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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

More adrenaline pumping than "The Fast and the Furious".

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
16 April 2005

Although the movie is just a few minutes short, it still is more adrenaline pumping than as for instance "The Fast and the Furious".

The movie is a great beginning of "The Hire" series! The car chase is well directed by John Frankenheimer who already showed with the movie "Ronin" how well he can direct scene's like that. The story is written by Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en", "Sleepy Hollow"), produced by David Fincher (director of "Se7en", "The Game", "Panic Room", "Fight Club") and the cinematography is from action specialist Newton Thomas Sigel. So there was lots of talent involved in making this short film and that is really notable. You can clearly see it had been made with lots of profession.

Clive Owen is perfect as The Driver. For some reason he is boring but cool at the same time. I most certainly wouldn't had mind seeing him be the new James Bond but it looks like that honor is going to someone else for the moment. The passenger is played by Tomas Milian who is best known for his role in "Traffic" and some smaller roles in "Amistad" and "JFK".

A very nice short with some excellent action in the car chase!


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant short.

Author: bluefire_72 from The Background
20 July 2001

Before the review, a brief plot summary: The Driver, a chauffeur-for-hire, now has a new customer in his BMW: a mysterious old man from Cuba. As they drive, however, a van pulls up next to them, a gun sticks out, and it's drivers contact The Driver. His passenger is carrying a suitcase full of two million dollars in uncut diamonds, and they want The Driver to pull up and let the man out so they can have his suitcase. When the pleading man explains that he swallowed the diamonds, and that they will cut him open to get it, The Driver realises he can't let these criminals get a hold of his cargo, and a car chase ensues.

This short, which is really a commercial for BMW and the first in the "The Hire" series, is one of the most brilliant shorts ever. Directed by John Frankenheimer (of "Reindeer Games" and "Ronin") this ad has some of the best car stunts you can find on film. The acting is great, Clive Owen is a pleasure. "Gone in Sixty Seconds" can barely match this one. The climax is great, the suspense and tension build up quickly, and The Driver remains as mysterious as ever.

It even promotes safety! The BMW is powerful, and can outrun a van full of crooks, but always buckle your seat belt. Your kids will like it, there's no langauage or such, it's mostly just a lot of fun watching The Driver show the true power of the BMW.

Watch this film, as well as it's sequels, "The Hire" series. It's worth downloading, although I am blessed with a modem that downlands FAST. I pity those of you who must wait, but believe me, it's worth it!

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A very smart marketing maneuver

Author: Decrypt3 from Brussels, Belgium
7 October 2004

The BMW Films series are not supposed to be cinematic masterpieces. They are intended to have car chases that involve BMWs going really fast and doing really cool tricks. This film delivers that in plenty.

Clive Owen is perfect as the deadpan, unflappable Driver. He gives the impression that nothing can get him upset, not even getting his 7-Series (not a cheap car at all) all riddled with bullets and smashed up.

Tomas Milian, the diamond-smuggling Passenger, is also excellent in his role. His fear and nervousness contrasts perfectly with the Driver's relentless calm.

As with all the BMW Films, you're not supposed to worry about the plot. The car chase comes first. The plot is built around the chase, not the other way around. That's the important thing to remember. Just enjoy the chase and wish you had a 7-Series.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How did BMW get John Frankenheimer to do this?!?

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
12 April 2010

In 2000 and 2001, BMW commissioned a series of 8 films directed by world-famous directors like Ang Lee, John Woo and, in this one, the great John Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer was a brilliant director responsible for such great films as "The Manchurian Candidate" (the original, mind you) and "Seconds" (perhaps the most underrated film of the 1960s) and he was 71 when the film was made...and NOT a man who needed work. Yet, somehow, the folks at BMW convinced him to make this odd little film featuring one of their cars AND Clive Owen--something in common with all the films of this "for hire" series.

This particular short is almost like a chase scene from a James Bond film--but perhaps even more spectacular! It begins with Owen driving a rather dull-looking middle-aged man somewhere...and the van is suddenly attacked by ski mask-wearing thugs with machine guns! Using only the most brilliant driving skills on the planet is Owen able to battle wits with these unnamed baddies. Frankly, it was brilliantly directed and kept my heart pumping--and I'm not even one who usually likes action film! Exceptionally well done and fascinating despite having practically nothing more to the plot!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

BMW: Great Cars, Great Commercials

Author: charlietuna from The Pacific
19 November 2001

Leave it to BMW to create a promotional DVD of shorts ("The Hire")featuring their cars. The directors list is stunning: Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Guy Ritchie, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. The range of the shorts go from the giddy (Ritchie) to the vainglorious (Inarritu), yet all are entertaining. From a strictly commercial sense, the efforts put forth by Frankenheimer and Ritchie present the best balance of entertainment and product endorsement. Basic plot, great stunt drivers, fast paced sound track, tongue in cheek humor. Perhaps a better representation of advertising, than great short films, "Ambush" et al were first made available over the Internet through BMW Frankenheimer will soon resurrect "The Exorcist" saga with fellow short film writer/actor William Wisher. One can't help but to think that this little short was a safe promotional boost after the highly disappointing "Reindeer Games". All in all, not a bad way to spend fifteen minutes.

