“ Genre: Crime & Thriller / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Nicolas Winding Refn / Actors: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman ... / DVD released 2012-01-30 at Icon Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: DVD-Video, PAL „
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Drive is one of those films which really deserved to do so much better at the box office because it is that rarest of things - an intelligent "action. Featuring Ryan Gosling, it's an intriguing, atmospheric movie in which a young Hollywood mechanic, part time stuntman and part time getaway driver become embroiled in the troubles of the family next door
It's fair to say that Drive is a slow burner. Try and explain what happens to someone and it sounds like a dreadfully dull film. From the title, you might reasonably go in expecting an action/driving film along the lines of The Fast and Furious Franchise. If you do, though, you will be disappointed. Drive takes a far more considered approach and is all the better for it. There are a few action sequences, but they are not the main focus of the film. This is spelled out in an excellent sequence right at the start where what you expect is not what you get, but which sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Yet, whilst the action is used sparingly, this makes it all the more effective when it does occur. That opening sequence is breath-taking because it is so daring and full of tension. It instantly establishes The Driver (we never learn his name) as an extremely talented driver and cool customer. It's hard not to like him, even though you know he is not above breaking the law.
There are only two real car chases in the entire film, both relatively short; but they pack far more tension and excitement into them than any overblown Hollywood blockbuster. Violence is also used sparingly, but is all the more brutal and surprising when it does. The violence in Drive is like the violence in real life: often sudden and unexpected, usually short-lived, but furious and brutal whilst it lasts.
In many ways, Drive reminds me of Leon. Both feature an outsider who judged by societal norms, might be considered amoral. Both feature lead characters who against their better judgement become involved in the affairs of their neighbours, which drag them deep into trouble; and both feature strong lead performances that allow the audience to root for a character who by rights should be unlikeable.
The fact that Driver is at all palatable is down to some strong scriptwriting and the charismatic performance of Ryan Gosling. The script is cleverly structured so that the true dark heart of Driver is only gradually revealed. Whilst he is clearly a little odd and somewhat dysfunctional, we get no real inkling of what he is truly capable of until later in the film. By then, it's too late. We've grown to like him, to enjoy his company and it's impossible to stop rooting for him. No matter how dark or violent he becomes, he is still more honest (to himself and others) than anyone else in the film.
In a relatively short career already packed with superb performances, Ryan Gosling is outstanding. It might be hard to believe, but this performance even eclipses his drug-dependent teacher in Half Nelson. Although almost monosyllabic, Gosling brings an endearing quality to Driver; a vulnerability and sense of decency that it's hard not to like. You find yourself almost forgiving every violent act and pushing the blame for the violence onto others. This is Gosling at his charismatic best, making the viewer sympathise with an otherwise unsympathetic character.
It's scarcely worth mentioning anyone else, since Gosling's powerful, perfectly judged performance eclipses them all. Yet, this is a film packed with powerful, understated performances from some excellent actors, including Albert Brooks and Bryan Cranston. These might not perhaps be names immediately familiar to everyone, but that's because they are actors who have the ability to blend into a film, rather than try to steal it with over-the-top performances. That's exactly what they do here, providing solid support for Gosling without trying to overshadow him
The biggest drawback to Drive is that ultimately, it is a very slow film. That might sound a little odd, since I've just been lauding the fact that it is slow-burning and atmospheric. At times, though, "slow burning" actually tips over into downright "slow". This is obviously a fine line and, for the most part, Drive stays the right side of that line. However, had it shaved another 10 (even just 5) minutes off its run time, it would have been almost perfect.
The main culprit behind Drive stepping the wrong side of that line is Director Nicholas Winding Refn. He is just a little too in love with long, lingering shots of Ryan Gosling staring moodily into the distance or slow-motion shots of someone walking/talking/driving/doing whatever. Such shots can be very effective, but Refn overdoes them and they start to lose their impact and slow down the film.
The slightly odd ending also feels tacked on. Whereas Leon had the courage to have a downbeat conclusion which also had an element of hope, Driver goes for an ending which seems at odds with what has happened before. It feels like an ending forced on the writers following test screenings, rather than being the ending which the film needs and deserves. It's a shame it fluffs things slightly because up to this point, Drive has scarcely put a foot wrong.
If you were one of the many people who missed Drive on its cinematic release, then do yourself a favour and correct that error now. This is that rare thing: a thoughtful Hollywood "action" movie, full of suspense, strong characterisation and excellent acting. It can now be picked up new for as little as £3 (try HMV - it's usually on offer there) and you'd be a fool not to buy it for that.
Director: Nicholas Winding Refn
Running time: approx. 100 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013
Drive is an action and driving film that was made and released in 2011. Drive was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn who has also directed other films such as Bronson. Drive stars actors Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Drive was written by Hossein AminI and was produced by Michel Litvak, John Palmero and Marc Platt .Drive was made on a budget of $15 million dollars however the film grossed well over $76 million dollars. Drive is rated 7.9 Out of 10 on the imdb website and that is based on over 242,000 Votes. Drive the film was actually based on a book that was written by James Sallis and it was released in 2005.
Drive is 100 minutes long.
It is rated 18 because of strong language and violence.
Drive was released by bold entertainment and odd lot entertainment.
Ryan gosling plays a driver who works as a part time Hollywood stunt driver during the day but also works as a mechanic at a chop shop ran by Shannon played by Bryan Cranston. During the night the driver works as a getaway job for criminals. The driver meets his new neighbour Irene and her son Benicio and starts to spend time with them. Irene's husband Standard played by Oscar Isaac gets out of prison and gets beaten up due to him owing protection money. The driver offers to help Standard pay back the money. However not everything goes to plan and soon the driver finds himself trying to protect himself and Irene and Benicio.
Ryan Gosling as The Driver
Carey Mulligan as Irene
Bryan Cranston as Shannon
Albert Brooks as Bernie Rose
Oscar Isaac as Standard Gabriel
Christina Hendricks as Blanche
Ron Perlman as Nino Paolozzi
Good points and Bad Points:
The Special effects in the film also were very detailed and very realistic when it was used which also makes the film look better and in my opinion, like I said before the film didn't rely a lot on special effects at all except for a few parts so the film was based more on the characters and acting.
