A Web Video series produced by BMW in 2001, 2002, and 2016, starring Clive Owen. Essentially, this is a Genre Anthology where each episode only has two recurring features: The Driver, and a series of BMW automobiles. Each episode featured a different director and guest star, and usually a different model of car. Not to mention vastly different moods; the films range from being intense and dramatic to being comic slapstick.
The web series contain the following tropes:
- Badass Driver: The main character, played by Clive Owen.
- Berserk Button: The Driver is generally very protective over the people he's been tasked to protect and it is not a good idea to mess with them. He's even gone against his clients to protect them on more than one occaison.
- 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 Writer: The tone, style, and even genre of each episode varies wildly, due to each episode having a different director.
- Genre Shift: Each film reflects the sensibilities of its director. The series has gone from high-octane action to slapstick comedy to moody character piece with The Driver and BMW being the only unifying theme.
- 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: If you binge-watch this series 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.
- No Name Given: The protagonist is never referred to by name, and the script only refers to him as The Driver. Likewise with some of the other characters, such as the unnamed Passenger in "Ambush" and "Chosen".
- Not So Stoic: The Driver is a suave individual with Nerves of Steel and keeps his cool in nearly every situation, though there are times when he lets emotion peek through.
- At the end of "Ambush" when the old man simply laughs when the Driver asks him if he really swallowed the diamonds, he seems amused and nearly cracks a smile. The same goes with the ending of "Chosen", when the Driver finds out that the gift that the boy gave him was a bandage for his grazed ear.
- In "The Powder Keg", Harvey Jacobs' bitter reflection over his career as a war photographer move him and he's very shaken by Jacobs' death. When the Driver visits Jacobs' mother, his voice cracks while talking about her son and he's on the verge of tears.
- After spending all of the "The Escape" being his usual stoic self, he smiles once Lily is reunited with Dr. Phillips.
- He's noticeably bemused by the "crazy talk" between James Brown and the Devil, though reverts to his previous stoic self once the race starts. Until he sees Brown has suddenly regained his lost youth.
- Product Placement: Well, yeah; the whole series was sponsored by BMW, after all.
- 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.
The 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.
- Actually Pretty Funny: The Driver just seems amused when the Passenger implies that he lied about swallowing the diamonds.
- 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.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: After the first round of being shot at by the jewel thieves:Driver: Are you still alive?Passenger: Yeah. (buckling his seatbelt)
- Counting to Three: The lead robber instructs the Driver to slowly pull over to the side of the road as he counts down from ten.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: The bad guys talk to the Driver through his car radio. They had to show him their walkie talkie and use hand signals to tell him what frequency to tune to, however.
- Foil: The Passenger openly shows his fear in contrast to The Stoic Driver.
- Gun Accessories: The robbers have torches mounted on a Desert Eagle pistol and a squad automatic weapon. Justified as it's nighttime and they need to see into a dark car interior.
- Just Keep Driving: Averted. Bystander vehicles swerve out of the way or slam on the brakes to try and avoid the Driver and the van full of jewel thieves.
- MacGuffin Escort Mission: In this case a Mineral MacGuffin—$2 million dollars of stolen uncut diamonds and their courier.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The robbers wear balaclavas and drive a Van in Black.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Buckle up." Becomes a Brick Joke because the Passenger doesn't have time.
- Road Block: The Driver is forced to brake at a road construction site. When his pursuers come up behind him, he puts the car in reverse to smash their headlights, then drives straight through the ROAD WORK AHEAD signs.
- Treasure Chest Cavity: Faced with a well-armed professional heist team, The Driver tells the Passenger to just hand over the diamonds as he has no intention of getting killed for someone else's merchandise. He only relents when the Passenger pleads that he swallowed the diamonds, and the thieves will cut him open to get them. Or so he claims, but the end implies it was a lie so he wouldn't have to hand the diamonds over.
- Wronski Feint: The Driver plows through the roadblock after smashing the headlights of the other vehicle, and then leads them on to where a bulldozer is parked on the road. He then brakes and switches off his headlights. Unable to see the road clearly, his pursuers blindly crash into the bulldozer and explode.
