Running Time: 100 minutes
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston,Christina Hendricks
Directed By: Nicolas Winding Refn
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
OutlineA professional getaway driver needs to protect his own when things don’t go as intended on a job.
If I had a nickel for every time I have been mistaken for Ryan Gosling these days I could retire. 2011 was a banner year for actor Ryan Gosling. He has starred in the political thriller The Ides of March. Then he played a lady’s man in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Finally as a stunt/getaway driver in this film. All of the movies are completely different roles and genres but all of them are solid watches. To simplify this review the movie Drive is just awesome from start to finish. The movie focuses on the character named Driver played brilliantly by Ryan Gosling. Following the life of this quiet and focused man is a treat. Driver is one of the coolest characters in recent memory. It is strange to say that of Gosling after seeing him in such things as Young Hercules and Breaker High but it is true. Driver is a throwback character with a scorpion jacket, leather driving gloves, and toothpick. He looks like he could have been in the Greaser’s posse from the Outsiders but it is look I wouldn’t change one thing about. He is a man who loves his cars. He is a stunt driver in movies, a mechanic, and a getaway driver for various illegal heists. No matter what he is doing though Driver is one cool cat. The film offers glimpses into all the various aspects of Driver’s life and he seems to excel in all of them. Little known Director Nicolas Winding Refn uses a multitude of techniques to get this story across. He has combined cool camera angles with an almost 1980’s musical score to dazzling effect. People always say in the movie industry less is more and that is how it is with this movie. Driver rarely talks but when he does you seem to eat up every word. When you make your living by doing illegal things it usually catches up with you. So what starts off as a more of a dramatic film, takes on a more sinister revenge action film midway through. Director Refn uses techniques of an almost David Cronenberg quality with his jarring and abrupt action sequences. When people are dying they are dying hard. In a movie that seems so calm at first gathers momentum into a frenzied tale of blood and mayhem. Through all the carnage Driver holds the film together with his calming and never wavering presence. The supporting cast is solid with Albert Brooks playing a mob boss as the most notable. But really when you boil it down this film is all about Driver. There are great car chase scenes that are well filmed and have excellent sound quality. To intense bloody scenes of violence, be it with hammer, knife, or gun this film is all held together by Gosling. Now for all the praise I heap on this film there are a couple of things that the viewer should be warned about. The action while very real can get a little over the top and be unsettling for some in parts. Also the very fact this film is told through more visual context and less dialogue may also bother some people. For me though they were positives. So all in all I give this movie a big recommendation for its great characters and seamless blend of musical score and character interaction. This film is proof that it is not a question of will Gosling win an Oscar but when.