A Web Video series produced by BMW in 2001 and 2002, starring Clive Owen. Essentially, this is a Genre Anthology where each episode only has two recurring features: The Driver, and a series of BMWautomobiles. Each episode featured a different director and guest star, and usualy a different model of car. Not to mention vastly different moods; the films range from being intense and dramatic to being comic slapstick.The videos inspired the movie The Transporter.Relevant tropes: All Episodes
Chase Scene: Most of the episodes feature some variation of this.
Cool Car: But of course. In the first season, he gets a new car for every episode (possibly because the car gets utterly trashed during the ensuing Chase Scene in every episode except for The Follow. He keeps the same (new) car for the entire second season.
Depending on the Director: The tone, style, and even genre of each episode varies wildly, due to each episode having a different director.
Guile Hero: When sheer driving badassitude won't cut it, the Driver will resort to a variety of unorthodox tricks to get the better of his opponents.
Mood Whiplash: The two comedy entries, Star and Beat the Devil, can be a bit jarring, considering that they come after The Follow and Ticker, respectively. For bonus points, Star is immediately followed by Powder Keg.
Mysterious Past: The Driver receives very little in the way of Backstory, indeed, he doesn't even have a name. We pick up bits and pieces about him in dialogue.
Rule of Cool: This is the driving factor behind most of what happens in the films. The producers had to actually disable some of the features on the cars they were showing off to make the driving stunts look more impressive. For example, the cars featured are all designed to not to do hairpin turns or skids because that's dangerous.
AmbushThe Driver must protect his passenger from a van full of heavily armed jewel thieves, who want the diamonds that his passenger is smuggling. One problem: The Passenger swallowed the diamonds to get them through Customs, and these men will not hesitate to cut him open to get at them. Directed by John Frankenheimer, guest-starring Tomas Milian as the Passenger.
Car Fu: in addition to the usual sideswiping and trading of paint with the van, the Driver later intentionally forces other cars on the road to to spin out or swerve out of the way to create obstacles for his persuers.
Wronski Feint: The Driver plows through the road block after smashing the headlights of the other vehicle, and then leads them on a chase weaving through the equipment until the bad guys blindly crash into a bulldozer and explode.
ChosenThe Driver meets a boat at the pier and picks up his passenger, a young Asian boy who is considered very important by the monks entrusting him to the Driver. He must evade a group of armed men trying to capture or kill the boy, and get him to the safe house where the monks can protect him. Directed by Ang Lee, guest starring Mason Lee as the Passenger.
The FollowThe Driver is hired by a paranoid movie star's agent to follow the star's wife, who the star suspects is having an affair behind his back. Though hesitant, the Driver agrees to the mission, and explains via narration how to tail someone, all while he learns more about the young wife. Directed by Kar Wai Wong, guest starring Mickey Rourke as the Husband, Adriana Lima as the Wife, and Forest Whitaker in an uncredited role as the Husband's agent.
Back Story: One of the rare bits of it for The Driver. He mentions that he is not married anymore, but no explanation is given as to why (divorce, widow, etc.), nor any details about his wife.
Domestic Abuser: The movie star who asks the Driver to tail his wife, as the Driver learns while following the wife.
Gilligan Cut: A dramatic variation. As the Driver watches the wife from afar at the airport café, he narrates, "Whatever you do, don't get too close." One quick nighttime establishing shot later, he's sitting right next to her.
Incredibly Obvious Tail: It does seem odd that the wife does not notice the same black BMW right behind her the whole way to the airport, but this is somewhat acknowledged and explained away in the narration, which explains that you keep moving around, changing lanes from time to time, getting a bit closer, a bit farther, moving into their blindspot if you end up too close behind them, and most of all that the best way to avoid detection is to know their patterns, so you can predict what they will do next.
And also averted shortly later. Once they leave the city and get out on the highway, he drops much farther back because he can still see her car in the distance.
Keep the Reward: Once he learns more about the woman he has been hired to tail, the Driver returns the money, claiming that she got away from him.
Mr. Exposition: This is one of the only episodes to have the Driver narrating, and the only one where he narrates through the entire film, explaining how tailing someone works.
