Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Nicolas Winding Refn brings Drive roaring onto the big screen in this action-packed movie. The film stars Ryan Gosling who found a lot of success in 2011 with this movie as well as Crazy, Stupid, Love. and The Ides of March. The movie also stars Albert Brooks who earned a Golden Globe nomination for this role. Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston round out the cast of this intense movie. The story for Drive was taken from the 2005 novel by James Sallis a writer of crime fiction.
By day the driver (Gosling) works in the world of Hollywood stunts, but at night he drives for anyone who pays. When he bonds with Irene (Mulligan) and her son who live next door, he finds himself helping her ex-convict husband on one last heist. This heist starts a downward spiral that forces the young driver into high gear. With a contract out on him, he has to work to defend himself and those he cares about by any means necessary. He’s up against a ruthless man (Brooks) who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks.
This film caught me by surprise with its intensity. Director Nicolas Winding Refn does a wonderful job pacing this film and keeping the suspense intact. Visually the movie is graphically violent and unique in its approach. The driving scenes are surprisingly not the star of the film although they’re all incredible.
Ryan Gosling doesn’t say much, but actions speak louder than words in this thriller. He’s got a quiet calm that’s unnerving at times. When he’s put against Albert Brooks, whose character is the perfect kind of evil, the contrast is amazing. The rest of the cast feel like they’ve been ripped from a Guy Ritchie film with their eccentricities and over-the-top delivery. Carey Mulligan is also great in her role as the pretty girl next door.
If anything could be criticized in this film, it might be the music used. The original score was great, but the songs used throughout the film were almost annoying. This wasn’t enough to hurt my opinion of the movie overall, just something I was a bit disappointed in.
This is not a movie for anyone squeamish since it’s got graphic violence at several points. The movie is more than just a car film, with much of the action happening away from the road. I give Drive 4 out of 5 stars.
I love film noir, and this is a good example of it (albeit with a European twist thanks to the director). Gosling gives new meaning to still waters running deep, and Albert Brooks is stunning. It’s one of my favorites of the year.
It amazes me how big Gosling is getting with his exposure, but the entire awards season is praising his other works like Crazy, Stupid Love and Ides of March, which are really good, but no where near the level of greatness that his role in Drive had. I mean to take a character who is just this smoldering character filled with rage and pathos, play him silent throughout the film and just flip the switch to rage is amazing. One of his best roles this year.
Nice review mate