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Beat the Devil
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Reviews & Ratings for
Beat the Devil More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The most delightfully bizarre of the Hire series.

Author: Mr. Man-3 from United States
18 June 2004

To BMW Film's credit, it seems to me that much work is put into making each film as independant as possible. Sure there are parallels, mostly with subject matter, but stylistically each one stands apart from the others.

Beat the Devil is, in my opinion, the weirdest of the films. The subtitles, the car chase, everything is heavily stylized. Accusing this film of being unrealistic is like saying the ninja turtles aren't human. Duh, they're not supposed to be. That's a poor analogy but you get the idea.

The whole thing is also thick and complicated. The dialogue is often unintelligible and I'm still not quite sure why The Driver would bet what he did...but does it really matter? I mean, Gary Oldman plays the Devil and James Brown is in it.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Truly hilarious..

Author: filmfreak-5 from Denmark
14 May 2003

This is a very amusing piece which is quite a bit out of the ordinary. It makes you think a lot about certain scenes of Natural Born Killers and U-Turn - and if you can actually make it in the world of show business without having to sell your soul... well, only few knows, I suppose... A very decent picture, but the total and absolute best part of the picture is a short appearance by shock rocker #1 Marilyn Manson in the end. The Devil himself, in the shape of Gary Oldman, saying "It's that creepy guy from downstairs..."...I recommend this little piece, it's downright hilarious.... even if you're a poor little sod who's NOT into Marilyn Manson ;-)

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Drag the Strip at Dawn

Author: drhansley from Bayou La Batre, Alabama, United States
3 January 2006

I've never seen so much action poured into 9 minutes of film. I had to watch it again to see what I missed the first time. It has Gary Oldman doin' his thing. (NOBODY can do 'outrageous' like Gary Oldman can) His devil is wild! James (I Feel Good) Brown who supposedly actually DID sell his soul to the devil.(that's between them, I'm not getting into that) Clive Owen looking all serious and observing the goings on around him. (I think Gary made him a bit nervous) Mr. Brown has sought out the Devil to re-negotiate his contract. The Devil enjoys a wager, but likes the concept of winner takes all. The wager? Drag the Strip at dawn. The Devil: Cool! The race is on. So what we have is Gary Oldman, James Brown, Clive Owen, a 1976 Trans Am and a BMW Roadster drag racing down the Sunset Strip, and what a ride.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Fun(ny) stuff...

Author: Jim V (BigJim5021)
3 May 2004

You just can't beat Gary Oldman... it's that simple. All of the BMW films are fun little romps, and this one is no exception. And as for the guy that posted before me about the explosions not making sense... It was the Devil in that amazing exploding car, so maybe you should a) suspend disbelief... or b) imagine it as if those explosions are a result of the Prince of Darkness losing a race... I mean... there is a lot of fire in Hell.

On a side note, both Brown and Manson were hilarious, and Owen was as charismatic as usual. Not to mention that I enjoyed seeing Danny Trejo in it, even though you can see him in basically every movie made in the last 10 years.


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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Weird, bizarre, stylish, funny and intense

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
3 December 2004

When you've got Gary Oldman wearing a red spandex and red lipstick in the role of the devil and James Brown, godfather of soul himself, complaining that the deal he got with the prince of darkness needs to be renegotiated because he's gotten too old to do splits, you know you've divided everyone who hears about it into two clearly marked, separated groups; those who reject it and those who are intrigued. Those that belong in the latter category probably wind up watching this commercial, are once again divided into two groups; those who love it and those who hate it. This is a clear-cut short film; either you love it or you hate it. But that doesn't mean that it's bad... just that it's limited. I don't know exactly why, but I'm thankful it is. Maybe it's because that allowed it to be what it wanted to be, what it had to be. What is that, you ask? Well, bizarre as hell, first of all. But also funny and stylish, not to mention quite intense. The race in the commercial is cool and exciting. The humor is very good... again, limited, but very good if you're into exactly that sort of thing... and I am. To an extent, at least. I laughed out loud at the 'twist' in the end. The editing and cinematography is very stylish, very typically Tony Scott. I liked all of the puns and jokes, both those concerning the devil himself and those concerning James Brown. The acting is good. Clive Owen once again delivers a perfect performance. All in all, just a very weird and bizarre yet entertaining little commercial. I recommend it to any fan of the commercials or any of the actors... and possibly fans of Tony Scott. 8/10

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An adrenalin pumping race between good and evil

Author: Katie Brennan ( from Ames, IA
7 November 2004

I loved this short. My family has always been BMW enthusiasts, and I've always been a Clive Owen enthusiast, so it is to be expected that I would enjoy the film. Extra treats for me were Gary Oldman who has always been a favorite of mine ever since his moving portrayal of Beethoven. He can do anything. He makes the perfect "Prince of Darkness". James Brown is an unexpected surprise and a great bit of flavor against a dark backdrop. Las Vegas aka Sin City is the perfect battle ground. I even enjoyed Marilyn Manson's cameo. He only added to the clever and wonderfully weird cast. The whole thing is great and I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys drama, hot British guys, and fast cars.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Funny stuff!

Author: imdb-2076 ( from Bergen, Norway
21 May 2004

A lot of fun here about getting old. Hehehe! This short movie has a lot from music videos. Both clipping and lighting.

It is a bliss to watch. Good actors. Fast clipping and effective stops - a study in cool movies. If you want to have a good warm up you should watch this gem.

And the surrealistic race driving. It is just perfect.

Twisted humor (the devil vs. james brown? ;-) ). You can clearly see the actors had a great time doing this. Their performance shines. A good watch for those who like a little twisted, fast phased action!


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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

It's Easier to Beat the Devil, Than it is to beat Gary Oldman!

Author: studiojudio from Northeastern USA
2 March 2003

No matter what Gary Oldman does, he is simply the most exciting actor in the world to observe! And, not only is he marvelous as the devil in this little thriller - but he looks good enough to digest! This man can NEVER do anything wrong; Bravo to his making yet another movie HIS!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Best of the BMW Hire series

Author: bartvanbenthem from Amsterdam
14 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked this Part of the Hire series, a lot of good acting by Clive Owen and Garry Oldman and a lot of humor, action and a very surprising story with a hilarious ending.

Decades ago, the legendary James Brown sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune. Now he wishes to renegotiate. Hired to take Mr. Brown to a rendezvous with the devil (Gary Oldman), the driver (clive owen) soon finds himself entangled in fiendish plans.

conclusion, This is the best Part in the hire series together with The Follow from Kar Wai wong(very different but almost as good).

Other nice ones are: Star, Ambush, Ticker and powderkeg.

actually there is a really bad one in the Hire series which is Chosen, really bad car chase, i only liked the ending.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: netchicki from Montreal, Canada
21 July 2004

So that's how James Brown did it..."Beat the Devil" is worth 8 minutes of your time. If you are interested in watching Gary Oldman in a "Darkness" type suit on with wacky hair and makeup, this movie is for you! Of course Clive Owen plays the mysterious type really well, and as always looks good in a BMW. And then there is James Brown. He has some pretty good lines and he had a good pace...not a bad actor. It is actually pretty funny if you think about it... I mean James Brown wanting to renegotiate a contract with the devil! And since the only way the devil likes it is "winner take all", then they have to race down through Las Vegas and the desert. If this movie were made into a normal length film, I would definitely see it.

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