MOVIE REVIEW: “Drive” stars Ryan Gosling (La La Land, Blade Runner 2049), Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby , Promising Young Woman), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad [TV series]), Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo, Broadcast News), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina , Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), Ron Pearlman (Hellboy , Hand of God [TV series]), Kaden Leos, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men [TV series], Ginger & Rosa), and James Biberi (Dead Man Down, The Producers ). It is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, The Neon Demon), with the screenplay being written by Hossein Amini (47 Ronin , Snow White and the Huntsman).
A Hollywood stunt car driver (Gosling) gets into some trouble with the mob after a theft he was the getaway driver for goes wrong.
It’s been a while since a film put me on the edge of my seat. In the case of Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 crime drama “Drive,” my body was tense.
This brutal, provocative thriller is something to behold. Not only is it shot wonderfully, but the performances and story reel you in for a journey that is unforgiving. From the fast-paced action/car sequences to the long drawl moments that build intensity, “Drive” never lets up, providing an experience that I found both entertaining and teeth-grinding.
Is this another Gosling homerun? I believe so. The man has had quite a career, signing onto projects that have propelled him in stardom and performance. Playing the role of Driver (yep, that’s his name), he brings a quiet and reserved character with a volatile underbelly. He’s ruthless, yet caring for the people around him. The more you watch of this guy, the more you wonder what kind of past he has. And there’s no backstory; all we have is the present, and it’s way cooler that way.
The unfolding of this narrative is quite awesome. Its structure is sound and builds on itself as the stakes raise higher and higher. As I watched, my hands grew more accustomed to shielding my eyes. There’s quite a bit of in-camera action with crazy effects; blowing off heads, skewering eyeballs, slitting wrists. It’s wild y’all. Just when I think I’ve seen enough, I’m dealt a heavier blow. And that’s not to mention the intensity that doesn’t come from in-your-face brutality. There’s a keen sense of time and silence in this feature, which only adds to the sweat produced from my glands. One moment in particular made me jump; it was a perfect use of sound (both in its absence and force).
Sure, the violence can be a bit much, but the story and acting is too good to pass up. The screen is littered with top-tier talent, one of the big surprises being a villain turn-in by Albert Brooks. Who would’ve thought the guy could be a mob boss? He was phenomenal, as were the others. There’s such a beautiful aesthetic presented in this film that, when paired with the kind of story it is, sends you back to the gruff macho pictures of the 70s/80s (with a modern flair). I love its simplicity and velocity, and certainly recommend anyone who is old enough to see it. FINAL SCORE: 94%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: