500 Days Of Film Reviews Drive And Finds A Seductive Action Thriller With Strong Performances
In Drive, Ryan Gosling plays a man who is pretty darn good behind a wheel.
He spends his time as a movie stunt driver and also moonlights as a getaway driver.
His getaway driving comes with rules. For example, he will drive people to their destination but he will only give them five minutes of his time - no more, no less.
After that time runs out, they are on their own.
We soon realise that he is also on his own. However, his empty existence looks set to improve when he meets neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son.
Meanwhile, his professional life is also looking up after his boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) receives funding to enable him to start a racing team.
However, when a heist goes wrong and ends in tragedy, Gosling’s driver is forced to take increasingly desperate measures to survive and protect those he loves.
Is It Any Good?
So, I remember this film when it came out. I saw the trailer and I confess to thinking that I had seen this film before.
Not this exact film you understand but something like it. I just didn’t fancy watching that bad boy with a mysterious past turns over a new leaf after meeting sweet girl with cute son film - again.
Instead, I watched the other Ryan Gosling movie that was out at about the same time - Crazy Stupid Love.
I did quite enjoy it - mainly because I like anything with Julianne Moore and Emma Stone - but it did make me wonder if I had made a mistake.
Now, having (finally) watched Drive, I can see the error of my ways. This is a far superior film. Not that it is perfect, but it will certainly stay with me for longer than Crazy Stupid… can’t be bothered.
Ryan Gosling has to do a lot whilst saying very little in this film. Indeed, both him and Carey Mulligan are very careful with their words. I quite liked this aspect of the film - it made me study Gosling’s face for signs of emotion and helped to build the tension of the film.
In fact, all of the central performances are superb. I particularly loved Oscar Issac’s Standard. He is not on screen for long but his performance sure packs a punch.
I did have one problem with Drive and that is its casting of Albert Brooks as the bad guy. Sure you could call it a piece of genius casting and yes he is very good in his role. However, it just didn’t sit well with me because I want to think of him as forever in Broadcast News! Sorry.
Drive looks extremely stylish. The act of driving is sensual and seductive. Director, Nicolas Winding Refn, creates a world of his own. He uses time and light in such an effective way (yes I am thinking of the elevator scene here).
It is almost as though the film wants to lull you into a false sense of security - it wants you to think that you have seen this film before and then it pulls the rug out from under you at the (extremely) brutal end.
I wonder why Ryan Gosling’s character is never given a name. Is it to emphasize his mystery and emotional distance do you think?
Driving gloves - anyone?
The violence, when it comes, is harsh and gory.
Brilliant performance by Christina Hendricks.