The picture quality was brilliant which is to be expected nowadays and so was the sound quality and so pretty much what I expected from a film that was released just a few years ago. Because the film is 100 minutes long it isn't a long film but in my opinion I thought it was easily watchable and the film is very entertaining and the film's story doesn't fell stretched. The direction I thought was superb, all of the scenes had the right camera angles and everything looked good throughout the film. Also all the scenes ran well together, and the lighting was really good as well. I think it adds a good effect to the scenes and film and brilliant directing.
The acting was great too. Also all of the actors did an amazing job in portraying their characters and a few of the actors I didn't really know and so the acting was great. All of the Actors also managed very well to show their characters emotions and feelings and so I was very impressed with the acting. Every one of the actors was also very easy to understand and all of the actors spoke clearly. I thought that one really good thing about the actors was that even though there isn't much dialogue in the film, the characters were very interesting and the actors managed to put them across very well.
Drive is based on a book, like I previously mentioned, I have not read the book so I cannot comment on whether everything in the film is true to the book and whether or not it is a good adaptation. The story was original and very well written. The story is slow to start off with but it gradually becomes faster paced, the whole film is quite action packed but again there is more action as the film progresses. The story didn't have many sub plots or twists but I think that the main story was enough to be kept entertained. The screenplay is as good as the story it's dramatic in places and it also has good dialogue although there isn't actually a lot of dialogue. The only bad thing about the story is that as the film progresses the story can become confusing as there are many things going on at once, however it clears up as the film continues.
There was a soundtrack in this film and it was good. The soundtrack fit the film well and but you could only hear it in a few scenes and so I think if the soundtrack was actually in the film more it would have been better. The Music also created some suspense in the film when it was needed and also made the film more dramatic in places. The Music in this film was good and it also fit the tone of the mood which also added to the overall effect of the movie. Overall a good and entertaining soundtrack that fit the film perfectly. I really liked how the music changed over time and changed as the film changed.
There has been interest by the director and Ryan gosling to make another drive however there is no second book as well so it would have to be written too. Also they said that they would only do a sequel if the film went in a different direction to keep it original.
Overall I really enjoyed watching Drive and think that it was a very good film. The special effects were very good and weren't used much which added to the realism of the film. The story and screenplay provided a very good story and the story is also entertaining, also it is very action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The sound track as I have previously mentioned I thought was superb and the actors all did an amazing job portraying their characters. The film does drag slightly but it is very entertaining when it gets going and is well worth 4 out of 5 in my opinion. The film is rated 18 due to violence and swearing throughout the film.
4 Out of 5
Thank you for reading my film review, any comments or ratings are appreciated and I will try to rate you all back but if I miss you please let me know and I will rate. This review will also be posted on Ciao too.
About the film
Drive is a neo-noir crime drama film which was released in 2011. The film is rated 18 due to violence and bad language and it has a run time of 100 minutes. Drive is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by James Sallis.
The main character of the film, an unnamed man (The Driver) works several jobs - he's a stuntman, a mechanic and a getaway driver. Everything he does has to do with driving cars. He's a quiet kind of guy but a meeting with a neighbour begins to bring him out of his shell. Irene's husband is in prison and is left to raise their child on her own but The Driver keeps them both company. At the same time, The Driver's boss at the garage is attempting to set up a racing team, using The Driver as the main man. However, in a world full of gangs and mobsters, The Driver finds himself in deeper than he ever imagined and sees no way out of the trouble he has gotten himself into.
Ryan Gosling as The Driver
Carey Mulligan as Irene
Bryan Cranston as Shannon
Albert Brooks as Bernie Rose
Oscar Isaac as Standard Gabriel
Christina Hendricks as Blanche
Ron Perlman as Nino
Kaden Leos as Benicio
Jeff Wolfe as Tan Suit
James Biberi as Cook
Russ Tamblyn as Doc
Andy San Dimas as Dancer
What I thought
I've wanted to watch this film for quite some time now, basically because it stars Ryan Gosling and he's hot. Shallow, I know. Anyway, I finally got around to watching it with the boyfriend recently. However, Drive was not what I was expecting it to be at all.
The film starts off extremely slowly... well, I thought it did anyway. Apart from introducing the audience to The Driver and figuring out what his life is like, nothing much happens. After about an hour of just watching this, both of us were ready to turn the film off as we had no idea what the point was or what was happening. However, it wasn't all boring though in this first hour. Characters are introduced which gave a sense of mystery and suspense because I never knew why they were there or what they were going to do next. These characters wouldn't have been introduced for no reason so really it was just a waiting game.
I'm still not sure whether or not I was impressed with Gosling in this film. His character is extremely quiet so there isn't too much dialogue for him. His actions are quite subdued at times and very understated. Due to him not really doing much apart from driving throughout the first half of the film, there isn't much for me to judge him on. Also, his character is quite cold and as you don't know much about him, he doesn't give off a lot of emotions so he was also hard to read. This obviously isn't Gosling's fault though as he was only playing the character he was told to play.
Although I didn't really like the first half of the film, it did have some good qualities to it. Starring alongside Gosling is Carey Mulligan who plays love interest Irene. Again, there isn't much dialogue between Irene and The Driver so a lot of this film is atmospheric which is strengthened by a great soundtrack which makes the most of each scene. I feel that without such a strong soundtrack, I would have had this film turned off in 30 minutes or less. It's a strange thing to say that the music could have such a big impact but really, without the music, there wasn't much else at times. The music, especially in the scenes with Irene and The Driver, gave a sense of longing and forbidden feelings between the two characters and it helped me to understand how they were feeling, especially as their words didn't show this.
So, I said the first hour or so of the film was boring. Just when we were ready to give up on Drive, thinking it was a complete waste of time, something extremely unexpected happened and we both sat up a little straighter and paid more attention. The second half of the film sees a lot more action and violence which I didn't think I was going to get. The violence is the real reason that this film is rated 18 but without knowing anything about the film or plot beforehand, you could never guess this. Drive takes a dark and twisted turn but one which made the film so much better. Not just better, great. After things really began to happen, I realised that I actually really liked this film.
