Reviews

The Driver

4

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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