- You Would Do the Same for Me: Inverted; after the robbers crash their van, the Driver says they'll call Highway Patrol from the next town to report the 'accident'. He notes dryly that they wouldn't have done the same if the situation had been reversed.
The 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.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Driver stops the fake monk injecting the boy with a syringe of sedative or poison, knocking him into a prayer wheel.
- Car Fu: The goons are able to trap the Driver's car in an alley formed by shipping containers. When one of them starts shooting into the BMW, the Driver puts it into reverse and rams the other car out of the way.
- Chekhov's Gun: The gift the Driver receives from the boy, which the Driver is not to open until later. It's a bandage for his ear, which gets nicked by a bullet later in the film.
- I Surrender, Suckers: The Driver brakes on seeing a couple of vehicles blocking his way off the docks. At a nod from the boy however, he slams on the accelerator and shoots off between them.
- Not So Above It All: Although the boy is The Stoic and Wise Beyond Their Years, the bandage he leaves for the Driver has a picture of The Incredible Hulk on it, implying he's a fan.
- Oh, Crap!: A gunman leaning out his door to shoot at The Driver gives off a good one when he realizes that they are about to be rammed.
- MacGuffin Escort Mission: This time it's a boy who may well be The Chosen One.
- Seer: How did the boy know the Driver would require a bandaid?
- Slippery Skid: The BMW drives across a sheet of ice that makes a couple of pursuing vehicles crash.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The music in the car chase makes the Driver dodging the pursuing cars seem like a vehicular ballet.
- The Speechless: The boy never says a word to the Driver, only using Facial Dialogue to indicate what he's thinking.
- Spot the Imposter: The Driver safely delivers the boy to a safehouse where an amiable monk expresses his gratitude and coaxes the boy upstairs with him. The boy however refuses to let go of the Driver's hand, wordlessly indicating that the monk is wearing cowboy boots under his saffron robe. The Driver lets him go and leaves, but then peeks in a window to see the real monks are all Bound and Gagged.
- The Stoic: The boy can match the Driver when it comes to his deadpan response to dangerous situations.
The 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.
- Domestic Abuse: When the Driver gets a close-up look at the wife, he sees she's hiding a massive bruise and a cut eyelid behind her sunglasses.
- 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.
- In Love with the Mark: According to the narration, this should be avoided at all costs. Do not get too emotionally attached, or try to relate to the person you are tailing, no matter how sympathetic they are. Of course, he utterly fails at this step.
- 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.
- Mistaken for Cheating: The movie star thinks his wife is having an affair. If that's so, the Driver never sees any evidence of it.
- 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.
- Mysterious Past: In a rare bit of Back Story for The Driver, he mentions that he's not married anymore, but no explanation is given as to why (divorce, widow, etc.) nor any details about his wife.
- 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.
The 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.
- 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.
- An Aesop: Always wear your seatbelt, lest your underling hire a professional driver to humiliate you via his reckless driving. Also, something about not being such a Bad Boss, but it was far too late for the Star to learn that one.
- Asshole Victim: The Star.
- 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.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The Star insists that the Driver drive faster. At least he asked her to put on her seatbelt first.
- Bitch Alert
- Bring My Brown Pants: When the Star gets dumped at the feet of a horde of paparazzi, she's got an embarrassing stain around her crotch. Implied to be a result of her spilled coffee, but that's Not What It Looks Like.
- Casting Gag: Madonna was married to director Guy Ritchie at the time.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Star's coffee. Piping hot.
- Curse Cut Short: The Driver explains to the Fourth Wall that the Star, in addition to her many qualities, is a "complete c--" "GLEEENNN!
- Extreme Doormat: Glen, the Star's manager. The Driver points out that Glen has no spine, but then, he gets paid enough not to have one.
- 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.
- Groupie Brigade: They drive past a bunch of screaming fans as they exit the parking garage, and the Star ducks out of the way expertly to avoid being seen by them.
- Icy Blue Eyes"The first thing you notice physically about this lady, are her eyes. Bright blue eyes. It's rare to actually see them because they're usually covered up but when you do...it's worth it."
