My husband and I sat down with the popcorn for date/movie night On Demand yesterday evening. I’d heard about Drive (mixed reviews) and thought it might be interesting. I wasn’t wrong – but it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, either. I’ve become conditioned to action movies -drive being an action verb I figure it would fit in this category- that move fast. This one didn’t. It was kind of like Taxi Driver meets Blade Runner not so much in terms of content (although Travis and the Driver could be related) but in terms of style, characterization, cinemetography, and pacing. Its a beautifully shot film. The movie has a dreamy quality to it -slow moving and fluid, that lulled me- until it got punctuated by moments of wickedly extreme violence and gore that startled me straight up from my blanket cocoon on the couch. And as a horror/action/thriller aficionado, thats sayin something.
The movie’s about a stunt driver who has a career on the dl as a getaway driver. And one of the getaways goes really really wrong….The Driver was a hard character to feel anything about – very reserved, quiet and stoic. Gosling’s performance seemed a little wooden. He basically only had one expression throughout the movie. I will say I haven’t seen Ryan Gosling use much more than one expression in any of his films. (Keanu!) )Its hard for me to tell if he brought his A game to this one, but he is awfully nice to look at – even when curb stomping a bad guy. Here’s where I feel badly because I can’t help comparing his performance to Robert DeNiro’s scene chewer as Travis Bickle and OF COURSE Gosling’s gonna suffer….
Loved seeing Albert Brooks step out of his acting box. He was a big part of the reason the film was not what I’d expected. Ron Perlman, ALWAYS a treat to see him. Big Fan, HUGE even – since I first saw “Beauty and the Beast” ( the grown up one not the Disney Film). He’s so menacing (Sons of Anarchy Season 5 – can’t wait!) – and yet I just wanna hug him. Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad plays Goslings boss/garage owner. I almost didn’t recognize him with a full head of hair. The other actors I’m not familiar with, but they were engaging. Particularly the little boy who played Benicio. Adorable. The soundtrack I found to be absolutely stellar. Retro 80’s electronic. I’ve got Johnny Jewel’s “A Real Hero” stuck in my head today. Check it out on iTunes or go get the CD.
Drive won’t be on my list of all time favorite movies – but its definitely worth a look-see. I also recommend date nights with your significant other. Thank you, that is all….