This is a film I love a lot and is exceedingly cool, although despite featuring some strong performances, some crime film archetypes that I love, some of the best car chases ever filmed, this film's characters and story are rather dull and plodding much of the time. Writer/Director Walter Hill has written and directed a number of classic action films, ranging from "The Getaway" to "The Warriors" to "48hrs" to even "Undisputed." Of all his films, "The Driver" is probably his coolest. Ryan O'Neal plays a getaway driver for hire who doesn't carry a gun and on a job only drives. $10,000 upfront and 15% of the take. Bruce Dern plays the cop going after O'Neal and Isabelle Adjani plays the love interest. Re-watching the film now, it almost seemed like a prototype for kind of films Michale Mann would later make, such as "Thief" or "Heat," slickly made films where characters operate with a single minded focus in an underworld that seem to operate within their own reality completely apart from the civilian world. A difference though is that Mann's film were slick in a modern way and Hill's film is more slick in a throwback net-noir sort of way, although the nighttime color schemes did remind me of Mann's films. I also never noticed until this viewing that none of the characters in the film actually have names and are only called by their occupations (i.e. "The Driver"). While that's kind of fun in an academic sort of way, it doesn't really help for character development. And when the story unfolds in a rather mechanical plot driven manner, the lack of fully fleshed out characters creates a distance between the audience from what's happening on the screen. However, while those complaints would mean the death of most films, they are minor quibbles when you have a film that features Ryan O'Neal getting to do a rare tough guy role, a gorgeous Adjani in her first Hollywood role, and also some of the best car chases ever committed to film. I was pretty excited when Nicolas Winding Refn made more than a few nods to "The Driver" in his film "Drive" which I think took some of the best elements of "The Driver" and made it into the film it could have been, featuring strong characters, action and story with style to spare. Overall, despite the shortcomings of "The Driver" I do consider it a modern action classic and one that should be watched by all fans of car chases.