- I Shall Taunt You: At one point, the Driver pulls up alongside the bodyguards and winks at them before speeding off.
- Large Ham:
- Must Have Caffeine: "Coffee! I want a coffee!"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Oddly enough, up until the last bit, the description given for the Star could be a description of Madonna, who plays the Star.
- No Seat Belts: Played for Laughs. There's a good reason you should wear your seatbelt in a car.
- 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.
- Paparazzi: The Driver, at the end of the drive, deposits the Star right in front of the gathered photographers, complete with a large stain on her pants from the coffee that she had in her lap at the start.
- 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 Jerkass the Star is.
- Public Service Announcement: A titlecard at the end reminds you to buckle your seatbelt.
- Slo-Mo Big Air: Complete with the soundtrack changing abruptly to Ride of the Valkyries; the face the Driver makes has to be seen to be believed.
- 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.
Harvey 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.
- Camera Sniper: A sound-only version as we hear a camera's motor drive whirring and nervous breathing as Jacobs watches gunmen line up a row of peasants and shoot them.
- Banana Republic: Nuevo Colon. Even though the men committing the execution that Jacobs photographs don't appear to be official—implying they're cartel gunmen or a death squad militia—they seem to have to cooperation of the army and police and have no problem setting up a roadblock just a few hundred meters down the road from the official border crossing.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Driver gets the photographs across the border, but Harvey Jacobs dies of his injuries, receiving a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his work.
- Diplomatic Impunity: Averted. The Driver knows they are in trouble when the roadblock guards don't care one whit that he is working for the American Embassy.
- Drugs Are BadJacobs: What are we doing to this country? All so our youngsters can have their weekly lines of coke. Every night a line of blood.
- Foreshadowing: When Jacobs is shot, a closeup shows his dog tags are in Braille. When Jacobs is asked why he became a photographer, he says his mother "taught him to see". Later the Driver delivers the dog tags to Jacob's mother and discovers that she's blind.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Jacobs gives his film to the Driver so he can get them out of the country.
- I Regret Nothing: Averted. Harvey regrets that he didn't take time to play with his kids.Driver: So how many have you got?Harvey: None.
- Just a Flesh Wound: Averted. After photographing the mass execution, Jacobs tries to sneak away but the gunmen see the long grass moving and open fire, wounding him. He's able to get to a nearby town for first aid treatment but can't go to a hospital, so the Driver is hired to get him to a doctor across the border.
- MacGuffin: The film, though Jacobs is meant to be a Living MacGuffin as well.
- Mobstacle Course: A police car tries to pull over the Driver once he's outside the city limits, but the Driver is able to stay ahead of them by weaving through oncoming traffic. Until they hit the Road Block.
- 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: With the cooperation of what appears to be a police officer, the gunmen set up an impromptu roadblock to stop the Driver before he reaches the border. When the policeman tries to shoot Jacobs, the Driver deflects the gun causing the bullet to hit the gunman opposite and giving him a chance to go off the road and cross the border that way.
- Run for the Border
- Too Dumb to Live: When pulled over at the roadblock, Jacobs antagonizes a policeman by taking photos of him. Justified in that he's 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 a powder keg, the story about what is going on in Nuevo Colon.
- Was It Really Worth It?: While bleeding in the back of the Driver's car, Jacobs ponders his life (or lack of it) and reflects bitterly that all his photographs have done is sell newspapers.
The Driver 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 the 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.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The Driver walks out in disgust on seeing Linda taunt her dying kidnapper, who turns out to have been an ex-lover.
- 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.
- Driven to Suicide: The hostage taker, via Russian Roulette. He's later shown to have failed, and be in the hospital.
- Exact Words: "How does it feel to hold a person's life in your hand."
- Instant Death Bullet: Averted; but Linda's final words to him are enough to make his monitor flatline.
- Ironic Echo:"I was always the butterfly, and you were always the moth."
- It Doesn't Mean Anything: The kidnapper talks of just wanting a 'gesture' from the CEO he's kidnapped. At first he looks like a disgruntled employee, but afterwards Linda taunts him with, "It was just sex. You should have let it go at that. I was always the butterfly, and you were always the moth."
