For as long as film has existed, there have been chase scenes, the notion of a character being pursued by some implied danger, either known or unknown. This spawned the phrase to “cut to the chase”, which show creator Ming Hon said was the inspiration behind Chase Scenes, motivating her to find out “what would happen if you made the whole show the exciting part”. The challenge for the show, she continues, would be that “there’s no substance… everything else just fades away except for this flurry of action”, describing the chases as “exciting but very empty scenes”.
Considering it consists of 60 of these ‘empty’ scenes stitched together in as many minutes, Hon and co-stars Alexandra Elliott and Hilary Anne Crist manage to make Chase Scenes a substantial show, more akin to a collection of short stories than a hollow Youtube montage of the ’60 COOLEST MOVIE SCENES EVER’. I could probably only count on one hand the number of scenes where my interest started to wane.
The show flows well across a wide spectrum of chase scenes, from paying homage to classic movie tropes, recreating nightmarish situations of being blocked by some invisible force or having your legs incapacitated, all the way to cartoonish, tongue-in-cheek scenes of slipping on banana peels, or doing a multi-tiered circuit of the venue while announcing “parkour!”.
This fluidity is complemented by the clever use of props and a multi-camera live-feed projected onto the stage. Chase Scenes takes advantage of the diversity the projections offer to provide different perspectives, add contextual backdrops, or even to create entirely new scenes altogether on-screen.
If these are the aspects that tie the show together, the acting is what makes it shine. The three-strong cast work together as a tightly knit unit to deliver the high intensity show, shifting seamlessly from the star to the camera operator to the stage hand at a moment’s notice. Each of the 60 scenes are acted with conviction and energy. Chase Scene is many things but it is definitely not empty.
Chase Scenes, CanadaHub at King’s Hall, 9-26 Aug (not 13, 20) 2.25pm