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Walter Hill's stripped down neo-noir features a protagonist who makes the laconic boxer of the director's similar Hard Times (1974) seem logorrheic by comparison.
The film's tone is set in the opening scene as the Driver (Ryan O'Neal) gloms a V-8 sedan and proceeds to whip through claustrophobic parking garages, narrow alleyways, and sundry other high-risk macadam, as he demonstrates why he's known as the best getaway driver in the business to some potential clients, before giving his vehicle a proper burial.
Such plot as there is in this highly abstract film concerns the Driver's cat and mouse game with the Detective (Bruce Dern), an employee of the constabulary of an unnamed city, intent on his arrest. A mysterious and beautiful woman, the Player (Isabelle Adjani), soon appears on the Driver's radar, a perfect match for his taciturnity.