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Driver is referred to as this — he's dressed in a white suit and driving a silver BMW.
- Lemming Cops: The police think that the Driver is in a stolen car, based on his speeding through the city, and try to catch him, but they are nowhere near his level, and he has a woman to save.
- The Mad Hatter: The hostage taker quips, "If I had known it would be this easy I would have lost my mind a long time ago." He also has a Room Full of Crazy.
- Mission Control: A pair of FBI agents helping the Driver figure out where the hostage is trapped.
- Money to Burn: The hostage taker gets a briefcase of over five million dollars, which he tells the Driver to throw on a lit barbecue grill. Turns out this is the money he figures he was owed; taking into account his salary, bonuses, profit participation, and power lunches he had to pay for.
- Police Are Useless: Though one imagines they could have been helpful if the FBI had thought to let them know what was going on.
- 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.
- Rescue Romance: Averted; the Damsel in Distress looks quite grateful to the handsome Driver who saved her life, but after Linda taunts the dying kidnapper she turns around to find he's walked out in disgust.
- Shout-Out: "Show me the money."
- Taking You with Me: The hostage taker burns the money and shoots himself. However he does give the Driver a chance of rescuing the hostage in time.
The Driver 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 is more important than his life, and that the fate of an entire nation is at stake.
Directed by Joe Carnahan, guest starring Don Cheadle as the Passenger.
- Acrophobic Bird: Some bad guys in a helicopter trying (and largely failing) to gun down the Driver and the Passenger, leading to the chopper's eventual demise.
- Ambiguously Evil: After an army helicopter starts attacking them, the Driver panics and thinks his passenger is carrying a Weapon of Mass Destruction. It turns out he's carrying a heart for transplant and it's the army that is evil.
- Arc Words: "What is one man's life worth?"
- Armies Are Evil: Most, if not all, of the soldiers seen in this episode seem to be working for the Evil Chancellor, who is trying to keep the MacGuffin from getting to its destination. The red scarves and berets the soldiers wear indicate they are Elite Mooks, presumably the Chancellor's Praetorian Guard as he wears the same uniform.
- Bullet Sparks
- Car Fu: Bad guys in an SUV ram the first vehicle that was carrying the Passenger, gunning down his driver and bodyguard and forcing him to flee into a nearby crop field, pursued by the helicopter.
- Chained Heat: When it looks like the Driver might baulk at his mission, the man with the Handcuffed Briefcase chains it to the Driver's wrist. "Now drive!"
- Driving Question: What's in the case?
- 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 interfere with attempts to keep his boss from dying of natural causes.
- Glasses Pull: The Driver yanks off his sunglasses the first time he stops and demands to know what's going on.
- A Handful for an Eye: The Driver does donuts in the dirt, kicking up a huge cloud of dust which blinds the helicopter pilot's view, causing them to blunder into a nearby bridge.
- Incredibly Obvious Bomb: When the suitcase is damaged a digital gauge starts to beep and count down, much to the alarm of the Driver. In a subversion, it's actually a temperature gauge.
- In Medias Res: The episode opens with the Driver and the Passenger in a car weaving back-and-forth down the road while bad guys in a helicopter try to shoot them.
- 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: 'Ticker' makes it sound like the briefcase holds a time bomb, but it's actually a heart ready for transplant.
- 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.
- Shoot the Fuel Tank: Averted; the tank is punctured and there's even a Vapor Trail, but nothing blows up. The Driver does make it clear he's running out of fuel though.
- Smoke Out: Improvised.
- 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.
- Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: The gunner in the helicopter sprays the bullets back and forth across the road, yet the car always seems to just slip between the bursts.
- Time for Plan B: The Driver is actually the backup plan, a second driver standing by in case something happens to the first driver.
- Treachery Cover Up: As he's failed to stop the suitcase, the President's men tell the Evil Chancellor to back off."You were not here. This never happened. Tell your men to stand down."
- 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?Courier: Salvation.
- Vapor Trail: Seen as the car drives off after stopping momentarily on the bridge — the flames don't reach the fuel tank though.
- What Is One Man's Life In Comparison?: After accepting the job of couriering the suitcase on what could well be a suicide mission, the Passenger muses: "What would you fall on your sword for? If not this, then what?"
