26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
man with no name wanders into contemporary LA,
This review is from: Drive [DVD] (DVD)Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver who supplements his income by driving getaways. The extended opening sequence is a brilliantly tense depiction of what this entails and why he has the reputation for being so good at it.
However, just as it appears that he might be getting a break to the (legitimate) big time, with an opportunity to drive racing cars for a new team being set up by his boss, Bryan Cranston, and funded by two shady businessmen, played with sublime menace by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman, Gosling's character falls in love with his neighbour, Carey Mulligan, a young mother with a husband in prison. When the husband is released it transpires that he owes a lot of money to unnamed mobsters and is required to pull a robbery to pay this off. Hence Gosling agrees to do the proverbial "one last job" to help the family.
Of course all double-crossing hell breaks loose.
This movie pulls together a number of "retro" elements - much of the lighting, styling and soundtrack in the movie are reminicent of the Miami Vice tv series, the plot is straight from 1940's film noir, Gosling's unnamed man of few words refers to Clint Eastwood's signature Sergio Leone roles - to make something quite original - with startlingly graphic violence.
It is true that much of this is actually off-screen but the sound of breaking bones and collapsing faces is distressing enough. This verges on the gratuitious, but, I think, remains just on the right side of the line as it is used by the director to build tension by putting into the mind of the viewers what will become of the protagonist and those he loves should they fall prey to the mobsters who have set much of the plot in motion.
That these characters matter to the viewer is a particular achievement of the film, which spends a leisurely time building the love-story element before unleasing the dogs of mob-war on the characters. At its surprisingly romantic heart the "drive" of the title perhaps refers less to the job the protagonist does and more what motivates - "drives" - him, that is love, to endure the dangers and horrors he encounters in the course of the movie.
In summary then a very fine, on occassion unbearably tense and original thriller, but viewers will require a strong stomach, and perhaps ear plugs, during some of the scenes of violence.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Dec 2011 01:07:01 GMT
Mr. N. J. Finch says:
Thank you for the very well written and poignantly put review.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 19:36:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Dec 2011 07:35:27 GMT
Aidan J. McQuade says:
Many thanks, Mr Finch, for your very kind words - Aidan
Posted on 13 Feb 2012 18:42:08 GMT
Mr. J. D. Collison says:
Can't verbalise how much weight I want to put into praising this review. After renting and watching the film last night, just out of curiosity I thought I'd read what other people thought of the film whilst I ordered a copy for keepsies. You've hit the nail on the head with what's exceptional about this film - the soundtrack, the noir, the tension and the constant style.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2012 11:00:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2012 11:00:44 GMT
Aidan J. McQuade says:
Many thanks Mr Collison. I really appreciate your very kind words.
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