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The Top Five Movie Leaps to Celebrate February 29

by Dan Kotnik

An extra day in the year means more time for movies.

It only comes but once every four years, so why not celebrate it? I’ve compiled my list of the best leaps across cinema. So, jump on in and enjoy the leftover hours from the last three years.

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The Top Five Movie Leaps to Celebrate February 29

5. Bus “Leaps” the Highway | “Speed”

You may be asking yourself, “Dan, how is a movie about a bus that couldn’t slow down included in a list about leaps?” Sure, this one is a bit of a stretch. The bus can’t actually leap, right? You would be correct; That is, unless you watch the scene a bit closer.

Look at that air! According to physics, the bus should just fall straight off the bridge. During filming, however, a ramp was added to the physical effect shot to give the bus its jumping-off point and then digitally removed. This leaves us with a great shot and a beautiful tribute to ’90s action practical effects.

4. The “Leap of Faith” | “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”

The entire temple scene is a mixed bag. It’s fun, a bit campy and the traps are somewhat enjoyable, though they lose some of their oomph after you’ve seen them a few times. You could also argue the “cleverness” of the whole temple set us up for the – let’s call it “out-of-the-box” – thinking that tanked the modern franchise entries.

And when compared to the saw blades, the word puzzle over a bunch of spikes and skeleton cups, it’s the weakest of the traps. A list of the best leaps in movie history, however, would not be complete without it.

3. Jump Program | “The Matrix”

Out of our whole list of leaps, this one might have the most significance to the story it’s part of. I mean, what is the worst that happens if “Indy” (Harrison Ford) doesn’t figure out the Leap of Faith? He and his dad die? That Nazi guy is still picking the skeleton cup; he can’t help himself.

Neo (Keanu Reeves) needs to have faith/belief in himself as “the one” and save the human race. Granted, the movie uses several other plot devices to help him understand his power and what he’s capable of in the Matrix (the spoons, stopping bullets and hooking up with Carrie-Anne Moss). The jump program, though, is all about believing in himself as the savior of mankind.

2. The “I Don’t Care” Leap | “The Fugitive”

That’s right. No. 2 and our second Harrison Ford entry. Is it the best overall leap? No. Is it clearly a dummy falling through the water? Oh, hell yeah, but not everyone is Tom Cruise throwing themselves off planes and mountains. However, the dam leap just might be the most memorable from the list. 

“The Fugitive” is a great movie overall, but if you ask anyone to name a single scene from the film, 9.5 out of 10 will put their hands up and do their best Tommy Lee Jones impression. Plus, it gave us this fantastic Simpsons moment.

1. Contra Dam Leap | “GoldenEye”

No Tom Cruise on the list? Yep. Fight me on it. Maybe Cruise has reached a LeBron James-level of stunt performance that makes the fantastic seem mundane. Or maybe he’s a bit of a try-hard, and I’m kind of over him. Who’s to say?

Either way, as a child of the ’90s, this was the first “James Bond” movie that entered my consciousness, thanks in part to the famous “GoldenEye 007” video game. Apart from my nostalgia, it’s widely considered one of the best in the storied franchise.

The stunt itself is equally impressive. The 720-foot bungee jump set a record for the highest bungee jump off a fixed structure and was voted the best movie stunt in 2002. In a list about leaps, how can we not put a record holder in our top spot?

Thanks for reading my top movie leaps to celebrate February 29! If you’re interested in more entertainment and sports takes, follow me on Twitter @DKalltheway.

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