Beat the Devil
The 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 host 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.
- Age Without Youth: James Brown is getting too old to do his famous James Brown Split, so he uses this to argue that the Devil hasn't kept his side of the bargain, thus entitling him to a new contract.
- As Himself: James Brown.
- At the Crossroads: In a variation, a young James Brown is shown making his Deal with the Devil where the road intersects a railway track, foreshadowing the Game of Chicken later on. Also the hotel where the older Brown negotiates a new deal is called Crossroads.
- Calling Shotgun: In a Visual Pun, the Devil (seated next to his driver) starts the race by firing a shotgun out of the sunroof.
- Cool Car: In addition to the Driver's BMW, Satan and Danny Trejo race in a souped up Pontiac Trans Am. Not being made by BMW, it is doomed to be destroyed.
- Deal with the Devil: James Brown sold his soul for fame and fortune, but wants to renegotiate, based on a loophole he found in his contract. Knowing the Devil can't resist a wager, he bets the Driver's soul this time (not that the Driver had any say in it).
- Fun with Subtitles: Otherwise we couldn't understand what James Brown is saying.Brown: I'm Asian Man!note
- Game of Chicken: As they race across the desert, they find a train is approaching the intersection ahead. The Driver puts his foot down and makes it, whereas the Devil chickens out and shouts for his driver to stop, causing a spectacular crash.
- Genre Blind: The Driver doesn't seem to know what the hell is going on, staring slackjawed at the wacky hijinks until things finally move on to the driving.
- Glasses Pull: The Driver when (after throwing James Brown out of his car) he sees in his rearview mirror that the Godfather of Soul has suddenly become the Teenager of Soul.
- Got Volunteered: The Driver doesn't exactly have informed consent re risking his soul for Brown's benefit.
- Hollywood Geography: The drag race manages to take our characters past the same two hotels several times before they make it out of Vegas.
- Horrifying the Horror: Marilyn Manson freaks out even the Devil!
- Incoming Ham: The Devil comes charging into the room in a blaze of lights and sound, driving a motorized wheelchair.
- Invincible Classic Car: After getting hit by the train, Satan's Trans Am appears to be in perfect condition, the paint job not even scratched, despite being sent tumbling through the air, evidently propelled by an explosion. and then it lands upside down and is crushed like a soda can before exploding.
- Ironic Echo: Before he goes to negotiate with the Devil, Brown tells the Driver to dismiss anything he hears as "just crazy talk". At the end the Driver throws Brown out of his car, dismissing their contract as "just crazy talk."
- Large Ham: James Brown. And Satan even more so, as played by Gary Oldman.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: When Satan learns that the Driver only likes women.Satan: That's terrible! You don't know what you're missing!
- Oh, Crap!: Satan gets one during the drag race when his car almost collides with a semi-truck. And again when his car is about to collide with a train.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Besides the Mood Whiplash, this episode has the Driver and James Brown in a drag race against Satan and Danny Trejo in Las Vegas, in a wager for James Brown's youth and the Driver's eternal soul. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
- Stereotype Flip: In The Stinger: Marilyn Manson asks the Devil to turn his music down, because he's trying to read The Bible.
- Sunglasses at Night: When Brown first rings his doorbell, Satan repeatedly shouts at him to put his face to the peephole camera, but as Brown is wearing his sunnies in the dark hotel corridor it makes no difference, so Satan gives up and sends Bob to answer the door instead.
Molecular Genetics, a research lab, has been conducting illegal cloning experiments. With authorities closing in, MolGen security forces hire The Driver to transport the head of security and a young woman who is referred to only as "Five" and "the Specimen", though she calls herself Lily. Surrounded by a group of heavily armed men and being chased by the FBI and local police, The Driver decides to take matters into his own hands and conclude the situation how he sees fit.
- Acrophobic Bird: Justified because Holt orders the helicopter down. Unfortunately Holt then attaches the cable hook to the car. As he's stopped near an overpass the Driver just puts the car in reverse, throwing Holt off the hood and pulling the helicopter down to its destruction.