While Drive was not what I was expecting to watch, it was certainly different. It is a good artistic film but it did fall short of what I wanted it to be. With a good cast, cinematography and soundtrack, it is a wonderful film but it won't suit everyone's tastes.
This is another film I missed when it came out in the cinema. At the time I had just quit my job working for a well known cinema chain (awful job!) and couldn't bring myself to pay for tickets when I had been getting them all for free. I saw this on the 2 for £10 offer in HMV months later when it was released and decided to give it a watch.
'Drive' was first released in 2011 and was adapted from James Sallis' 2005 novel of the same name. It was first shown at Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and received critical acclaim. There has been much talk of the influences in this film, and the Danish director has openly drawn parallels to 80s films. The film has been described at neo-noir crime drama (whatever that is...) but personally I would say it is a crime thriller with surreal elements in it.
In this film Ryan Gosling (swoon) plays an unnamed Driver who works as a mechanic, stuntman and in private a getaway driver. He lives by certain rules: he works anonymously and never for the same person twice and gives them only five minutes in which to carry out their 'business'.
He meets his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) in the apartment building elevator. The attraction is instantaneous and develops when Gosling helps Mulligan and her young son when they have car trouble. The Driver begins to spend more time with Mulligan and her son and is later introduced to her recently paroled husband. Mulligan's husband owes protection money to an Albanian gangster who threatens and assaults him. He wants him to rob a pawn shop in order to recoup the money and pay off his debt and Gosling agrees to help Mulligan's husband by being his getaway driver.
The job seems simple but when leaving the pawn shop Mulligan's husband is killed by a single shot to his neck. Gosling flees in a panic and takes with him the gangster's moll, Blanche (Christina Hendricks), and the money. So begins an epic car chase in which Gosling manages to elude the gangsters and hide out in a motel. I'll stop there and avoid spoiling the plot for your but basically so ensues a great deal of graphic violence as Gosling attempts to evade these dangerous men.
The film is brilliant for two main reasons. The violence in the film is so horrifically graphic that it shocked me, and I'm not easily shock-able. The sudden bursts are so unexpected and come in direct contrast with what is a very beautifully shot and essentially quiet film. This creates a twisting and turning film which definitely got my blood pumping!
The other real strength is that the horrific violence is tempered by and contrasted with this beautiful and pure love story. In the entire duration of this 96 minutes film the couple only kiss once. This sounds absolutely mad but it is so very clever. The relationship between the two is so pure and innocent, and so utterly stunning to watch as it develops. It contrasts so blatantly to the graphic violence and this juxtaposition is very clever. It would simply become a dark and seedy film were the two to embark on an affair together. The anticipation is also absolutely heightened by the fact that you never really see them kiss properly or touch one another. There is nothing more deliciously sexy than the idea of being with someone, and this is so apparent in the way the plot in this film plays out.
I love that this film comes as such a contrast to almost every other romantic film I've seen recently. The love between Gosling and Mulligan is almost tangible because it is so intense. This aspect is brilliantly played by these two characters and really sets the film apart from others of the same ilk.
My only real reservation has to be that this film is at times VERY graphic and for some this might be a little too much. I would exercise your viewer discretion on this one.
I paid a fiver for this film which as far as I am concerned is an absolute bargain. Not only have I bought myself a much needed dose of Ryan gosling I have also invested in which is bound to me a classic film and probably considered a cult movie.
An unique drama that examines the twists and turns of love and crime.
Word of warning for potential readers! In the last 6 years, I've written a total of 2 movie opinions, mainly due to losing interest in Dooyoo for a while, and may be a bit rusty, don't say I haven't tried to prepare people!!! So Drive then, I'd picked the DVD up as quite a few of the people I follow on Twitter were raving about how amazing it was. At this point I should also note that the majority of these people were American columnists proclaiming Ryan Gosling as a 'hottie' but amongst those comments, some people were proclaiming we had Oscar material on our hands, I had to give it a go.
In usual Tripley can't wait style, I ended up picking a copy up not long after it was released at full price, needless to say its now in the 2 for £10 offer at HMV, take away my impulsiveness, I'd be a millionaire I tells ya! Anyways after I bought the DVD it sat on my shelf for a good couple of months, I've now got around to watching the flick and good lord its not half bad!
To give you a basic idea of the synopsis on this film, it follows the story of an un-named Driver (played by Ryan Gosling) who works primarily as a mechanic and stunt driver, but also supplements all of this by being a get away driver on the side, taking on jobs provided by Shannon (Played by Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle fame) who runs the garage he works at. As the film progresses he befriends his neighbour Irene and her child, further improving their friendship by helping them when she has car trouble at the local grocery store. Irene's husband Standard comes home from prison and gets coerced into working a job, where he recruits the Driver to help him, unfortunately the job goes wrong with Standard getting shot and killed and local mobsters wanting to kill everyone involved in the job.
Before anyone panics that I've spoilt the story, this is only the beginning and set-up for the main event of the film, that being the Driver trying to find out what exactly was happening whilst helping Irene with the aftermath of Standard's death.
To give an idea of my reaction throughout the film, it would be like this:
Hmmmmm, a bit of a slow start....
Hold on! Is that the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle!! What's he doing in a serious flick!!
To be fair Ryan Gosling is fairly pretty
Wow! Didn't see that coming!
Oh that was brutal!
Didn't see that coming!!
Hell that was awesome, lets watch it again!
And believe me - that is a condensed version of my reactions. The story itself is something that keeps you second guessing throughout, and doesn't baulk from breaking the norms of what you'd guess what would happen next, though at times it does get quite gory, so if you're a tiny bit squeamish, believe me this isn't the film for you. The worry you always have with this sort of film is will it keep you interested throughout without having a pace thats so quick that you miss some of the plot, the good news is that Nicolas Winding Refn (the films director) has got this movie spot on, the pace of the story speeds up when necessary and gives you the time to digest any major parts of the plot without throwing so much at you that you get confused. My main praise of the film though has to be its style, its been claimed that it is a 'neo-noir art house' film, which I'd have to agree with, but the big feel is that it's with want of a better word....... cool, watching the driving scene's make you want to blow your life savings on a plane ticket to Los Angeles so you could just go for a drive around the city.
