The Driver


With slotted mouth and the eyes of an aggravated puffin, Ryan O'Neal applies brood and glare as the taciturn hero of this former Steve McQueen vehicle. The studdish, near-mute actor plays a getaway whizz whose antics attract the attentions of Bruce Dern's hectoring psycho-cop in a spare drama that plays out like an urban Western with the black-and-white hats on the wrong heads.

When it comes, the talk comes tough. Unsurprisingly, though, Walter Hill's movie speaks loudest when it drives, its vrooming edits, rearview POVs and bonnet-mounted lenses adding bump and swerve to the chases. (Just try and sit still as O'Neal nonchalantly prangs a Mercedes around a car park to show his passengers who's wearing the seat belt.)

Neat, too, how Hill perverts the adrenaline rush with ominous, bleak night-lighting. It's the kind of movie Howard Hawks would have made if he grew up in a breaker's yard. Makes The Fast And The Furious look like an ice-cream van. Worth a spin.

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