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Drive (2011 film)

A 2011 film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and based on the novel by James Sallis.

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Drive

  • Sep 15, 2011
Rating:
+2
Ryan Gosling is capable of almost anything, and has left little doubt that he is one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. He has can play the heartthrob and romantic like in TheNotebook, he can be a heart breaker like inBlue Valentine, he can be funny and charming like in Crazy, Stupid, Love. In the last movie mentioned he stepped out of his comfort zone and tried a comedy. He is often very adventurous in his roles and always knocks then out of the park. In Drive he seems to take a step back in to what he knows and while he does well in the role I doubt this will be a role worth remembering.

For director Nicolas Winding Refn this is his first stab at American film making. He has been very popular in Europe and has shown a knack for making movies, but of his movies that I have seen they have all been very stylistic. There are those who praise his style and concepts as high art and enjoy his projects for it. In Drive he appears to be making an ode to the eighties be it the font on the movie poster and credits, the music, or the white jacket our protagonist wears throughout the story. He obviously is very knowledgeable on the era and creates a wonderful atmosphere. But he always seems to over commit to it. Alright Don, we get the image you are going for but sometimes it seems that you are more concerned with style over substance. Some people will praise his work, and with a 13 million dollar budget maybe the only thing he could afford was an eighties looking B movie. It was a fun style but sometimes, much like in Bronson it overwhelmed the story.

The story is good though, it features Ryan Gosling in the lead role as a man who works as a mechanic and a stunt driver and also moonlights as a getaway driver. In the opening monologue he lays down the rules. He gives them 5 minutes to do whatever they want, outside of that they are on their own. With a hero that dabbles on the other side of the law he must hold a strict moral code on what he is willing to do in order for the audience to side with him. It also helps that the hero seems to epitomize cool. In order to prepare for the role Gosling rebuilt the 1973 Chevy Malibu that his character drives in the movie. The writers also do their best to help the audience connect with the character. He only speaks when it is absolutely necessary. This type of writing is rarely seen anymore, more often opting for dialogue that expresses what our characters think. Here the actors express themselves, rather than verbalize their thoughts.

There are a slew of actors who help to get Gosling's point across and help to define him and his actions. A plethora of television actors make brief appearances in the movie for some defining moments to our other actors including Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, and Christina Hendricks. One of the most surprising performances though belongs to Albert Brooks. I can't remember the last performance I liked of his, not counting voicing a fish looking for his son and a billionaire trying to take over the world. He brings a cool calm and trusted performance to the movie that really accentuates his character. Gosling's romantic opposite is played by up and coming A-list actress Carey Mulligan, whose talent seems to go wasted.She is asked to do little for her own character and instead only to move plot and provide support to Gosling. This is something rarely seen anymore either, a supporting actress actually there solely for the support of the main actor. But as the female lead and boasting such a talent it is a shame to see Mulligan’s go to waste in a movie that asks her to do very little.

Mulligan's biggest contribution may be that she brings to the movie what many in the audience may already be expecting. There are very few times Gosling has not been involved with a romantic counterpart, so for the females in the audience she brings some of that to the story. But really any expression of love in the movie is there to accentuate the violence willing to be done for it. For the guys in the audience there is no shortage of blood. It takes a violent turn during the second half. It is almost shocking how violent they go, but maybe even worse it is sometimes laughable how bloody some of the scenes get. Also shocking is despite the movie being called Drive just how little our main character spends behind the wheel. I understand not wanting to be lumped into the same genre as The Fast and the Furious, but there is really only one good driving sequence which I can't help but feel was inserted in at the producer's request to increase the action pacing a bit.

The movie is fun, but it just gives off the impression that it is trying too hard. The movie really wants to fit into a certain genre and be a certain style. It wants to be an art house movie and an action movie and I don't know if the two blend well together. Some people are going to love it, a lot of blood a lot of action why wouldn't they, but for me the need to be artistic as well as bloody made it too ridiculous. For some people that is exactly what they are going to want. If you want an eighties movie with a hero the likes of an Eastwood then you should enjoy this movie. I enjoyed it, but it took me a long time to really formulate any kind of opinion on it which usually means that the movie is good but certainly not a must see.  B-

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September 22, 2011
Very well considered !
 
September 15, 2011
Very thorough write up. I am still on the fence on this one, and I think I may see STRAW DOGS first. Thanks!
 
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More Drive (2011 film) reviews
review by . March 15, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    A lone, unnamed driver (Ryan Gosling) takes a nightly stroll through Los Angeles; with the illuminating city lights making way for the path that is the road. The Driver parks his vehicle in front of an anonymous building; and two masked men nearby proceed to enter. They emerge with a bag full of cash. They get into the Driver's car. He takes them to a parking garage; never speaking to them on the way. They don't know his name, and neither do we; but that doesn't …
review by . October 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Drive is a “love-it-or-hate-it” kind of movie, fortunately though I love it enough for several theaters full of those that full into the latter category. It’s admittedly mismarketed, and its art house sensibilities along with its strong emphasis on style is going to push plenty away expecting a more traditional thriller. However for those of us on the nerdier side of the film fence, “Drive” is the film equivalent of taking LSD, it’s simply a dream. The …
review by . September 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting much when I went to see “Drive” but I knew for certain that it was one of those art house movies that critics usually like. At first impression, I thought I was going to be in for one of those movies like “The Driver” (1978) kind of deal, or something similar to Luc Besson’s “The Transporter”. I became curious because of the mixed reviews here, and to put everything in a nutshell, it feels more like “Le Samourai“ …
review by . September 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Drive' 'Two Jews On Film' Think This Over The Top Thriller Stalls (Video)
      Ryan Gosling is 'Driver'.  He drives...fast...very fast...If you're a burglar, he's your go-to guy.  Just make sure you get the job done in five minutes.  Because that's all you got...One minute late, Driver is gone.      Now, driving a get-a-way car is Driver's night job.   His day job is slightly more glamorous.  Driver is a stunt driver for movies...That is, when he's not working as a mechanic, …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In Drive, Ryan Gosling plays a man who isn’t given a proper name. He’s known only as Driver. It’s a fitting description, given the way cars factor into his daily life. By day, he works for a mechanic named Shannon (Bryan Cranston) and is an occasional Hollywood stunt driver. By night, he’s a wheelman for criminals in need of a quick getaway. Although he’s not a warrior in the traditional sense, Driver is as starkly …
review by . September 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   After you'll finish watching Drive you'll know you just watched something special, something rarely seen on the big screen. Drive takes all the classic elements of passionate filmmaking and revives them with a new modern look, sound and atmosphere that will keep you excited like a little kid on the edge of your seat. Audience's reaction to this is diverse. Some claim that the movie is too pretentious, some claim that the movie is silly and doesn't have enough action, …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Hyper Drive
DRIVE Written by Hossein Amini Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks   Irene: What do you do? Driver: I drive.   Every now and again, a movie comes along and takes you for a ride you don’t soon forget. It straps you in with its fresh cinematic voice and doesn’t let you go until it has raced through your mind, taken some crazy turns and pulled back into the garage again.  When …
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Movies, Movie, Drama, Review, Crime Drama, Julian Left, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ryan Gosling, Ron Perlman, Nicolas Winding Refn, Christina Hendricks, Drive

Details

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: September 16, 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Hossein Amini
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: FilmDistrict, Odd Lot Entertainment, Seed Productions
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