A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
A wise professor taught me in college: Beware of stories where the characters have the names of things. That doesn't mean, he hastened to add, that we should dismiss the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter or even The Thing. But as a general rule, he explained, characters with Thing Names are intended by the author as Symbols. And Symbols have a peculiar way of sinking the stories they're in.
Walter Hill should have taken the wise professor's class. Instead, he has written and directed “The Driver.” It's a movie about people who are not real because they are symbols, and it's a damned good thing there are great chase scenes or the movie would sink altogether. The symbols are named The Driver, The Detective, The Player, The Connection and so on, right down to (I swear it) The Kid.
They are not involved in a Game. The Driver is the best getaway driver there ever was. The Detective is the best detective, and lays a diabolical snare to trap The Driver. The Player is a mysterious woman in black who seems to be playing both sides against the middle for her private amusement. The Connection sets up The Driver's jobs.
Now all of this could have been nice and juicy if Walter Hill had done a few more things with his screenplay, such as made the characters into people. We can tell he didn't want to do that, because of the visual style he uses.