Any movie with Ryan Gosling is a must-see for me, especially after his great performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love, so I was excited to see Drive – it looked like it would be an action movie with some gangsters thrown in. Unfortunately, as one reviewer commented, Drive ended up being more of a “film” than a “movie,” and once it took a turn for the violent, I lost interest.
Driver (Gosling) has a part-time job doing stunt driving for the movies. At night, he drives for heists, his one rule being that his criminal clients get 5 minutes and then he’s gone, with or without them. He lives in a small apartment in LA and mostly keeps to himself, until he meets one of his neighbors, Irene (Carey Mulligan, “Never Let Me Go”), and her son Benicio (newcomer Kaden Leos). He starts to fall for her, although she tells him that her husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac, “Sucker Punch”), is in jail. When Standard gets out of jail early, he owes people money for “protection” while he was there, and he can’t pay them back. Driver decides to help him so that Irene and Benicio will be safe, and Standard’s debt will be paid.
This movie goes along slowly, with far less car chases than I would have thought, but up until the midway point or so it was decent. Then, it started to get super violent, and the ending was a bit bizarre as well. I enjoyed seeing Gosling play a character that he wouldn’t normally play, but Driver doesn’t have many emotions, and frankly, in my opinion, is a bit dumb, based on some choices he makes near the end of the film. Mulligan is fine here, and Oscar Isaac gives a good performance as her husband. There’s also Bryan Cranston (TV’s “Breaking Bad”) and Albert Brooks (TV’s “The Simpsons”) as the gangsters, and Christina Hendricks (TV’s “Mad Men”) as someone who works with Driver at one point.
Maybe see this film. If you like movies that can be classified more as “film,” and you don’t mind violence here and there, you might like it. Personally, I think Gosling should have passed on this film, but perhaps other critics will like it more than I did. The storyline is definitely interesting, but once they started to go the route of jamming a fork into someone’s eye (as was shown in one scene), it got to be a bit much.
Drive is in theaters today, September 16th, and is rated R with a runtime of 100 minutes.
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