- Badass Boast: The Driver is right; he may be rusty but age hasn't diminished his skills.
- Benevolent Architecture: The Driver uses the highway crash barriers to take out their Hummer escort, and the overpass to destroy the helicopter.
- Booby Trap: An FBI SWAT team opens a door, not realising there's several packets of C4 explosive rigged on the other side.
- Car Fu:
- Hummers are used as crash cars to shoulder aside the pursuing police.
- When Holt has trouble hitting the Driver's car, he decides to Pop the Tires on a semi-trailer ahead of him, causing it to flip onto its side and block the road.
- Counting to Three: When the Driver goes Off the Rails, Holt puts a gun to his head and starts counting down. Cue Dodge by Braking whereupon the gun ends up in the Driver's hand.
- Destroy the Evidence: As the authorities close in, MolGen employees are shown burning papers and smashing computers. Lily is apparently too valuable to be destroyed, so Holt's job is to get her through the police and FBI cordon surrounding the research lab.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Averted; Lily keeps a tattered Precious Photo of the missing Dr. Philips (the clones' creator) apparently regarding her as a Parental Substitute. It turns out she's Just Hiding, and has hired the Driver to bring Lily to her.
- Evil Wears Black: The black-clad mercenaries and their black Hummers contrast with the Driver's silver BMW.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: The Driver's Facial Dialogue shows his disgust at how Holt is treating Lily, his hands flex on the steering wheel...and He's Back!!
- First Time in the Sun: Lily has never seen the outside world in person before.
- Getaway Driver: Given that it's the FBI they are escaping from (at least initially).
- Get Out!: The Driver to Holt after taking his gun off him. When Holt insists on taking it personally and chases after the Driver, the latter is fully prepared to run him down until Lily talks him out of it.
- Kick the Dog: Holt is unnecessarily cruel towards Lily, treating her as an object and throwing away her artwork when he wants her to shut up.
- Lampshade Hanging: The script includes a mention of the fourteen-year Sequel Gap between this short film and the preceding series.The Driver: I might be a little rusty right now, but I've been doing this for a long time and I'm very good at it.
- Live-Action Escort Mission: Though inverted; the 'package' isn't annoying to anyone except Holt.
- Never Tell Me the Odds!: Regarding the above Badass Boast, Lily points out that it only means his chances of failure increase every time he does this kind of work. The Driver takes it philosophically. "The odds will be what the odds will be."
- Only I Can Kill Him: When the gunman in the helicopter says they're going after the Driver, Holt makes the helicopter land and changes places because he wants to kill the Driver himself.
- Private Military Contractors: Holt's escort team are a private security force armed with military weaponry.
- Purity Personified: Lily, apparently due to being raised in a controlled environment. Even though Holt treats her with contempt, she wants his life spared. As appropriate to this trope she has blonde hair and Innocent Blue Eyes.
- Save the Villain: As the Driver prepares to run over an unarmed Holt, Lily asks for mercy. When the Driver chooses to drive away, Holt grabs his rifle but misses his shot, and is arrested by the police immediately afterwards.Lily: Mercy, from old French merced. Kindness, grace, pity.
- Spanner in the Works: The Driver.
- Spock Speak: Lily talks this way, giving dictionary definitions of various words she hears.Holt: (hustling her to the car) Goddamn abomination.Lily: Abomination.Holt: Get the door, please. (shoves her inside)Lily: Abomination, from the Latin word abominari. A thing that causes hatred or disgust.
- Theme Naming: The clones were named after flowers. Lily mentions "Tulip", "Daffodil", and "Rose", but never says if there was one between her and them.
- The Reveal: The Driver was working for Dr. Philips all along.
- Too Dumb to Live: Attacking State and Federal law enforcement with guns and explosives then later wrecking their vehicles with no means of escape? In public? They're either facing life in prison or the death penalty if they're not shot dead on-sight.
- Strange Secret Entrance: The FBI are taken by surprise when the convoy exits the warehouse through a door disguised as the wall, with retractable crash barriers.
- You Are Number 6: Or in this case, 5. When the 'specimen' insists her name is Lily, Holt chucks her paintings out the window as punishment.