The Driver (1978)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Thriller

The Driver (1978) Poster

A getaway driver becomes the latest assignment for a tenacious detective.


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7 October 1999 | RayB
Entertaining while it lasts, but ultimately rather pointless.
Mean cop Bruce Dern on the trail of cool get-away driver Ryan O'Neal. Pretty good, as these things go.

Both O'Neal and side-kick Adjani are not overly taxed by their roles - each maintains a fixed facial expression throughout the entire film and their characters' dialogue consists largely of isolated words or, occasionally, sentences - but their performances are adequate. Dern's cop could have been similarly spare but somehow he manages to inject some interest - even humour - into a character a lesser actor would have rendered merely unpleasant.

On first viewing the plot seems fairly involved and almost believable. On second viewing, however, it is apparent that there is less here than meets the eye. Dern's 'rogue cop' tactics aren't really credible, the O'Neal character's motivation seems confused, and Adjani appears to be along just for the ride.

The film does have style, though. The car chases are fairly exciting - particularly a low-speed cat-and-mouse sequence in a large warehouse. Dern gives value for money, and Adjani is very pretty.

But at the closing credits the viewer is left thinking 'is that it?' As is so often the case with seventies 'cop movies' it all seems - to be blunt - rather empty and pointless.

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