With the film being set in LA, the filmmakers have picked the right location - its a city where people go idly by with their lives unaware of any of the crimes going on underneath their noses, however its still a beautiful city that has a lot going for it, and watching the characters drive around you can almost feel that any of them could make it big time in the city in a legitimate line of work, but at the same time that they're ok with their lot in life.
All of this leads me onto what can make or break a film, and in the case of Drive definitely makes it.... the cast. Ryan Gosling in the lead role was an inspired choice, with many films its hard to forget the actor behind the character and instead of investing into their story you just see it as another film starring said actor, the same can't be said for Gosling in Drive, you believe he is the Driver and is genuinely experiencing everything you see on screen. The only cast member I struggled with was seeing Bryan Cranston in a serious role, however this may be because I've only really seen him before in Malcolm in the Middle (before I get comments informing me that I must watch Breaking Bad, let me assure you that its on my to do list, as is finishing that boxset of Jericho that I bought, said boxset has been waiting for a good year for me to finish watching it, so it may take a while) and as such don't see him as a serious actor so it was a genuine shock to see him turn up in the film, and as such whenever I saw him, I couldn't help but be reminded of his character in Malcolm in the Middle which kind of ruined his character for me a bit, this by the way is in no way a criticism of his acting as he does seem to be doing very well, its just my preconceptions of him from his earlier TV career that are at fault here. Along with Gosling and Cranston your other main characters are played by Carey Mulligan as Irene and Ron Perlman as a member of the mob, both of which play their characters well, Carey Mulligan plays Irene with an air of innocence and not being fully aware of the seedy underworld of LA, but manages to do so without falling into the trap that so many 'innocent' characters fall into of coming across as whiny. Ron Perlman plays his regular 'don't care, I'm moody and kinda evil' character but without taking too much of the limelight when he's on screen and lets everyone else shine as well.
Finally there's the score, with what is described as an electro-pop soundtrack it complements the mood of the film fantastically, there's no big song in there that you remember straight away however its enough that there'll be parts of the soundtrack that you recognise straight away when they're used in other pieces of work, so its a soundtrack that sticks with you, but not enough that you would find a specific song that you'd class as a 'favourite'.
So final thoughts? Drive is good, its very, very, good. Its not the sort of film that you could watch when you're not feeling attentive for a film, you do need to concentrate throughout as you may miss an important moment, but its not so much that you get confused, with the movie currently in the 2 DVDs for a tenner offer you could do a lot, lot worse than giving this film a go.
Ok, I think highly of Ryan Gosling as an actor and I am a huge film fan, so following all the hype around this film it was a must see for me. However, I watched it on DVD with 3 friends and we were all very disappointed to say the least!!
Ryan Gosling basically plays a getaway driver, Carey Mulligan is his neighbour and the mother of a young boy who's father is in prison. They like each other. They stare into each others eyes without speaking. He drives a couple of cars. Some baddies shoot at them. The end!!!
Seriously though, nothing much at all happens in this film, I don't mind some films where nothing much happens but this was just pointless. I agree that it was beautifully shot and the sound track was pretty good in an unusual way but it just had no substance to it. At one point one of my friends thought she had accidentally sat on the remote control and pressed pause, but no, it was just that absolutely nothing was happening!!! It was like it was trying so hard to be cool and arty that there was no time for anything else!
As well as the general nothingness, of the things that did happen they were often left without explanation or without being fully explored. The characters were kind of interesting, or they could have been if they had done more.
Anyway, think I've stressed the point enough! It left me feeling let down, bored and totally underwhelmed, a shame, but there we have it.
This film was released in British Cinemas back in September 2011 and really made an impact, being critically acclaimed in both the US and the UK. At only 100 minutes the film isn't exactly an epic but it is short and sweet, filmed in crisp high definition and featuring a mindblowingly atmospheric soundtrack, it is well worth a look.
This film is about a nobody bloke who works in a garage fixing cars (Ryan Gosling), while also moonlighting as a highly professional and highly skilful getaway driver for Los Angeles' criminal underworld. He meets a girl (Carey Mulligan) who moves into his apartment block and starts up a relationship with her and her little boy; and when things start to turn bad for her when her ex-con husband gets out of prison, our anti-hero has to step in to prevent disaster, getting involved with some extremely unsavoury people along the way. Obviously, it doesn't all end with rainbows and flowers, with various extremely violent scenes peppering the stylish and smooth aesthetic of the film. Along the way the nameless driver dabbles in some professional racing, under the supervision of his boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston), and local mob boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), though the career seems ill fated as other developments make life hard for Gosling. Although the plot may not be ultra original, there are enough plot developments to keep you entertained and the soudntrack and style make sure you wont be bored at all.
Drive literally couldnt be any better.
First of all, the way it looks is incredible, the cinematography leaves nothing to be desired, with incredible atmospheric Los Angeles city scapes, the use of light works brilliantly to create the dark, neon world in which Ryan Gosling's character resides.Secondly, the soundtrack is absolute genious, which complements the neon lighting with neon sounding music, full of synths and 80s vibes, without the tacky sound that comes with it. Incredible songs by the Chromatics and Kavinsky bring the city alive.
The film itself, apart from the stylistic appeal and undeniable cool factor, is a pretty decent story too, if a little simple. Its a kind of boy meets girl, girl gets in trouble, boy has to get his hands dirty a little bit to save here etc. but its a bit more exciting than that because of gosling's lonely quiet stranger persona whos extreme violent actions mean that romance is not exactly on the cards.
Gosling's character is effortlessly cool, even though his silver driving jacket, toothpick and outdated attire would be weird on anyone else, he pulls it off to perfection. Mulligan is not mind blowing but she certainly can pull off a good cry in a scene - which she does a lot. A great addition to the cast is Bryan Cranston, who having been wonderful in Breaking Bad, plays the troubled owner of the garage, who is in deep with a few nasty people and wants to set Gosling up as professional racing driver.
