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Shut Up and Drive!

October 5, 2011

Drive -what Faster wanted to be, but wasn’t.

When certain actors’ names are mentioned, a particular typecast can oftentimes come to mind.

For example:

  • Bruce Willis= older action/tough guy character, usually with gun in hand, and most times fighting on the good side of justice.
  • Jim Carrey= eccentric, overly expressive, comedic, slightly down-on-his luck character with very little connection to things not concerning himself.
  • Jennifer Aniston= rom-com single professional female character looking to be swept off her feet but on her own terms and speed and, therefore, lonely.

For some actors, typecasts can be a curse, but for others, it is a blessing…along with job security! And, I say, if you do a particular role well, then why not perfect it? We all know what to expect to a degree from actors such as those mentioned (add Dwayne Johnson, Angelina Jolie, and Denzel Washington to the list of possibles).

Include the talented Ryan Gosling to the list of excellent regulars! He does nothing less than impress in his latest thriller, Drive.

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Bronson) and starring an amazingly collected cast, Drive hits the screen in a big way and doesn’t throttle down until the end. Knowledge of the director’s previous work, along with the first released trailer acts as a strong indicator of the type of ride one should expect upon seeing this film. It is rated “R” for, least of all, language, nudity, and strong violence.

The impressive cast boasts the privileged professionalism of Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, and many more! They all work simultaneously to help tell the story of a man simply referred to as “Driver” (Gosling) who mundanely exists and finds secondary work as a wheelman for would-be criminals. He is good at what he does but it is not until he meets “the girl” that he finds the drive within himself and something to care/live/fight for.

The story, while some may criticize its variance in tempo and dialogue, is strong and shown mainly from the point of view of the Driver. An amazing, believable, and engrossing performance by Gosling. He often pulls audiences in with his work, whether it is in a film such as this, or Lars and the Real Girl, or Fracture, or Blue Valentine, and Drive is no exception. It is astounding to realize he has only been nominated for an Oscar once (2006’s Half Nelson).

(For a look at some of the fantastic work of Ryan Gosling and a tribute to him, check out my friend Scott’s post dedicated to him over at Front Room Cinema.)

And while I could, appropriately, go on and on about Gosling’s part in this film, the story still would be nothing without the equally impressive performances of the supporting cast.

  • Carey Mulligan makes her “silent, yet expressive gazes” tell so much more of a story than her words.
  • Bryan Cranston completely sells his “down-on-my-luck” business venturer part.
  • And, I must congratulate Oscar Isaac on making me second guess my words about him in my review for Sucker Punch as he impressed me a whole lot more than I expected.
  • Another surprise in the film: Christina Hendricks‘ part…Shocking!…and that’s all I will say on that.

But, it really is Ryan Gosling who makes this octane-filled film be the success that it truly is. He should be nicknamed the “Silent Assassin” in that his mild-mannered, quiet approach often leads to quick explosive action and knuckle-whitening scenes that not only excite, but catch off guard.

Drive very much plays out in some expected ways, but with some interesting and unexpected twists along the way. A few other “typecasts” and “stereotypes” tend to contribute to the predictability of the film. And, while ending somewhat openly, the film shows what can be accomplished when a certain thing drives a person.

I recommend checking it out (approved audience ages only), but keep in mind…to quote a follower of my reviews, “Drive is what the videogame series “Grand Theft Auto” should be if someone made it into a movie!” I tend to agree, except it is more “real”…and should be.

Great soundtrack, great look and feel, great performances, great sequences. An unexpected curiosity fulfilled as I wondered what Drive would bring my way. Did you see it? What were your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!

TheSp1der’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars for “Drive” 

Here are some more thoughts (some of which I very much agree with) on Drive from my friend, Casey Messer for ReelzChannel’s First Fans:

up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!” :)

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 1:36 pm

    Will be seeing this pretty soon myself and with all the positive reviews I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    Like

    • October 6, 2011 7:37 pm

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Looking forward to Friday my friend!!

      Like

  2. October 5, 2011 3:42 pm

    Good review, T. I agree with you, Gosling’s character should have been called the ‘silent assassin’!

    I really enjoyed Drive. I need to get my review up!

    Like

    • October 6, 2011 7:36 pm

      Hurry with your review! 🙂

      Like

  3. October 5, 2011 4:34 pm

    Is this very violent, T? I heard in some reviews that it might be too violent for me so that’s why I probably just rent this one. Ha..ha.. ‘what Faster wanted to be, but wasn’t’ That makes me laugh as Ted reviewed that on FC and I think I’d agree. The silent assassin is always a compelling character to play, sounds like Gosling pulled that off. One of the most memorable silent killers I’ve seen is Alain Delon in Le Samourai.

    Like

    • October 5, 2011 6:35 pm

      Seriously, the violence isn’t bad. It’s a bit cartoonish if anything.

      Like

    • October 6, 2011 6:13 am

      There’s a couple of scenes that are quite intense but you don’t actually see the outcome, if that makes sense. At one point a character has their back to you while the violence is happening, so you don’t actually see anything.

      The violence only lasts a few seconds in the scene as well 🙂

      Like

      • October 6, 2011 7:34 pm

        yeah, they are quite intense at times for very short seconds. Okay for the movie I suppose

        Like

    • October 6, 2011 7:35 pm

      Gosling did indeed do well in this one. I am not familiar with Le Samourai. am I missing out?

      Like

  4. October 5, 2011 6:35 pm

    More than any other element, it’s the mood and atmosphere in this movie that I love so much. The soundtrack is also ridiculously awesome and I’ve been listening to it nearly every day ever since I saw the movie. Glad you liked it T.

    Like

    • October 6, 2011 7:34 pm

      the mood and atmosphere…great call Castor! I agree!

      Like

  5. October 6, 2011 8:25 am

    Thank you for all of the comments! I will reply to them soon. Had a horrible migraine yesterday/last night and am working to make sure it doesn’t relapse.

    thank you for reading and for your kind comments.
    -T

    Like

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