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Not bad

Author: TheRetardedVacuum
10 December 2013

This is the first in a series of eight BMW films called The Hire. This one isn't bad. The entire short is basically one car chase. But the reason for the chase is interesting, and there's just enough action to bring it to above average status. Plus I like Clive Owen, so that's a plus.

Bottom Line: Short and sweet, maybe not great but worth a watch.

There really isn't much more to say but IMDb wants me to fill up 10 lines, so I'm writing this sentence in hopes of filling it up, okay I'm done.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to a 7 for IMDb

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Diamonds are the passenger's best friend

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
28 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is another one from the BMW series of short action films starring Clive Owen as the mysterious Driver. It's one of the last directorial effort from John Frankenheimer and was written like a couple of the others by Andrew Kevin Walker, the creative force behind the movie Se7en.

The Driver escorts a foreigner when he gets stopped and at gunpoint asked to hand over the diamonds the passenger is carrying. The Driver is not willing to risk his life for the diamonds and tells him to do so, but the stranger convinces Owen's character that it's not possible as he swallowed them, so the only option is drive as fast as you can. And that's what the Driver does best. A meaty car-chase follows, which wasn't bad, but I preferred the thriller aspect before and the closing scene with the two in the end, which made me smile as well. I haven't seen too much from Tomas Milian, but this here was enough to convince me he's a pretty good actor. Well done and definitely a contender for my favorite from the BMW promo short films.

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Enjoyable chase sequence serving as commercial

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
25 April 2012

I remember seeing a very short version of this film when it was adapted to be an "event" commercial on UK television. If I recall correctly there was a bit of a fuss back then about a "film" being made to sell a car as the approach by BMW making shorts to be able to make commercials was unusual. Skip forward a decade or so to a time when we generally are more aware of advertising and it seems refreshingly honest of BMW to make a film for this purpose rather than the product placement of car companies frantically bidding to have their newest model being driven by the hero in the upcoming summer blockbuster. So the fact that this short film was made primarily to sell me on the idea of buying a BMW was no problem for me.

What Ambush does is essentially give us a very contained chase sequence that gives tension while also showing the car going through its paces. There is little story beyond Owen is a professional driver who has to evade a heavily armed hijacking while on the move. The chase is well directed and delivers lots of squealing tyres and movement from the two cars and there is a genuine sense of pace and danger to it, despite having no vested interest in the scenario or the characters. Owen is coolly enigmatic of course (this was before he was the bankable star he is today) but the real star is the car and the work of the stunt drivers, as it is here that the film works.

It may well be a commercial for a car I can't afford, but at least it is honest in that goal while delivering an engaging and exciting little chase sequence; some blockbusters out there could stand to learn these qualities from this short.

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"Adrenaline crash, I crack my head."

Author: BroadswordCallinDannyBoy from Boston, MA
6 October 2008

I didn't really know what to expect from this short film. It's an ad for a popular car brand and I have seen plenty of those. However, this one is a pleasant surprise - it's a car chase! And a break neck adrenaline fueled one at that. Complete with a skilled driver, a passenger and machine-gun totting villains wrecking hell on a highway late at night. Not the most probable scenario and definitely not one that BMW customers would like to get into, but this isn't really an ad as much as product placement in an action film, only this action film is a brisk 6 minutes. Knowing movie magic any car could do this, but the sleek design of the BMW fits very well with the fast pace of this film (and the others int he series) as well as Clive Owen's mysterious coolness as the Driver. So even if this is just an ad from the point of view of BMW's marketing division, it is a very creative one that film makers have turned into something that is slightly more for we the audience. --- 8/10

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A decent introduction to an addicting online series of films.

Author: Batkid1 from United States
3 November 2007

This basically sums up the film in general, but I will elaborate.

The Plot: Clive Owen ( before he was in "The Bourne Identity," "King Arthur," "Elisabeth: The Golden Age," and "Sin CIty" ) plays a "hire" who drives people places they desperately need to go.

Often times, they are working for something "top secret" and can only give our protagonist limited information.

Also, this is meant to show off the BMW car and is executive-produced by Tony Scott ( Crimson Tide, Spy Game ), Ridley Scott ( Alien, Kingdom of Heaven ) and David Fincher ( Panic Room, Alien 3 ).

In this episode directed by the late John Frankenheimer, our hero has to transport a con who has something his mob friends want.

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