Ryan Gosling - Driver
Carey Mulligan - Irene
Bryan Cranston - Shannon
Albert Brooks - Bernie Rose
Oscar Isaac - Standard (the ex-con hubby)
Ron Perlman - Nino (general nasty piece of work)
Christina Hendricks - Blanche (mixed up girl who doesn't do too well out of the story)
Great film, its got everything...style, music, action, cars, love, tragedy and a few comedy moments thrown in for good measure.
I know there was a lot of hype surrounding this film and that is why I was quite disappointed by it. Don't get me wrong, it is still worth a watch but it takes a while to get into the action that you expect and never really leaves you thinking 'WOW!' like I thought it would do.
Ryan Gosling no doubt puts in a great performance as usual, he is one of my favourite actors at the moment, and I know his character was meant to be mysterious with the very little talking he does in it for a leading role, but it doesn't do the film any favours. He plays a film stunt driver who also acts as a getaway driver for criminals at night. Things get complicated when he takes a fancy to his neighbour, a lovely woman, and her son. The father soon gets out released from prison but is forced to rob a small store in return for favours done for him in prison and to help out, Gosling offers to drive. The robbery has complications and the plot gets more confusing from their without the suspense ever really getting to me.
Suffice is to say the film has its moments, especially some great scenes when Gosling finds new leads into what he wants to know, which results in some gore which is spectacularly shot. Also, the car chases undoubtebly are momentous.
Overall, I couldn't help but feel let down after all the hype but it is still worth a watch for the film's different style and edge. Like I said as well, it has its moments and overall it is still compelling to watch and see the plot unfold.
Critically acclaimed, 'Drive' is an artistic film to be read into, though definitely not one for the family.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
A stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who doubles as a getaway driver falls for neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan). When her husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) returns from prison and gets asked to do one last job for his freedom, Driver offers to be his driver. But when the heist goes wrong and Standard is killed, Driver does everything he can to protect Irene and her son Benicio.
The pace is good and the plot is mostly linear with slight potential deviation. After an extremely intense opening getaway scene, the pace slows right now and gradually builds up again, along with the gore content, which is mostly artistic though still a tad repulsive. However, I loved the beauty of the car and the expression of love, danger, violence, death that is encapsulated with the vehicle.
The nameless driver played by Gosling is cold when it comes to the job but the development of the character is superb. Though a man of few words, the character shines through the expressions and definitely is the focal point of the movie.
The climax of the film wasn't as exciting as expected. The film slowly wound down into a cathartic, somewhat tragic conclusion.
Ryan Gosling- Driver
Carey Mulligan- Irene
Also stars Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman.
Ryan Gosling did a fantastic job in the lead role and definitely shoud've received more recognition for his contribution to film this year! Carey Mulligan also was memorable, though perhaps her performance here will be overshadowed by her role in 'Shame'.
Despite being highly acclaimed during the festival circuit, the film only received one Oscar nomination... for sound editing. This underrated film is artistic if grostesque at points especially for the calibre of acting by leads Gosling and Mulligan. I'm personally not a fan of the gore and nudity; omitting those, we have a beautiful film about sacrificial love.
This came out at the cinema this year (2011) and seemed to acquire a fair bit of a buzz, with many positive reviews aiming to convince that this is the film of the year to see. I went to find out for myself at the cinema, thinking this could be a good blockbuster worth paying for, but whilst I enjoyed it I didn't feel it really hit 5 stars for me.
Drive was directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, who I'd not heard of prior to this. He was actually awarded Best Director at the 2011 Cannes Festival, and although he has worked on other films (which I haven't heard much about), this seems to be his breakthrough piece.
The film has a fairly straightforward and simple premise: a Hollywood stunt driver, referred to as Driver (played by Ryan Gosling), turns his hand to being a getaway driver for criminals. The double life he leads brings in extra money, big money, and satisfies his need for the thrill. But Driver, being quite quiet and a bit of a loner for lack of a better word, finds himself coming to a fork in the road when he meets Irene (played by Carey Mulligan).
Irene is his neighbour, a pretty but reserved woman and mother to a young son. Whilst she seems like a single mother, her husband is in the can and doing time, but he's getting out and needs help. Driver finds himself falling for Irene and the kind of life where he could settle and fit in, but he's disrupting a family and instead he agrees to do the honourable thing by helping her husband by doing what he knows best - driving.
Being a getaway driver has its dangers and soon he finds himself in the middle of, and the target of, a dangerous group of LA crims. But can Driver save the husband, keep Irene and her son safe, and keep himself alive?
Like I said, it's a fairly straightforward plot, but this simplicity adds to the overall feel to the film. The driving is the only factor that really gives this film some speed and power, and these scenes are well done with velocity and quality. Ryan pulls off being a kick-bum driver with effort and his double life is believable because he comes across as being cool and confident, yet detached and a 'loner' at heart.
This gives way to the more sentimental and 'touching' aspects of the film. When there's no driving action to be seen, there's a lot of down time. To me, this had positive and negative effects on me whilst sitting in the cinema hoping to see some more action. Gosling and Mulligan share many moments of solitude, where they simply stare at each other and say very little, with Gosling looking quite blank and emotionless. To an extent this tells us about his stone cold outer appearance, his detachment, and yet I would have warmed more to the characters and would have found such scenes more provocative and believable if there was more emotion from the characters themselves. I did think that many of these scenes were prolonged to the point of becoming a bit boring and lacklustre.
The cast was fairly strong, and Gosling gave it a good shot with being the driver with a double life. It was the emotional aspects that seemed to let this down in a sense, and yet the quiet and seeming detachment gave it a chilling feeling at the same time. Perhaps it depends on your mindset and mood at the time of watching as to how you perceive the film. I'd definitely say that if you're looking for an action film that's high octane at least the majority of the time then you're looking at the wrong flick.
The overall sense I had was that this was quite artistic, creating a blend between unfortunate tragedies, violence and speed on the one hand, and tenderness on the other. The cinematography, soundtrack and vivid scenes helped to reflect this gentle blending, and it's a film that did get to me a little bit; it made me think, it made me want to talk about it afterwards and it felt quite shiny and well-done when reflecting on it days later. The downsides did take away from this a bit in the sense that the quite downtimes were too drawn out, it got a little too 'soppy' and felt less believable or emotive than it could have done because of that, and it could have felt stronger in terms of plot at times.
