Drive mashed this and Le Samouraï for a stylish, neon-80's arthouse aesthetic that's more alluring and entrancing than Hill's typical grittiness. Yet, oddly, Driver's car stunts are much tenser and cooler. O'Neils reasoning for doing the heist is also a masterstroke of machismo... it's purely a game between him and Dern's cop over who is better at their job. Drive, however, is a more engaging watch, though.
It's fascinating to observe Walter Hill and John Woo in conversation with each other, and Jean-Pierre Melville, from the late 70's through to the early 90's. Nic Refn's phenomenal "Drive" also borrows plenty from this film; the first getaway sequence sometimes feels lifted shot-for-shot, and O'Neal's chilly, threatening pretty boy likely inspired Gosling. Isabelle Adjani is wasted, but otherwise, it's solid stuff.
In which Walter Hill seamlessly transplants the Euro-cool of Le Samourai to LA. Ryan O'Neill is no Alain Delon, but you've got Isabelle Adjani, a smart script, and crisp, fluid chase scenes at their thrilling, unpretentious best. In its style, to say nothing of its view of macho obsessions shared by cop and crook alike, it has its fingerprints on so many films that followed. Of course, it wiped down its prints first.
I guess Hill has honed this piece to more easily reflect the tropes of Western/Noir, but in his refined genre masterclass he also creates something that resembles European exercises in non-dramatic staging. The "game" played by the three players a natural extension of their straight-faced apathy to city life. Cruising under LA streetlights is potent imagery, and the leads stun in a collision of artifice + thrills.
Shots for the Gods, this movie is filled with them. Everything about this film is just ultra cool. From the nighttime cityscape shot with long lenses, and the incredible stunts, to the tremendous tension that runs through it. Probably some of the best 90 minutes you'll spend tonight.
Highly entertaining neo-noir. The silent driver, the badass cop and the french femme fatale in a classic car-chase that often evokes the late Melville work. So dry and right on the nerve it seems everything that was not essential got cut (including dialogues). You rarely see a genre film with such a strong identity.
This is one of the most badass films ever made and a far superior film to Drive. Ryan O Neal gives the performance of his career and barely says a word. Isabelle Adjani is as beautiful as ever as the femme fatale of this picture. And not to mention Bruce Dern's gruff police detective. Movies don't get more badass than this one.
Cool movie with riveting car chases and great visuals. The story is not that exciting and the acting is a bit uneven as is the dialogue. There is much to admire here in terms of mood and style but it feels like the movie is sort of half done in the script department. Gonna watch it again though sometime to give it another go.