Clive Owen is back behind the wheel, and he's got himself the all-new 5 Series for the action-packed short.

BMW Films’ latest action-packed, high-octane creation, The Escape, is now live at BMWFilms.com.

The newest short film from BMW’s in-house production studio was shot in Toronto. While even BMW Canada was in the dark about the film’s Canadian presence, watching the film closely, locals might even be able to pick out some Toronto landmarks. Even the Toronto skyline can be easily recognized if you make a mental note that the CN Tower has been digitally removed (films do this so that a notable city can easily become “anytown”).

 

BMW Films' The Escape BTS
BMW Films' The Escape BTS

Clive Owen (Children of Men, Inside Man) heads up the star-studded roster of on-screen talent, alongside Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, Man on Fire), Jon Bernthal (Walking Dead, Wolf of Wall Street), and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Up in the Air). The story was written and directed by Neil Blomkamp, who lives in Vancouver.

We don’t want to give away too much of the 13-minute-long short film, but expect Hollywood-style car chases, explosions, and the 2017 BMW 5 Series doing things that defy physics. It’s all very entertaining.

There are baddies in private military-spec Hummers, and police chasing them all down in Dodge Charger Pursuit cars. Gunfire, helicopters, action, KABOOM, and more action, but with a solid plot line that keeps you wanting more.

Although BMW hasn’t released figures, we have it on good authority the budget for a project like this would be in the Super Bowl half-time advertisement territory - about $5 million. Since the film is being released directly online by BMW Films’ itself, money that would have otherwise been earmarked for distribution and promotion could go straight into the production budget. Considering the remarkable end result, $5M doesn’t seem like a big spend in the grand scheme of brand marketing.

BMW Films got its start in 2001 with a series of eight short films called The Hire. The films starred the likes of Madonna, Gary Oldman, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, F. Murray Abraham, James Brown, and Clive Owen (he credits the series with vaulting his rise to fame). Each independent story was directed by some of the biggest action directors of the time, including John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Woo, Joe Carnahan, and Tony Scott.

Collectively, the films garnered over 100 million views in an era before Youtube or even high speed Internet. It’s hard not to call them the originators of viral video and to date, the series has a cult-like following.

Hildegard Wortmann, Head of Brand BMW, said: “When we commissioned The Escape, our only direction was that the story remain of utmost importance - and that it should live up to the standards set by The Hire. Neill, Clive, and the entire cast did a tremendous job and we are confident that The Escape not only meets that standard, but sets a new one.”

Here's what filming in Toronto was like behind the scenes. We encourage you to watch the film first, before watching these:

 

 

 

Photos: BMW

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