I'd consider this film more a romantic drama than an action movie, and more one that appeals to those who appreciate the artistic aspects at that. The camera angles, the effects they create and the general atmosphere all add up to make this something different from what you may expect, but I don't think it would necessarily gain full marks from that many viewers. As for me, I enjoyed it and liked the intended effect, and I did think about the film for a little while after watching it. Having said that it did have moments when I wished there was more dialogue and more emotion, or at the very least less staring.
This is still one I'd recommend to check out for yourself what the hype was about, though I unfortunately don't think it will quite live up to expectations.
Due for DVD release end of Jan 2012, pre-order for £10.99 (Amazon)
Run time approx. 100 mins
[Also reviewed by me, gothic_moon, on Ciao]
I have been ever so excited to see Drive. A film with a premise which could have easily been turned into a blockbuster has simply seen Nicolas Refn, the films director, sit back and say no to Hollywood. Here is an independent film of class and panache. It stars the magnificent Ryan Gosling as the unnamed stunt driver moonlighting as a getaway driver who finds himself getting too close to his low-rent neighbour Irene, played by the excellent Carey Mulligan. By helping out her recently released from prison husband complete a dangerous job, he finds himself embroiled in a game of cat and mouse with two influential gangsters, played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman.
Gosling has always been on the cusp of greatness in Hollywood. In The Notebook he was fantastic as the love stuck soldier trying to win the affections of Rachel McAdams. Here he doesn't exactly do much to be honest. And that is what makes it so great. His brooding persona makes up for any lack of dialogue and his relationship with Mulligan is as spirited as anything you will see in films. Can you believe some stupid person in America has tried to sue the makers of the film as they expected more driving?
Some of the scenes in the film are utterly gripping. The opening of the film shows the unnamed driver helping a couple of criminals escape their crime. Another scene which is amazing is the one set in a hotel room.
This film is one of my favourites already and is a big up yours to all those Hollywood producers who believe big effects equal big bucks. Besides, this film hasn't done too badly and it's riduclous that it was not nominated for an Oscar for Best Film. I would definitely recommend you to see it but be open minded and don't expect tons of car chases and lots of action. Appreciate the film for what it is.
Star - Ryan Gosling
Genre - Action
Cert - 18
Run Time - 100 minutes
Country - USA
Oscars - I nomination
Driver: "There are a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know the route. You give me a time and a place; I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?"
So, 'Drive', uniformly loved by the critics as much as it was ignored by the big and important award ceremonies, that non ambiguous action category the 'The Academy' doesn't seem to approve of garnering it a solitary sound editing nomination at The Oscars. Even Ryan Gosling's somewhat nostalgic and Steve McQueen cool lead turn, complete with driving gloves and silk puffer jacket, couldn't swing it with the female Academy members and male petrol-heads, many of who may have owned the featured Chevy Malibu. If you think of all those great car chase movies of the seventies like Bullitt, Thunder Road and Vanishing Point, then that's the type of movie recreated here, the first prestige rental release of the year.
Hugh Jackman was originally cast for the film but when director Neil Marshall pulled out the new man behind the lens, Nicolas Winding Refn, insisted on Ryan Gosling. A Neil Marshal/Hugh Jackman film would have been a very different beast so some helpful serendipity here. Rather comically, the Danish director does not have a driving license and has failed his test eight times. This is the second time Gosling has appeared in something called 'Drive', an episode of The X-files the other.
Ryan Gosling ... Driver
Carey Mulligan ... Irene
Bryan Cranston ... Shannon
Albert Brooks ... Bernie Rose
Oscar Isaac ... Standard
Christina Hendricks ... Blanche
Ron Perlman ... Nino
Kaden Leos ... Benicio
Jeff Wolfe ... Tan Suit
James Biberi ... Cook
Russ Tamblyn ... Doc
Ryan Gosling is the 'Driver', a jobbing Hollywood stunt driver and an occasional getaway driver, ironically often dressed as cops on the film sets but being pursued by them in public. His strict rules on whom he does getaway jobs for and how he does them is not for negotiating, why he hasn't been caught, his services viable for five minutes only and then you are on your own, an added edge of madness to his character to enforce those rules. His mechanic and right hand man is Shannon (Bryan Cranston), who juices up his getaway and stunt cars and fits the roll cages etc.
The driver is a man of few words and keeps himself to himself, not the sort of guy you want to mess with. But life is about to change when he falls for his attractive next door neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), who has been looking after her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos) alone whilst dad Standard (Oscar Isaac) serves out his prison sentence. She has bought some humanity into his life of crime and risk and a softer side leaking out of him because of. But dad is due out and immediately wary that this handsome steely guy has been looking out for his wife and kid, no romance as such but sure to be if he gets any closer to Irene, his ice cool demeanor not quite ready to crack for her.
For all concerned life takes a turn for the worse when Standard is beaten up by some 'mob' guys, who want to collect their protection money he hasn't paid for being 'looked after' in prison, all this in front of his kid, who is given a bullet by the bad guys as a souvenir of his fathers visit. Dad has to agree to knock over a liquor store to repay his debt. But the stunt driver knows the bad guys will be back and Standard will probably botch the job and get him self caught or worse, no good for Irene and little Benicio's future so decides to help with the robbery, confronting the mob guys with his 'concerns', insuring it will be done right if they back off the guy's family.
It's agreed and the two set off up town, along with a pretty girl coming along as a distraction (Christina Hendricks), but the job a set up and the films twist delivered, meaning the mob are now coming after the driver, and he may not be able to insure the families safety. But the driver is not a man who likes to be double-crossed and is always proactive when trapped in a corner, his leather gloves not always for driving.
Mob Boss: "Here's what I'm prepared to offer. You give me the money, the girl is safe. Forever. Nobody knows about her. She's off the map. I can't offer you the same. So, this is what I would suggest. We conclude our deal. We'll shake hands. You start the rest of your life. Any dreams you have, or plans, or hopes for your future... I think you're going to have to put that on hold kid".
