The Driver (1978)

[The movie was part of the road movie special at the Filmmuseum.]

The Driver was written and directed by Walter Hill and stars Ryan O’Neal, Bruce Dern and Isabelle Adjani.

Plot:
The Driver (Ryan O’Neal) drives getaway cars for robberies and he is very good at his job. But The Detective (Bruce Dern) is already close on his heels. The Detective catches a gang of criminals and makes them hire The Driver to catch him in the act. Even though The Driver is suspicious, he goes along with them, but he hires The Player (Isabelle Adjani) to distract the police.

When I went into the film, I was expecting a good action flick, but I got a dose of Teh Stoopid. I was so extremely bored by this movie. It’s pretty crappy, but unfortunately, the moments where it actually crosses into craptastic territory are very few and rare.

There seem to be scenes missing in the movie, and I don’t even mean the moments where I fell asleep (did I mention that the movie was really boring?). There were just random jumps between scenes with no transitions to speak of. But maybe it was just the general nonsense that called itself plot that made it seem like there were no transitions.

It just feels like Walter Hill desperately tried to make the movie “cool”. His thought process must have been something like this, “What’s cool? Being mysterious is cool. What’s being mysterious? It’s when people don’t explain anything. Or talk at all. And keep stony expressions all of the time. Yeah, that’s The Driver.”

And Ryan O’Neal does comply with this, seeing as he has no facial expression whatsoever in the film. Bruce Dern makes up for this by hamming it up like he’s getting ready for the Olympics. I have to say that he is really the most enjoyable thing about the film.

As I said, there were moments of craptastic. Like the beautiful line, “The only thing hotter than the money tonight is you.” Or the scene where The Driver proves that he is worth the hire by completely trashing his new employer’s car. His employers who are sitting in the backseat screaming from fear. Say, what?

Summarising: Yoy. Also, I never want to hear another tire squeal in my entire life.

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