Drive breathes dangerously-fresh air into the car-film genre
In Ryan Gosling’s new film Drive, the 30-year-old actor takes audiences on a ride thru the streets of Los Angeles as a stunt driver whose heart ends up sending the actor’s character on a dangerous detour.
Gosling (Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides of March) plays a Driver, who in addition to working as a stunt driver in films, works at a car garage owned by a man named Shannon (played by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston) and as a getaway driver. The film opens with The Driver helping two burglars escape the police after committing a robbery, skillfully avoiding the cops thru various Los Angeles streets and neighborhoods before losing them completely at a crowded Staples Center parking lot. New to his Los Angeles apartment complex, The Driver befriends his neighbor Irene (played by An Education’s Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio after they encounter car trouble at a grocery store.
In addition to helping Irene out with her car and providing The Driver with a place to work, Shannon enlists The Driver in his latest business venture as the driver for his NASCAR vehicle, of which is funded by a mobster named Bernie (played by Albert Brooks). Bernie is also in business with fellow mobster named Nino (played by Sons of Anarchy’s Ron Perlman), who is displeased with the NASCAR venture because of its high cost and risk factor with Shannon, notorious for having bad luck, attached to it.
The Driver and Irene begin to become romantically closer when her husband named Standard (played by Oscar Isaac) is released from prison. After sharing some tension upon meeting at their apartment building, The Driver finds Standard beat-up and bloody with his son looking scared just feet away. Standard informs The Driver that he owes money to a man named Cook for protecting him while he was in prison and that Cook would come after Irene and Benicio if his debt was not paid. The Driver agrees to help Standard as his getaway driver, but things go incredibly and fatally wrong when Standard is killed and The Driver becomes the target. From this point on, The Driver must do whatever it takes to not only protect himself from harm, but also Irene and Benicio.
Drive is not the standard-blockbuster-action film it was initially developed to be due to a strong collaborative effort between Ryan Gosling and Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, who took the material and made a movie that was much more art-house and stylistic than one would expect. The film’s cinematography was incredible and played a major role in the film’s overall mood and direction. Adding to the film’s more artsy feel was the soundtrack, infused with 80’s-inspired electronic music that balanced well with the film’s dark tone. Additionally, the film’s fight scenes are reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino-style gore and exaggerated effects.
Ryan Gosling proves yet again that he is a leading man who can slip into just about any well-dressed character that is presented to him and deliver an amazing performance that you can’t take your eyes off of. The supporting cast, that also includes Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, embody their roles well opposite Gosling’s character. Los Angeles is a character in itself throughout the movie, as it was shot entirely on location throughout the city. Overall, Drive is a uniquely-crafted movie that should not be missed.
For more information about Drive and to purchase tickets to see it in theaters, visit the film’s official website http://drive.mgfilm.hr/