From the innovative opening sequence where we get to see the getaways driver's craft in action in elegant detail you can see this film has real quality and is going to deliver, a filmmaker that really cares about what he is doing. The driver knows the LA streets and uses a hand held police walkie-talkie to plan his escape, the radio a clever but simple mechanism by the director to hook you in with extra tension as the police helicopter searchlight and squad cars try to track him down in the maze of streets. That sequence alone is worth the rent.
You could say 'Drive' is a tribute to Jason Statham's rather tongue-in-cheek Transporter films, which the director admits was influenced by, but lashings of old school street cool substituted to compensate for the lack of the Frank Burns humor. But this is a stand alone movie and very refreshing, a real piece of film neo-noir that brings back memories when action films were uncomplicated and the star of the film was the actor and not CGI, the car chases and smashes very real here. George Clooney is the only other actor doing what Gosling is doing in Hollywood these days with such sexy magnetic panache and so worth their big pay packets. In fact they are both in Ides of March, another stylish movie I want to see.
With rather unnecessary slow motion sequence and sudden ultra violence there are bits that don't quite fit here but with the hip melancholy soundtrack and beautiful styling, guys will purr at this movie as much as girls will coo at Goslings anti-hero. Those are deep blue eyes ladies, let loose to gaze lovingly and occasionally insanely on Michael Mann's L.A, Nicolas Winding Refn paying homage to the feel of the equally enjoyable city road trip of 'Collateral' with Tom Cruise.
Acting wise Gosling is the real deal and the new Ed Norton for me, rarely doing a naff movie and picking his projects well, Blue Valentine, Lars and the Real Girl and The Notebook must see movies. He has that college boy appeal of Mat Damon yet as equally home in rom-coms. It was also nice to see Britain's equally admired Carey Mulligan perfecting her American accent with a solid performance alongside as the reserved wife seeing the excitement in her life she so longs for tempting her in those blue eyes of Gosling.
For its $15 million budget it did good business but not the money you would think after all the positive reviews, pulling $71 million back. I'm sure it will do much better with its world-wide DVD release this month. Most people rent at least ten movies a year and this should be one of them. Its a genuine cult movie the way Reservoir Dogs is although loses the fifth star as you would probably not watch it again the way you would Tarantino movies. There is a sequel planned by the looks and it's likely to be called 'Driven', hopefully not compared to Sylvester Stallone's movie of the same name, which quickly earned the nickname 'Drivel.
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 140,709 users
Metacritic.com score: 79% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com:94% critic's approval
The LA Times - "Drive is a masterpiece of surface over depth. Catnip for anyone who thinks cinema is for the eye rather than the brain or heart".
The Times on Sunday - "A firecracker up the backside of the bloated modern action movie..."
The Telegraph - "That rare film that can shock both with its uncommonly cool style and chillingly raw substance".
Movie.com- "What Drive is trying to do is very clear, but clear intent doesn't forgive a film that's mostly flat.
-Q&A with cast & crew-
Actors and the director talk about their excellent movie.
- Deleted Scenes-
I had never heard of this movie until I saw the title trending on Twitter recently. The majority of tweets mentioned how great the movie was and how it should be nominated for all sorts of industry awards. So when I got a chance to see this film I was very excited. This is a 2011 release and is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The premise of the movie is that a stunt driver/getaway car driver/motor mechanic becomes involved in the lives of his struggling neighbours as well as a big city criminal family to whom these neighbours supposedly owe a debt. Ryan Gosling plays the unnamed lead role whilst Carey Mulligan plays his neighbour and love interest Irene. Bryan Cranston and Ron Perlman, Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks have supporting roles.
When the opening sequence and credits rolled on this movie I was instantly intrigued and aware that this film was something very unique and very different from the mainstream Hollywood scene. The striking but understated opening scene was mysterious and unsettling whilst the music over the credits was just plain odd. Kavinsky's 'Nightcall' gives the film a strange retro feel and made me feel like I was in a cinema in the 1980's.
Ryan Gosling really hadn't registered on my radar prior to this movie. He's a competent, compelling actor and whilst I don't think he's physically as memorable as many other lead actors in Hollywood his style and presence makes him worthy to play the hero. His performance as the driver who never reveals his name is spotless. Despite playing a man who is mostly silent throughout the movie - a fact which might have meant his character could come across as boring, charmless or just plain stupid - he manages to hold my attention and admiration throughout.
Carey Mulligan is another actress whom I applaud in this role. She plays a downtrodden mother in this and it's not a character I would essentially link to this upper class actress. She plays it beautifully though and her connection to the protagonist is powerful.
The budding romance between the leads is something which softly bubbles under the surface whilst a story of violence and crime interweaves with it. The tentative relationship between the two leads is interesting but frustrating and the dialogue between them is barebones. Towards the second half of the film I found myself laughing out loud at scenes where there were prolonged silences and no replies to questions answered. I'm all for building atmosphere and allowing the audience space to think and to feel but I think director Nicolas Winding Refn overdoes and overplays these moody, lengthy gaps. To me, it started to feel quite silly and the spell of being in this space of artistic unreality was broken.
Towards the end of the film I was shocked at the level of violence and brutality revealed to the audience. It is suddenly explosive and gruesome with scenes of blood and gore that repulsed me but which I appreciated in a cathartic way.
I enjoyed the ambient night light scenes and driving scenes very much. The director claims this is his tribute to 'Taxi Driver' and this to me is very evident from the style and pace of the film. I did find myself noticing certain scenes though, rather than being 'in' them. For instance, the director's fondness for slow motioning scenes and for using dark, dramatic music to frame certain conversations and actions meant I could see the director's mind at work. To me it felt like I was seeing the brushstrokes of the painting rather than the masterpiece. Ultimately this left me with the sense that the director hopes to achieve a rather hip and unique style that he hasn't quite achieved by natural processes. It's as though he is forcing his art to be something that he wants it to be perhaps by borrowing too heavily from his own artistic influences, directors such as David Lynch and Quentin Tarrantino have perhaps inspired Winding Refn .
The musical score is brilliant and the use of some musical material completely alters the tone and meaning of some scenes. The Electric Youth 'Real Hero' song used at the end is laid on really thick and ends up feeling like some kind of superhero theme tune. I ended up feeling sympathy towards the central character partly due to this music video type treatment.
