In the movies a car is never jut a car. They’re more than just a movie prop, more than just a location, they’re a vital part of the film that can be every bit as diverse as the actors in the film. It can be a weapon, an unwitting accomplice, and even something that doesn’t warrant any easy description. Never once is a car just a car, something that is there for no better reason than to take up space in a shot. In almost every way a car is placed in a movie to offer a way to describe something or someone or show just whatever the director is interested in filming to the audience.
It’s all up for interpretation really but the uses of the car in many films has been very telling and has been easily divined in some cases. In The Lincoln Lawyer Matthew McConaughey stars as a prominent attorney that does business out of the back seat of his car while his driver ferries him around town all day. He rarely stops unless it’s needed and conducts most of his business from inside the car. This shows that he has a slight disconnect from the world, and when he’s forced to interact with the world outside his comfort zone he’s focused, on the ball, and definitely ready to get back in his car and ride once he’s done. The world outside his car is a dangerous and uncertain place and it’s shown by the situations that keep happening when he’s away from his vehicle for long periods of time. He’s not necessarily afraid to live in the world, but he seems much more at ease in his car.
One of the most popular and famous examples would be the Fast and Furious franchise. So many cars are used in these films that it boggles the mind, but all in all they’re used in a way that defies conventional thinking and shows that rebellion is not just a good thing, it’s also highly preferable to just following the rules and doing as you’re told. The outright defiance that is shown in these movies via the cars is also coupled with the idea of being free to live one’s life on their own terms and also being able to just ride when the moment seems right. More or less the desire is to be free and unbound from a world that doesn’t seem to make much sense outside the driver’s seat.
In any movie the car is almost never just a prop, as it is a means of transportation, of status, and something that shows the situation in which a character finds themselves. The car tends to become another character in the movie, literally in some cases, and takes on a life of its own through the imagination of the writer and the necessity of the story. More often than not the car, even if it’s never mentioned, is one of the main reasons why people ever go to see the movies.