One of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since.
How underrated is Walter Hill?! 'The Driver' is one of his least known movies to a mainstream audience, but one of his best loved among fans. It's one of the greatest action movies I've ever seen, with car chases as exciting as any filmed before or since. The characters are all archetypes and named after their roles. There's no traditional character development here, but the actors and the action get the point across. Ryan O'Neal plays a getaway driver, the best in his field. Bruce Dern is the cop obsessed with catching him. He's willing to do anything to do so, even setting him up. I'm a major fan of Dern. I think he's one of the most interesting Hollywood actors and 'The Driver' is yet another great performance from him an a career filled with them ('The Wild Angels', 'Bloody Mama', 'Silent Running', 'Coming Home',etc.etc.) And Ryan O'Neal, an actor I've never warmed to, is surprisingly effective is a role originally intended for Steve McQueen. Plus you get Isabelle Adjani ('The Tenant'), always a pleasure to watch. I'd put 'The Driver' up there with the original versions of 'Vanishing Point', 'The Getaway' and 'Gone In 60 Seconds' as the most underrated action thrillers of the 1970s. Why it has yet to be remade is a mystery, but hoping it isn't as it will undoubtedly suck. Hollywood just seems to have lost the ability to make these kinds of movies. 'The Driver' is expertly directed by Walter Hill, who also scripted. Also check out 'The Warriors' and 'Southern Comfort' for the best of Hill. He's a hell of a film maker and rarely gets the attention he deserves.
- Feb 27, 2004
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