Ultimately it's the kind of movie that I enjoyed and that is certainly memorable although it's never going to be a favourite of mine and I wouldn't call it a classic just yet. In terms of being a cult classic it perhaps tries a little too hard to achieve this accolade. It did have it's unintentionally funny moments and as I say I felt the director was cheating a little bit in that he seemed to heavily influenced by other directors who carry the 'cool', 'quirky' and 'hip' labels.
I actually feel quite nervous about writing this review because I really don't think I can do this movie justice. The only other time I felt like this was when I was trying to write the review for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had massive sentimental value to me, so I think that goes to show just how good I think this movie is. I have made pages and pages of notes on this movies, though to be honest, I repeat myself quite a lot because the things that make this movie so brilliant are such minor things, which makes me wonder why all films as good as this? Drive has a shocking rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, something which I think really means something, only being beaten by We Need To Talk About Kevin (which opens tomorrow) and Tinker, Tailor, Solider Spy.
Now is it just me, or is Ryan Gosling in everything these days? I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to think this way as Wikipedia notes that this has been a landmark year for the actor with three major films: Crazy Stupid Love (Click here for review), Drive and The Ideas of March. Although he hasn't done that many movies (he's done a lot, but not as many as some actors his age), I firmly believe that everything he does, he does to the best of his ability. Eight out of the eighteen films he's starred in that are currently out have been nominated for awards. It seems that since 2001 Gosling's been on a roll and I look forward to seeing all his future works because no doubt they will be brilliant too.
I wasn't entirely sure what Drive would be about prior to watching it. I knew that it would involve a guy who drove the getaway cars for criminals but that was about it. To be honest, there's not a lot more to the plot line, and that's the only thing about this movie that I found disappointing. I think The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, has captured my thoughts exactly as he said: 'Drive is a movie with power but is still directionless; the acceleration is great, but the steering needs looking at.' Now Mr Bradshaw only gave Drive a rating of three stars, but I would have to disagree with this and give it a full five stars. At times I did wonder where this movie was headed and when it ended I still wasn't entirely sure what the point of the movie was, but absolutely everything else about it was just so perfectly brilliant, that this didn't matter to me. Ryan Gosling stars as a stunt driver for films who makes a bit of extra cash on the side by offering his driving services to criminals. However, he then falls in love with his neighbour, Irene (Mulligan), the wife of an ex-convict and so the both of them are dragged into a dangerous and criminal world.
When the movie had finished and I realised that I still didn't know the name of the protagonist, I immediately kicked myself thinking that I was the stupidest person ever for not picking up on the main character's name. I had noticed about a third of the way into the movie that his name had still not been revealed and I remember thinking that this gave him and nice and mysterious touch; however, I thought that the audience would find out before the end of the movie. We did not. I had paid quite close attention during the film and I did not recall ever hearing him being addressed by a name and surprise surprise when I checked the film out on Wikipedia it turns out that he actually doesn't have a name and is referred to as 'The Driver' (by the way, Drive has nothing to do with the movie The Driver, so do not get the two confused). This was a really nice effect and to be honest I can't really imagine his character with any sort of name. The Driver is a curious character who betrays nothing through his facial expressions. He has an eerie sort of stillness that draws you in and I really must commend Ryan Gosling for this tremendous performance. His character had such a deadly silence that I found myself leaning forward in my seat, desperate not to miss a thing. He's just so subtle, so swift, so sly, so sleek, so sexy! Ryan Gosling must have had such concentration whilst filming and I really admire that, I even calculated that his facial expression didn't move at all for the first seventeen minutes of this film and even that was just a slight creasing of the eyebrows. There was one moment in the film where he had such an intense stillness about him that I couldn't tell if he was dead or alive! He doesn't give away anything about his personality and he says very very little. He speaks only when he has something to say, but otherwise he'll just keep quiet. I don't think I heard him ever raise his voice above a whisper in this whole movie and he managed to retain a stillness when speaking so that the only thing making an impact on you was his words. For most of the film The Driver is seen wearing the same white jacket with a scorpion on the back and this couldn't be more appropriate. Silent, but deadly. He may seem like a passive observer at first, but he can be threatening if he wants to; kind of like a snake that won't bite unless provoked. Everything The Driver does is so slow and careful, it makes his character really frightening, as you're not sure what to expect from him. Gosling also showed his compassionate side as there was a really passionate kiss in an elevator and also quite a teary scene. He is such a solitary being, we never see any of his friends or family and so it's all the more moving that he develops feelings for Irene and her son and becomes their ruthless protector.
I've never ever seen a movie with a soundtrack that was so suited to the on screen action. As I said, The Driver is quite a quiet person, and so the music does the speaking for him. Sometimes it's just the tone of the music and at others it's the actual lyrics which are just perfectly suited for the scene. There was only one moment in this film where I thought that the music didn't entirely fit the scene, but although it was out of place, it sort of.. worked. The music is so subtle and eerie; it really helps to make The Driver look and feel alone. Sometimes the music drowns out the words and it makes the acting more powerful and alive.
I just checked the rating of this film and it's actually an eighteen. It's not until the second half of the film that you realise why this is needed - there are some really bloody scenes in this which was very unexpected and shocking. Now I'm not a squeamish person but for each and every death in this film I literally jumped back in my seat and covered my mouth because I was so taken off guard. These aren't your average gang murders, these are really gruesome and brutally bloody deaths. No effort was made to mask the brutality of these actions, they were given to you raw and that's probably what made them so effective. You could hear the bones crunching, see the bloody spurting and feel the agony of the victim. There are hammers, knives, razor blades, guns, as well as fists in this film and I have to say the murders are actually quite imaginative.
This movie is probably the best movie I've seen all year. I literally had no idea what to expect at any given moment, it just kept on surprising me - I wasn't even sure when the movie ended! The actors were all so incredible, especially Ryan Gosling, and they could convey every emotion without saying anything, and without moving a muscle, the look in their eye was information enough! There are a couple of high speed car chases to make this film a bit more lively and they're quite exciting scenes, different from your standard Fast and Furious car chases which everyone's seen countless times. I'd definitely recommend that you see this movie because it'll capture your every particle from the beginning to the end, it even received a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival!
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