Clive Owen is ‘The Driver’ Once Again in Neill Blomkamp’s Short Film ‘The Escape’
Commercials have recently gotten a bit of an upgrade. Spike Jonze recently directed that Kenzo perfume ad starring Margaret Qualley that went viral, and now Neill Blomkamp has entered into the fray with his short film, “The Escape,” that also doubles as a slick action-packed BMW commercial. It’s the latest in a kind of series by BMW: a bunch of loosely-connected action shorts all starring Clive Owen as a nameless driver.
Produced by BMW Films and starring Owen, Jon Bernthal, Dakota Fanning, and Vera Farmiga, “The Escape” is probably the first car commercial to showcase its shiny subject with broken headlights and riddled with bullets. The short film starts with some brief background information: someone is making clones, and people aren’t happy about it. Jon Bernthal plays a kind of SWAT team member tasked with escorting Dakota Fanning, a clone, out of a warehouse to some undisclosed location. Enter the driver, Clive Owen, who is being payed to transport the three of them wherever they are told to go. Why a private security force would enlist the help of a sleek getaway car when they have military grade Humvees is a little odd, but whatever. Owen turns on Bernthal, forcing him out of the car in an attempt to rescue Fanning. Bernthal and his forces give pursuit, and what follows is the most exciting car chase in automobile commercial history.
The plot of this thirteen-minute short hits all of Blomkamp’s usual beats: an unlikely hero, a mysterious being in need of rescuing, anti-establishment sci-fi, and a lot of shooting. It’s a fast-paced, neatly done bit of action, and reminds us all of what Blomkamp is capable of when he’s not distracted by strength-enhancing mechanical armor suits or smack-talking sentient robots.
BMW also released two cool behind-the-scenes videos, which you can watch below: