Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.0 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Fast and Furious”, “The Italian Job” and “Gone in 60 Seconds”
Danish-born filmmaker, Nicolas Winding Refn, known for the "Pusher" franchise directs this semi-noir, crime thriller film adapted from James Sallis's 2005 novel of the same name. With the help of big names like Ryan Gosling (Driver), Carrey Mulligan (Irene) and Albert Brooks (Bernie), they brilliantly bring his vision to the big screen. The movie may seem like it is lacking in a solid plot, but it ultimately revolves around Driver and how romance can lead a man to do crazy things. Ryan Gosling does a stellar job proving that Canadians have their very own Steve McQueen.
"Drive" can be easily said to be inspired by classics like "The Driver" (1978) but Refn puts a modern twist to the conventional storyline of a heist-gone-bad. The movie starts off with Ryan Gosling's character known as Driver being part of a heist. Audiences will come to see that he is an adrenaline junkie, as part of heists seems to be for the thrill going for the stunt driving in movies. His calm exterior on the other hand, is ironically deflected through his mad driving skills. He meets Irene in his building and the story slowly takes flight from that point.
Timing is everything, and this movie provides the right amount of rush exactly where it needs to be. The inevitable chemistry between Carrey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling comes off strongly on screen, and they are a great delight to watch. Their awkward silences give you warmth and Refn does a brilliant job justifying the Driver's actions through his feelings for Irene. Refn's exquisite taste for violence is also shown and there's a subdued amount of bloodshed. The film also has its flair for the artistic side as it can be seen in the choices of songs that accompany the defining moments between Driver and Irene.
The plot somewhat lacks in depth but it is Ryan Gosling's performance that keeps you glued to your seat until the end. His old school intensity and calmness in his blood stained silk jacket, makes this one of his most memorable performances. The movie also gives watchable performances by Ron Perlman (Nino) and Bryan Cranston (Shannon) to complete the movie cast.
The movie moves at a slow pace but the timing of events throughout the movie grinds the film's gears. "Drive" is definitely a must watch as audiences will appreciate Refn's attention to the finer details to produce a beautifully crafted action film.
Cinema Online, 14 September 2011