Thursday, September 22, 2011


Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, Bold Films, 2011. Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks. Based on the book by James Sallis

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Question: Do you ever see a preview for a movie and think "I know exactly what type of picture that will be?"  You roll your eyes and say, "skip that." But then you see the movie and you are so surprised because it was different than you expected. I just got out of Drive and I was really hoping to see just an action, adventure, no-thought-required movie and that is not at all what I got. That is not a bad thing, by the way.

Sometimes movies are there for just pure escape. They are a means to forget about what's going on in your life, especially when your life isn't going so well. I go to the movies all the time so I am anywhere from being in a fantastic mood to stoic state of mind to absolute depression. Well, I was in one of those types of moods today but I am not going to share which one. However, I really just wanted something that I didn't have to focus on too hard. Honestly, I really thought Drive was a perfect candidate for that according to the preview I saw. Heck, look at the genre listing above. The preview showed a guy who is a "driver" for criminals with a lot of scenes filled with speeding cars. Perfect! Well, that is part of the movie but it turned into something else that I wasn't expecting - at all.

At first, I was a little flustered because I showed up late, which is so unlike me but I missed the previews. Yay! Then after the initial scene I relaxed. However, the story totally switched on me. I realized I was watching a story-line I wasn't expecting and did not want to see at the time. Well, I don't walk out on movies - ever - so I sat through it. Eventually, I resigned myself to the story and ended up enjoying the movie despite my initial need-for-speed type of movie.

The movie starts out the way I thought it would and I was pleased. Crime, cars, chase-scene. Perfect. However, one thing stood out immediately with this film - an 80's vibe. First, the font for Drive looks like it came off of a Flashdance or Miami Vice poster. I mean it's PINK and in a feminine style script. Then the music somehow brought me back to Risky Business with the electronic beat. It was just an odd juxtaposition to the style of movie. I brushed it aside because I knew this was not my normal genre. Then there is the jacket. I think I had a similar one when I was in third grade sans the scorpion.

As I stated above, Ryan Gosling's character is a driver. I want to say more but it was pleasant to discover what exactly he did and why he drove. He is quiet - I mean really quiet, mysterious and there is something behind those eyes that you can't figure out. However, I am a big fan of his and know he can act to the moon and back without saying a word so it worked for me.

As usual, watching Ryan Gosling act relaxed me, but there were a couple of others in here that also kept me in a calm state. First, there was Carey Mulligan. I won't tell you her connection in the story but there is something about her that intrigues me. She is just enjoyable to watch on-screen. Like Ryan Gosling's character she is quiet as well and the scenes between them, although unexpected, were tender, pure and brought a small grin to my face.

The other actor I have to mention gave such an opposite performance compared to ANYTHING I have ever seen him do - it was shocking. Albert Brooks. I really don't want to say any more because you NEED to see for yourself. I am still shaking at some of the scenes. Unbelievable.

Drive is a movie with two personalities. The first half is for one type of person and the second is for the other. I know that is vague, odd and doesn't sound appealing but somehow it worked. It worked really well. I must confess there were a couple of things that made me roll my eyes but I was in a picky mood today so I will let it slide for now.

Oh, and please don't go out and buy the jacket because you wanna look cool. It worked in the movie but it is not something that should be worn in public - trust me.

My favorite thing: The first half of the elevator scene.

My least favorite: The second half of the elevator scene.

Rating: R
Length: 100

Review: 8 out of 10

Click on film poster below to watch instantly:

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