This weekend, after much teasing, BMW Films debuted its reboot of the iconic campaign to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Once again, it stars Clive Owen as the suave, mysterious "Driver," and this time, his mission is to transport to a valuable commodity: a human clone.
In the 13-minute-plus film "The Escape," Dakota Fanning plays the "specimen," or "5," apparently created illegally by a shady company called MolGen. A heavily-armed private security outfit (led by resident bad guy Jon Bernthal of "Walking Dead" and "Daredevil" fame) has been dispatched to break into the organization and deliver her to an unknown buyer.
The "delivery" part is where Mr. Owen comes in, driving a new 5 Series 540i. Fanning gets in the backseat while Bernthal rides shotgun, but mid-way through the ride, his total jerk side takes over -- so Owen quickly ejects him from the car with the help of a revolver.
That's when insane action ensues, and blockbuster, high-production stunts make for a pretty fun ride, including a car-and-helicopter tug of war.
There are moments of sweetness and humor too -- like when Owen assures 5, "I might be a little rusty right now, but I've been doing this a long time" -- and when The Driver completes his charge and reunites 5 --whose real name is Lily, with her mom/maker, MolGen's chief medical officer, played by Vera Farmiga.
Neill Blomkamp ("District 9," "Elysium") directed the film and BMW reunited some of the campaign's original creators on the project, including Creative Director Bruce Bildsten, Executive Producer Brian DiLorenzo and Creative Consultant David Carter, who co-wrote the script with Mr. Blomkamp. Anonymous Content Founder Steve Golin also returned to produce, alongside the company's Executive Producer Eric Stern.