ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 3.08 stars
by 277 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
by Richard Jack Smith

First impressions of any artistic endeavour can be rough and unfinished. With The Driver, I remember being struck by how distant and uninvolving it felt. Looking again, I realize opinions can evolve -- for this film stands out to me now as a deliberately exciting action springboard for Love Story thespian Ryan O'Neal. He's quietly captivating as a getaway driver with no name. His sense of anonymity allows him to blend in with the crowd. However, when he gets behind the wheel, he can outsmart the best cop even on a bad day.

The first chase goes by extraordinarily fast, yet each turn or maneuver remains clear and sharp. Writer/director Walter Hill shows his contemporaries Peter Yates and William Friedkin some moves even they might not know. He doesn't waste shots. Every frame adds intensity. Streetlights sparkle like glowing orbs, holding the mysterious pattern in place.

The Driver
feels enigmatic like new dawn light. Not everything appears lit-up nor does it linger in shadow. It's the grey areas which define this world of cops and criminality. Tension-building can be a meaningless exercise without establishing the parameters for the drama first. When O'Neal waits in the driver's seat, with ignition and lights turned off, a low-key feeling of anticipation starts to work on us. Hill pushes the buttons with silent relish.

Bruce Dern seems at once easy and hard to like. His attempt to provoke O'Neal by spilling hot coffee on him immediately lays the groundwork for the cat-and-mouse game to follow.

Hill's film ends on a sly note which might catch the audience off-guard. However, with such confident storytelling, The Driver steams into filmdom not as a chase thriller but as a clever example of defying the norm.

(Released by Twentieth Century Fox and rated "PG" by MPAA.)

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC