighter that Natalie threw out the window earlier in the movie.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Twice, one each way.
    • First, Natalie speculates that her father is using this for publicity for his potential governor's run. Cut to Voss on the phone with one of his aides instructing him to negotiate for time on all of the big morning shows.
    • Then, one of the anchors comments that "It's easy to forget that there's a scared little girl in that car." The next scene is the one that leads to sex at 80 miles per hour.
  • Karma Houdini: And not just for Jack.
  • Kent Brockman News: Pretty much every single news network covering the story.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Natalie, who shoots at a police helicopter, for Pete's sake! To paraphrase Meat Loaf: I would do anything for love, anything you've been dreaming of, but I would not do that.
  • Nice Hat: Natalie's chic white sun bonnet....which, significantly, blows off as Jack is spiriting her away from civilization.
  • Perpetual Tourist: At the very end of the film, we see that the fugitive lovers have fallen into this lifestyle after fleeing to Mexico.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: In the early portions of the film.
  • Prison Rape: "You know what they do to guys like you in prison? OH GIRLFRIEND! OH GIRLFRIEND!"
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Hammond manages this despite being unarmed at the time. He uses a Butterfinger as a stand in. It works, way too well.
Cquote1

  "Makes a handy weapon in a pinch."

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  • Run for the Border: Escaping over the borders to Mexico.
  • Screaming Woman: Natalie bawls hysterically during the first few moments of her kidnapping, although she eventually toughens up.
  • Spoof Aesop: Calling all repressed, conservative rich kids! If you disobey your parents, take a lot of stupid risks, and ultimately break the law, you'll end up happier than you've ever been in your life! (Seriously, this is what the film seems to imply.)
  • The Stinger: In a scene that is completely detached from the rest of the film we just saw, Jack Hammond suddenly pops up in clown makeup, delivering Colonel Kilgore's famous monologue from Apocalypse Now - in a dead-on Robert Duvall accent. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Because Jack isn't such a bad guy after all.
  • Strawman News Media: Every single media outlet in Southern California is a Type 4. In fact, they go to insane lengths to get scoops (including a reporter hanging onto the side of a moving van just to get a picture inside the car.)
  • Take That: The media.
  • That Woman Is Dead: After Jack tells Natalie that she will have to give up the name "Natalie Voss" if she goes on the lam with him in Mexico, she laughs and says: "Who the hell is she, anyway?"
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: We don't actually see Natalie blow chunks...
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: But we do see the vomit completely cover the windshield of a pursuing police car.
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  Hammond: That's a lot of puke.

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