There’s a certain style or coolness missing in most big budget action movies nowadays. It’s like they were all prepped up and manufactured in the same Hollywood factory.
There’s nothing distinctive or interesting about them except for watching cars and rockets and buildings explode. Drive is the total opposite of that.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn tells a familiar tale in a fresh and bold new way. Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver by day, wheelman by night who takes on a job for someone he loves.
See, familiar right? It is until you watch it. Then it evolves into something more with twists and turns you probably won’t see coming. In the interest of spoiling the experience, none of them will be mentioned here.
All you need to know is this movie is like taking a Drive on a road you’ve never traveled before. It starts out like you expect — smooth and rolling along nicely, then you hit a couple speed bumps you weren’t expecting.
The movie is amazingly stylish with fantastic cinematography the entire way through as well. Some scenes will blow your mind. The detail in the directing and the use of slo-mo in many scenes has you in a state of Oh-Shit-I-Know-What’s-Going-To-Happen-In-The-Next-Few-Seconds-But-I-Don’t-Wanna-See-It-Happen.
All this is helped by a great soundtrack that catches moments of the film perfectly. It, along with the movie, has a certain 80′s vibe that’s hard to shake. That’s not a bad thing either, it’s a very, very good thing. Hell, Drive’s soundtrack shot to #5 in Top Albums over the weekend.
The film isn’t all style and twisty-turny storytelling. It’s helped with awesome performances by Gosling and Albert Brooks. Yes, Albert Brooks the comedian.
Brooks turns into a sadistic maniac in this movie. And it’s absolutely amazing. No, I’m not thinking of another Albert Brooks. This is the comedian.
As for Gosling, he takes another step up. He’s been on fire recently. That trend is just going to continue. He channels the cool icons of the past and brings them to the present. He’s cool, he’s calm, he’s a goddamned scorpion.
The only caveat I have with this film is dialogue scenes can get awkward. Why? There’s extra spacing in between what they say. So there are a lot of pauses. Most of this is due to Gosling’s character being a very quiet guy, but some of this is Refn trying to unsettle you that there’s something not quite right with everyone. So be warned with that. The rest of the movie more than makes up for it, however.
You probably won’t see another movie like this all year. It’s unique, it’s stylish, it’s sick. It’s an action thriller in the vein of Pulp Fiction. It’s a coming out party for Refn and Gosling. It’s something you should see.