A heist gone wrong forces two mechanics across the border. The Mexicans see money; so they keep them. Maybe they look like clowns because dedication to making money is contemptible. Nevertheless, Driver’s ruthlessness has not prepared him for what he sees in Mexico. El Pueblito is a prison that offers luxury, as criminals understand it. Both the savage pleasures of whores & drugs & the polished pleasures of fine restaurants are on sale. Crime, after all, does pay.
A corrupt city is not less vulnerable to criminal enterprise. Driver suffers a couple of beatings, but soon returns to his habitual striving. Making his predicament into an opportunity reaches the pinnacle here. Perhaps a crisis is all he needed. The joke that has him compare his Mexican adventure to summer vacation turns on the understanding of end. Summer is the end of the work year, but summer vacation may also be the purpose of work.
He starts robbing criminals who are too sure of keeping because getting is so easy; he pays attention to who is ruling – there is an obvious hierarchy of fear. He buys housing. He thrives in this chaotic tyranny because the rulers are only interested in the people not revolting, leaving them alone otherwise. Mexico perhaps is awaiting a ruthless conquistador. All Driver wants is to escape Mexico.
The boy is the inside man on this job – the liability in all such jobs. Nevertheless, Driver does not abandon him. He teaches the boy to be the finger man by likening their situation to the sniper shooter-spotter pairing. Seeing is connected to touching, because life is really war. Driver tells the boy: You do not want to kill the man – you need to kill him before he kills you. Necessity is the mother of victory.
The inhumanity of turning a boy into a soldier is apparently called forth by necessity: Driver learns El Pueblito is really a way for a criminal to defend himself. He needs the boy to take his organs. This brings slavery to a new level, suggesting again that fear of death could well lead to a horrible tyranny. Perhaps luxury is built on this foundation, to confirm that justice is just the advantage of the stronger.
Driver seems to agree with this proposition. A man has to acquire & to keep what he has acquired. Professions of good are useless, or useful only to deceive the gullible. To want what is good is to become undeceived: To do the unthinkable. It is worth pointing out that Driver teaches the boy to stop smoking, because it is bad for health. He offers protection & wealth, however got. Someone born a slave in chaos might approve.
Mel Gibson returns to action movies, as resourceful as ever. A must see.