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|“||There's a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?||„|
|~ The Driver|
The Driver is the main protagonist in the 2011 film Drive, as well as the 2005 novel with the same name.
The Driver is a stuntman and mechanic by day, but at night, he works as an independent getaway driver for criminals. His name and past is unknown, but its shown that he is a perfectionist at what he does, as skilled as he is a force to reckon with. He is a no-nonsense individual, talented at getting to the point of a situation to avoid any interfering delays. Eventually, he meets his neighbor, Irene, whom he falls in love with, and her husband, who owes money to local gangsters.
The Driver works as a mechanic, a movie double and stunt driver, and a criminal-for-hire getaway car driver. Auto shop owner Shannon manages all these jobs for him. Shannon persuades Jewish mobsters Bernie Rose and Nino to purchase a car for The Driver to race. The Driver meets his new neighbor, Irene and becomes close to her and her young son, Benicio. Irene's husband, Standard Gabriel, is in prison. After Standard is released, Irene still asks the driver to visit them.
Standard owes protection money from his time in prison, and is beaten up by Albanian gangster Cook, who demands that Standard rob a pawnshop for $40,000 to pay off the debt. The gangster gives Benicio a bullet as a symbol that he and his mother are in danger. The Driver, concerned for the safety of Irene and Benicio, offers to act as the getaway driver for the pawnshop robbery. While waiting for Standard and Cook's accomplice Blanche to complete the pawnshop robbery, the job goes awry when Standard is shot dead by the pawnshop owner. The Driver and Blanche escape after an intense car chase with a mysterious adversary. The driver hides with Blanche in a motel, where he learns that the bag contains a million dollars and that Blanche and Cook planned to re-steal the money with the car that chased them. Two of Cook's men ambush them in the motel room, killing Blanche before the driver manages to kill them both.
At the auto shop, Shannon offers to hide the money, but The Driver refuses. He hunts down Cook in a strip club, smashes his fingers with a hammer, threatens to kill him and force-feeds him the bullet that was given to Benicio. Cook reveals that Nino was behind the robbery. The Driver decides to return the million, but Nino dismisses the offer and instead sends a hitman to The Driver's apartment building. Entering the elevator with Irene, The Driver encounters the hitman and kisses Irene before brutally beating the hitman to death.
At his pizzeria, Nino reveals to Bernie that the money was stashed at the pawnshop by a low-level Philadelphia wise guy from the "East Coast mob" and since anyone tied to the robbery could lead the East Coast Mafia to them, they need to kill everyone involved. Bernie warns Nino that nobody steals from the Italian Mob. Nino is angry because the Italian Mob has marginalized and insulted him due to his Jewish heritage. He convinces Bernie to follow his plan. Bernie then murders Cook as he is the sole witness to their agreement. After Shannon refuses to divulge the whereabouts of the driver, Bernie kills him at the auto shop with a straight razor.
The Driver, disguising himself with a rubber mask from his stuntman job, follows Nino from the pizzeria to the Pacific Coast Highway and T-bones Nino's car onto a beach, then chases him from the wreck to the ocean and drowns him. He makes a phone call to Irene to tell her he is leaving and that meeting her and Benicio was the best thing that ever happened to him. The Driver goes to meet Bernie, who promises that Irene will be safe in exchange for the money. The Driver gives Bernie the money but Bernie attempts to kill him, stabbing him in the stomach. The Driver survives and fatally stabs Bernie, then drives away, abandoning the money. Irene knocks at The Driver's apartment, but gets no response. The Driver drives into the night.