Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Drive



In Short:
Sudden bursts of violence interlaced with extended periods of drama building silence set the mood in this extremely unusual and extremely entertaining Oscar contender with a clear 80's throwback feel

Bagpipe-o-Meter:
8.5/10


Full review after the jump…


My Ramblings:
In a recent post I stated that I wasn't going to watch the trailer for Drive prior to watching the movie, and I held true to that promise.  I'm very rarely able to prevent myself from watching a trailer prior to a film because (1) I spend way too much time online and (2) I have little to no self control.  Drive was a perfect film to go into blind because it was weird as hell and was nothing like what I expected.  I knew the movie focused on a stunt car driver who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals.  To me, that meant the movie would be high paced and packed full of car chases.  Sweet lord, was I incorrect.  The movie appears to be set in present day Los Angeles but the feel is 80's to the core.  The music is perfect and whoever scored the movie deserves a boatload of awards.  The cinematography is noticeably special, even for a simple fella like me who thinks Dumb & Dumber is a cinematic masterpiece.  If you've ever played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, then you have a great idea of the mood the film is going to set.  That all being said, it's the total package (93% on Rotten Tomatoes), and how about I give you a slight plot synopsis...

The film opens with a clear indication of exactly what it takes to be a successful getaway driver in Los Angeles, and it is not what you might expect.  It's not about speed, but it is very much about focus and making the correct decisions; and the opening scene and each every remaining scene mirror this fact.  Ryan Gosling , whose character name is never stated in the film (I move I love, by the way) stars as said getaway driver in a performance that consists of the most periods of awkward silence I have ever seen in a single film...but more on him later.  Gosling takes a liking to his neighbor (Carey Mulligan), but her classy husband is getting sprung from prison soon so the romance doesn't appear to have much hope.  Mr. Prison comes home and without revealing many details, he ends up requiring the services of a getaway driver.  Their job doesn't go perfectly, gruesome violence ensues, and the plot unfolds from there.

Drive is unique, and that is my favorite thing that a movie can be.  The elements mentioned  above all contribute to this uniqueness, and to me the only thing not special about the film was Gosling.  His performance is simple and flat, but I'm sure critics will praise it, because he is Ryan Gosling...and critics love Ryan Gosling.  I have no deep seeded problems with his acting, but he is not as outstanding as Hollywood wants him to be.  As I stated earlier, his delayed silences are painful at times and I found myself trying to speak for him just to end the awkwardness.  Maybe that was the feel he was going for, but I'll pass.  Don't be surprised if he is nominated for an Oscar, and also don't be surprised if you wear away a thin layer of enamel from grinding your teeth in frustration during his performance.  The performance that should get the praises is that of Albert Brooks, yes Nemo's father.  Brooks plays  a Mobster who crosses path with our nameless Driver, and the contrast between the audience's (or at least MY) preconceived perceptions of Brooks and the darkness of his on screen character is beautiful.  Mulligan is sweet and likeable as usual, and the recognizable role players (Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Hellboy's Ron Perlman, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston) round out the solid cast.  The film is special, the film is unique, and the film will receive some accolades so, when tonight's episode of the always amazing Biggest Loser is over, drive to your local theatre and give it a view.


Trailer:
Not going to link to it so you can go into this slightly-blind just like me

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