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Drive works on every level, up to and including the performance of Albert Brooks.  To be clear, this is a review of the 2011 Ryan Gosling movie Drive, and not the 2011 Nicholas Cage movie Drive Angry (shot in 3D).  Unlike Drive Angry, Drive is a simple story that relies on deliberate pacing and a heavy background atmosphere to sell its characters.  Drive Angry, while successful at being a Nicholas Cage thrill ride, pays little attention to the setting of its scenes.  For example, can you clearly identify where the climax of Drive Angry takes place?  Is it a quarry, a vacant movie back lot, a deserted Superfund cleanup site, or a mission church?  Drive picks its battlefields with precision.

Gosling turns in a great performance as the simply named Driver.  His slow speech and off-kilter conversations hint at an underlying background of instability.  Is the Driver brain damaged from a car wreck, is he a sociopath, or just shy?  We never find out why Gosling’s character is a sporadically-violent, romantically-stunted, self-sacrificing low talker.  To flesh out our main character, the supporting cast in Drive is perfectly set up to reflect the different paths that can be taken by the protagonist.  The main love interest, Irene (Carey Mulligan), shows the Driver that a family and love are open to him if he can make the emotional leap.  In contrast, the antagonists, Bernie (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman), remind the audience of the criminal life that the Driver has recently given up.  Finally there is the crippled mentor figure Shannon (Bryan “Methlab” Cranston) who holds the promise of a legitimate career for the Driver, as part of a stock car race team.  The only negative aspect of this movie is the grisly end of Christina Hendricks in her bit part as Blanche.

If you prefer your action to take place in ironic slow motion, and with minimal Christina Hendricks, then check out Drive.


+2 on the x-factor.  Albert Brooks brought the pain.


1 Comment

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  1. ta0paipai says
    2012/12/28, 06:00

    This is an AWESOME movie. Funny how it looked alot more like The Transporter in the trailer.

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