Owen reprised his role as anonymous wheelman “The Driver” from the last series of BMW Films, The Hire, released in 2001 and 2002. The plot of this latest film involves human cloning and a heavily-armed team of bad guys led by Jon Bernthal, best known for playing The Punisher on Marvel’s Netflix series Daredevil. The film also stars Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed), and was directed by Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, Chappie). You can watch it on BMWFilms.com.
For this outing, Owen’s character took the wheel of the 2017 BMW 5 Series, the recently revealed seventh-generation version of BMW’s midsize luxury sedan. The latest 5 Series borrows styling and technology from the larger 7 Series, and is also lighter than the outgoing model thanks to extensive use of materials like high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium. The car certainly gets a workout in The Escape, as Owen and Fanning try to outrun everything from a pair of Hummers to a helicopter.
If the mission was to make the BMW 5 Series look cool, then consider The Escape “mission accomplished.” After a few minutes of setup, the whole film is basically one big car chase, with plenty of gunfire and general destruction thrown in for good measure.
The Escape follows The Hire series, which consisted of eight short films released in the days before YouTube and viral marketing campaigns. Each film featured Own getting into some kind of trouble behind the wheel of a BMW. The carmaker wrangled some impressive talent, with directors such as Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Ang Lee, Joe Carnahan, Guy Ritchie, John Woo, and Tony Scott taking charge of individual films.
Some of the notable actors and personalities cast in supporting roles in The Hire included Gary Oldman, Stellan Skarsgård, Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke, James Brown, Don Cheadle, Madonna, Adriana Lima, Danny Trejo, Kathryn Morris, Marilyn Manson, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick, and Dennis Haysbert.