Oh Crap: Averted, and the narration goes on to explain that you should never react at all if the person you are tailing doubles back and sees you. As soon as the wife turns around and looks at him, the Driver casually looks up at the Departures board at the airport.
White-Dwarf Starlet: The movie star is heavily implied to be a male version of this trope. We get to see his fast-talking agent on the phone trying to get him a role in another film, insisting that he's at the top of his game, and evidently having a hard time convincing the guy on the other end of this.
StarThe Driver has been hired to provide transportation for The Star, a massively talented, extremely famous, and intensely abusive singer. As they depart for the venue, the Driver receives a call from the Star's manager, Glen, who reminds him to take his time, and to give the Star everything the Manager has paid him for. The Driver proceeds to take the Star down a few notches as he speeds across the city. Directed by Guy Ritchie, guest starring Madonna.
Actor Allusion: The Star, a world-famous and highly talented musician, played by Madonna.
Amusing Injuries: The worst that the Star suffers is some smeared makeup and an embarrassing coffee spill, despite being turned into a human pinball inside a speeding car and being ejected from the vehicle hard enough to fly ten feet before hitting the ground.
Bad Boss: Oh dear lord the Star. Verbally abusive of pretty much everyone who works for her.
Batman Gambit: The entire plan seems to hinge on the Star deciding on the spur of the moment to get in the white car instead of the black one. Of course, the black one might have simply had Jason Statham driving.
The Dog Bites Back: It is heavily implied that this was the exact reason the Star's manager called in the Driver.
Don't Call Me Sir: The Star irately tells the Driver not to "ma'am" her, presumably suspecting (correctly) that he was sassing her. Once he abandons all pretenses of being subservient to her, he proceeds to call her "Sir" instead.
Drives Like Crazy: Oh dear lord the Driver. The Star really should have put on her seatbelt when he asked.
Nominal Importance: Glen, the agent who hired the Driver, is one of only a handful of named characters in the entire series.
Obfuscating Stupidity: The Driver claims first not to know he was hired to drive for the Star, then that he doesn't know where they are going, and then makes a point of driving infuriatingly slow to get under her skin.
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Generally speaking, driving recklessly and intentionally causing your passenger to be sent bouncing off the interior of the car because she is not wearing your seatbelt is generally considered a bad thing. But it is just so hard to remember that, considering what a Jerk Ass the Star is.
Stop and Go: The music abruptly stops when the Driver backs the car into an alley... then as soon as they see the bodyguards drive by in their car, he takes off again with the music kicking back on.
Unreliable Voiceover: The Driver describes in detail that the Star has gorgeous blue eyes, strong, feminine hands, and a billion dollar voice. Meanwhile, we see her adjust her sunglasses, then a close-up on her gloved hands cleaning said sunglasses, then a closeup on her mouth as she opens it... to cough.
You, Get Me Coffee: The Star's first line is to scream at her assistant for a cup of coffee.
Powder KegHarvey Jacobs has just taken the most important photographs of his career, but is wounded in the process. The American government hires The Driver to go in and extract him, bringing him and his pictures out of Nuevo Colon so that the government's crimes will be brought to light. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, guest-starring Stellan Skarsgård as Harvey Jacobs, and Lois Smith as Harvey's mother.
Nominal Importance: Harvey Jacobs is one of only two or three characters to get named at all in the series. His actions appear to have a much bigger impact than almost anyone else's in the films as well.
Road Block: The soldiers at the roadblock are not impressed with the Driver's American Embassy credentials. When one of them tries to shoot him, he manages to deflect the gun, resulting in the other soldier being shot and giving him a chance to go off the road and cross the border that way.
Technology Marches On: A scant few years after this film was made, Harvey probably would have been able to email his photos from a safehouse without having to smuggle the film across the border.
Too Dumb to Live: Jacobs antagonizes a border guard by taking photos of him. Justified in that he was dying of blood loss, and probably delirious.
Title Drop: The Driver asks Harvey what is on his film, and he is told that the film contains the Powder Keg, the story about what is going on in Nuevo Colon.
