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New BMW Internet films: popular advertising vehicles

November 08, 2002|Desson Howe | Washington Post

There's a new trio of BMW films, called "The Hire," out on the Internet. The three shorts -- John Woo's "Hostage," Joe Carnahan's "Ticker" and Tony Scott's "Beat the Devil" -- are the latest series promoting the cars and motorcycles of BMW of North America.

A BMW series last year, directed by John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, commanded a popular cult following: reportedly 14 million film views.

In the three new films, Clive Owen (as in the last series) is an unnamed chauffeur who drives a very flashy BMW sports car for three characters.

In "Hostage," currently online at www.bmwfilms.com since Oct. 24, he's hired to deliver ransom money for a kidnapped corporate executive (Kathryn Morris) trussed in a secret location.

In "Ticker," also now playing, he's speeding along precipitous mountain highways with Don Cheadle -- a desperate man with a mysterious metal box.

And in "Beat the Devil," debuting Nov. 21, the driver revs engines for passenger James Brown (playing himself). The reason: Brown's racing with the devil (Gary Oldman) for his soul.

Woo, Carnahan and Scott, all known for their action-oriented, visceral work, provide a dazzling display of power cuts, striking images and hand-held camerawork.

Famous faces appear everywhere, sometimes so quickly you can miss them.

Look for Dennis Haysbert ("24" and "Far From Heaven"), Ray Liotta and Marilyn Manson, among others.

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