A former getaway driver from Chicago (George C. Scott) has retired to a peaceful life in a Portuguese fishing village. He is asked to pull off one last job, involving driving a dangerous ... See full summary »
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A former getaway driver from Chicago (George C. Scott) has retired to a peaceful life in a Portuguese fishing village. He is asked to pull off one last job, involving driving a dangerous crook and his girl-friend to France. However, the job turns out to be a double-cross and the trio are pursued back to Portugal where they make one last stand on the coast while the enemy assassins attempt to gun them down. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
I caught this George C Scott vehicle on TCM last night and thought I'd venture forth with a few thoughts about it. The title pretty much covers the the central plot here, you've got George C Scott as an ex-getaway drive who has spent the last nine years trying his hand at retirement in a Portugese fishing village. The first 15 minutes of the film are very economic in the way they set up what is to come and lay out all the necessary background information on this character without it coming over as clunky exposition. His house betrays a life spent not always in solitude, and a visit to a grave tells of a previous tragedy. A post coital conversation with a local hooker allows Scott to demonstrate his intelligence, charm and dissatisfaction with his current lot that has led him to accept this 'one last job'.
The job in question is to ferry to France an escaped convict (Tony Musante) and his girlfriend (Trish Van Devere, later to become Mrs Scott in real life). Cinematic convention tells us that we're not going to be in for a smooth ride. Prior to leaving for the job Scott's character all but tells us that he doesn't expect to come back and wouldn't be altogether fussed if that were the case. It's the last hurrah of a forgotten man, the battle cry of a warrior finding his voice again. Apart from some well shot and staged chase sequences that show the skill of our protagonist, Scott is the main reason to be watching this (see the first look of joy on his face in the entire film as he gets back to doing what he does best). He's a man of integrity and pride but also the ultimate weakness of compassion and love that at once reignites his passion for life whilst putting it in danger.
I wouldn't be altogether surprised if the makers of The Transporter expressed a fondness for this film, as it certainly shares certain baser elements with the later Statham-starrer, but is certainly less one dimensional. As far as performances go this is the Scott show and his supporting act is unfortunately rather less than stellar. I'd recommend it, especially for Scott fans and those that enjoy a good car chase that doesn't feel the need to flip upside down underneath a crane. 7/10
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