Probably the first time I saw Clive Owen, it was in a “film” commissioned by BMW to advertise its cars. At the time, I didn’t really care all that much about cars (I had one, and it was fine, and that was all I needed to know about that) but these short movies still had a considerable impact on me, mostly because they were so well-made.
The original series starred Owen as the The Driver, an otherwise unnamed protagonist with a flare for fine wheel work. They also starred BMW cars, which were very capable co-stars when paired with Owen’s keen ability to whip vehicles around in ways that frustrate opponents and get hard jobs done with a maximum of cool. The originals also featured a steady stream of star directors and on-screen talent, including then-power couple Madonna and Guy Ritchie.
Owen’s stoic Driver makes a return these many years later, having aged better than myself, and he’s going on adventures with a new cast that includes standouts like Jon Bernthal (The Punisher from Netflix’s Daredevil), Dakota Fanning and Vera Farmiga. The Escape is directed by Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame, which means it’ll probably be better than most of the things you’d pay $10 or more to go see in theaters today.
The Escape’s inaugural episode (assuming there are more than one) will debut on October 23, which is just over a month away. If you didn’t catch the original and are wondering what all the fuss is about, or you just want to relive the magic, check out this full playlist of The Hire on YouTube.