HostageThe Driver arrives arrives at a small house carrying a Briefcase Full of Money in order to pay the ransom for a CEO who has been kidnapped and hidden away by a deranged former employee. When the hostage taker proceeds to shoot himself to avoid arrest, the Driver must rely on the handful of clues he was given to locate and rescue the kidnapped woman. Directed by John Woo, guest starring Maury Chaykin as The Kidnapper, and Kathryn Morris as Linda Delacroix.
Asshole Victim: The ending implies that the hostage is an amoral bitch and the hostage taker is someone she used for sex then dumped unceremoniously. She is visibly distraught when rescued but when she confronts the hostage taker in hospital, she smugly mocks him as if she can easily fake emotion.
Bad Boss: The hostage taker's justification for the whole thing.
Big Damn Heroes: One of the rare times that the Driver saves the day outside his car, jumping into the water and forcing the trunk door open to rescue the hostage.
Briefcase Full of Money: Turns out, the money isn't important, but the amount of it is. It's her phone number, so the Driver can contact her if he's clever enough.
Clean Pretty Reliable: A discretion cut keeps us from seeing the inevitable vomiting up water that comes from administering CPR to a near-drowning victim.
Race Against the Clock: The Driver has to find the car in whose trunk the hostage is locked before high tide comes and drowns her.
TickerThe Driver and his passenger must evade an attacking helicopter and get a mysterious package his passenger is carrying to its destination. The passenger refuses to explain what is in the briefcase, but insists that the case's safe arrival at the destination is more important than his life, and that an entire nation is at stake. Directed by Joe Carnahan, guest starring Don Cheadle as the Passenger.
Ambiguously Evil: After the army starts attacking, the driver panics and thinks his passenger is carrying a weapon of mass destruction. Averted since it turns out he is carrying a heart for transplant and its the army that is evil.
Evil Chancellor: Evidently the unnamed nation's president is the only man keeping the country's far less fettered military commander from seizing control. While he doesn't seem to be going for a Klingon Promotion, he has no problems sending his men to interefere with attempts to keep his boss from dying of natural causes.
MacGuffin: The briefcase. If it is not delivered on time, with the contents intact, an entire nation will be at the mercy of a military dictator.
Mood Whiplash: Between the helicopter strafing scenes and flashbacks of the courier accepting the mission.
Pun-Based Title: The title refers to an unidentified but highly important package contained in a silver briefcase, which must be kept below a certain temperature lest something terrible happen. It sounds like it could be some kind of bomb, but it is actually a heart, ready for transplant.
Pursued Protagonist: The episode opens with the Driver and the Passenger weaving back and forth down the road while bad guys in a helicopter try to shoot them.
Race Against the Clock: With the car running out of fuel and the briefcase's temperature indicator rising, both due to bullet hits.
The Reveal: What's in the briefcase? A heart transplant for a troubled nation's dying leader.
Spent Shells Shower: The film opens with spent shells and bullet impacts raining down on an apparently empty road, before quickly panning up to the strafing helicopter, then down to a car racing ahead of the gunfire.
Time for Plan B: The Driver is actually the backup plan, a second driver standing by in case something happens to the first driver.
Two Scenes, One Dialogue: After his windshield is sprayed with fluid from the mysterious suitcase, the Driver is understandably alarmed; assuming it's a WMD he shouts, "IS IT CHEMICAL? IS IT BIOLOGICAL?" The scene then cuts to the courier apparently answering the same question, put to him by a bodyguard in the first vehicle he used.
Courier: It's neither.
Bodyguard: So what is it then?
Vapor Trail: Seen as the car drives off after stopping momentarily on the bridge — the flames don't reach the fuel tank though.
Beat the DevilThe Driver has absolutely no idea what he has gotten himself into. He accompanies his client, James Brown, for a meeting in a penthouse apartment in Las Vegas, only to learn that their guest is evidently the lord of darkness, Satan himself. James Brown makes a wager with the Devil, a drag race down the Las Vegas strip at dawn, James Brown and his Driver versus Satan and his. If the Driver wins, James Brown gets his youth back, and if the Driver loses, Satan gets his soul. Directed by Tony Scott, guest starring Gary Oldman as the Devil, Danny Trejo as Bob, and James Brown As Himself.