Ryan Gosling stars as a mysterious stunt driver who makes extra money
at night as a getaway specialist. Give him 5 minutes, and he will make
sure you don't get caught by the cops while hightailing it away from
the crime scene. After that, he doesn't know your name, doesn't want to
see you and doesn't care what happens. However, his life is about to
get more complicated that he ever wanted.
Suddenly, our driver has feelings for the next door neighbor, Irene
(Carey Mulligan). His business partner, Shannon (Bryan Cranston), wants
to make a go of it as a driving team in legitimate races, and the job
he never should have taken puts the driver in harm's way in a
predicament he never could have imagined.
How will he get out of this jam?
Drive feels like some 1980's movie you'd find
on cable TV after midnight, but director Nicholas Winding Refn knows
how to class it up. The film has all of the elements that make it a
seedy B-movie with the involvement of low level criminals, Mob
associated king pins, and the dirty underbelly of Los Angeles you don't
see driving down Wilshire Boulevard. However, Refn creates the perfect
tone to draw the audience into this world, and lets his amazing cast do
the rest for us.
Refn makes Drive a seductive, moody movie. Everyone sparsely
speaks in a certain dull pattern with a slight monotone that hides the
danger or the real emotion behind the words as if they can't confront
the reality of what happens around them or in their lives. It's like a
modern film noir with an eeriness that makes the explosions of violence
and action all the more powerful.
Then, Gosling proves he is running as far away from The Notebook
and The All New Mickey Mouse Club as a man can by continuing to
be one of the best actors you have ever seen. He has a screen presence
defined by an intensity that doesn't require yelling, screaming and
facial contortions. He's just cooler and tougher than anyone else on
the screen without a need to prove it.
While Albert Brooks is getting the early Oscar talk for his supporting
role, I found Cranston amazing as the weak, desperate mechanic with a
destiny that no one would ask for. Like a pathetic version of Ralph
Cramden, Shannon always thinks he has the great idea that will make him
rich, but no ability to make it happen. I love how he physically makes
the character weak with the limp we find out he earned from some
trouble he got himself into a few years back, but he matches it up with
how he makes Shannon weak of spirit as well.
Drive can be too slow at times, and I would
like more dialogue, but it's a good movie for those who want to walk on
the dirty side.
Drive is rated R for strong brutal bloody
violence, language and some nudity.