Sure, his last couple of movies haven’t been great (Elysium was less than stellar, and who the hell thought it was a good idea to put Die Antwoord in a movie about an adorable robot?), but at least visually, Neill Blomkamp is still one of the most exciting filmmakers out there right now. Though the Alien movie he’s been developing got back-burnered, the South African director has a quick-hitter for us to enjoy, the short, BMW-produced actioner The Escape. Check it out below.
Doesn’t this make you want to drop a wad of cash on a new BMW? That is, after all, what The Escape is all about, being a glorified car commercial. And hell, this car can take a few slugs to the engine block and keep on kicking, and it’s stronger than a helicopter, two qualities I look for in all my automobile purchases.
This isn’t the first time BMW has employed this strategy. In fact, this isn’t the first time star Clive Owen has played “the Driver” for the German auto manufacturer. This is the eighth short film in The Hire series, all helmed by big time action directors, though it is the first in 15 years—even commercials have sequels. John Woo, John Frankenheimer, Wong Kar-wai, Tony Scott, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and more all lent their skills to this particular bit of star-studded branded content.
The Escape is also just what you expect. Owen plays the mysterious man who shows up, selling his driving skills to the highest bidder, only to get all weepy (if movies have taught us one thing, it’s that all Transporters are big ol’ softies). It’s mostly action, which is what Blomkamp does best, and it’s another big-budget, slick bit of marketing. In addition to Owen, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, and Dakota Fanning all star. And there are clones, choppers, upended semi trucks, and all the usual chase-scene shenanigans.
BMW isn’t alone in this sort of marketing. Prada hired Wes Anderson and Roman Polanski to make short films featuring their products, Gus Van Zant and Nicolas Winding Refn have both made Lincoln commercials, and they’re far from the only ones. I don’t know where I was going with that. It’s just an (mildly) interesting tidbit. I guess directors like to make money and make movies, shocking as that may seem. Well, this has gone on long enough, I’ll stop now.