Taut, lean and not very talkative – Drive is a grown-up thriller about a cipher of a human being who becomes a hero under the simple influence of a mother and her son. Ryan Gosling’s dialogue rarely goes longer than Twitter-length, but he says a lot with the little he’s given, in his body language, in his eyes, in the way he drives a car – with authority and finesse.
Drive also happens to be one of the best Los Angeles movies made in a long time. The city glitters like an empty gem at night, the Valley stretches out in swathes, the L.A. river still remains a fun place to go for a drive, and like in many L.A. movies, the always-churning Pacific ocean is definitely going to put in an appearance.
The rest of the cast is stellar as well, proving that solid casting can really make a film come to life. Ron Perlman is always a solid villain, but Albert Brooks proves that he can be (hilariously) nasty too. Carey Mulligan is good at playing sad, and I mean that as a compliment, and we all know Christina Hendricks is great at being perfectly petulant.
In a funny way, this film reminded me of Crank – but not in a direct comparison way, so just follow me here. I loved Crank, a very different film set in a very different Los Angeles with very DIFFERENT rhythm and sense of pacing. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Crank was a game-changer. Crank showed that even as frenetic as things have gotten in the action genre, they can go even FASTER. Drive – for a movie that also only has one word for a title – refuses to go as fast. Paying attention is rewarded – clues are littered throughout the frame, and the languid 80s synth-heavy soundtrack will even lull you back to a time when movies didn’t break their necks to set your pulse racing. No, in this film, all it takes is a steely young man carrying a hammer to give you a sense of dread.
A+ SEE IT NOW
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