The latest chapter in the saga of Frank Martin, THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED, hits theaters today chock full of Luc Besson-produced action and furious car chases. At it's core, THE TRANSPORTER series is about getaway drivers so we have compiled the definitive ranking of the coolest and most badass drivers in movie history. If your favorite didn't make the cut or think we are flat out wrong, let us know in the talk backs below.
Within the stellar cast of Michael Mann's epic crime saga is Dennis Haysbert as the getaway driver hired to join the crew. He may not be the flashiest name on this list but he is definitely skilled behind the wheel and contributes to Robert De Niro's team.
What has become one of the biggest and most profitable franchises of all time started as a car racing take on POINT BREAK. Vin Diesel's crew of drivers work as criminals by night and show that their skills behind the wheel can also make them some money as well.
While not a feature film, THE HIRE is a series of short films from filmmakers like John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Woo, Joe Carnahan, and Tony Scott. Starring Clive Owen as the nameless Driver, these films heavily influenced THE TRANSPORTER franchise. I would kill to see a full feature film version featuring Owen in the lead. I also defy you to find a better complete series of films out there.
Dominic Sena's remake came right during the heydey of Nicolas Cage's work with Jerry Bruckheimer. The film may not be all that great, but Cage's performance makes this incredibly enjoyable as he and his crew run rampant all over Long Beach. The chase scenes are great but it really is Cage as Randall Raines as he brings his masterful skills out of retirement that make him one of the best drivers on this list.
One of two entries featuring Jason Statham on this list, the remake of THE ITALIAN JOB is the only film on this list that makes compact cars look badass. Everyone in America wanted a Mini Cooper after seeing this movie and with good reason. Handsome Rob is a cocky sonofabitch and one hell of a skilled motorist.
A favorite of Quentin Tarantino, THE DRIVER was a box office dud and critical punching bag. But, Walter Hill's noir action film has heavily influenced everything from PULP FICTION to DRIVE. Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, and Isabelle Adjani are cool as hell in this movie that literally gives us no names for the characters. If you haven't seen it, THE DRIVER is a cult classic that you should check out.
Jason Statham is cool, no doubt about it. After his turns in Guy Ritchie's first few films, the bald Brit headlined this small film from Luc Besson that spawned two sequels, a television series, and now a prequel film. While Ed Skrein has a lot of cool himself, it will be hard to top Statham's opening drive in the first movie.
Arthur Penn's 1967 film is one of the best movies of all time. Controversial upon it's premiere due to the violence in the movie, BONNIE & CLYDE immortalizes the bank robbing duo while also introducing us to their crew, including driver C.W. Moss. Michael J. Pollard is great in his role as he becomes friends with the title characters and eventually contributes to their downfall.
Sam Peckinpah was a master of big screen violence. Steve McQueen is one of the coolest movie stars of all time. Combine the two with car chases and Ali McGraw and you get one of the best action movies ever. Stay away from the shitty remake with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and stick with the Walter Hill-scripted 1972 version.
Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 indie drama is a magnificent slow burning neo-noir. It may not be the action-packed movie fans of FAST AND FURIOUS were led to believe by the poster and trailer, but this is one of the best films of the last ten years. With a thumping soundtrack and great turns by Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, and Bryan Cranston, DRIVE is the movie that should be first associated with Ryan Gosling's career.