Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks
Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn
Part-time Hollywood stuntman, part-time getaway driver, Ryan Gosling plays a mysterious character who’s only referred to as “Driver”. Though a man of few words, Gosling’s character has an underlying sense of power to him.
Gosling’s quiet character keeps to himself and manages to stay out of trouble until he meets the next door neighbor, Irene (Mulligan). Her car won’t start and he drives her home from the garage he works at, but after a pit stop driving down to a small stream where her son can play. Irene’s husband, Standard, gets released from jail and at first he is suspicious of the neighbor’s intention.
Standard has some debts to pay that he can’t afford and being the good guy he is, Gosling’s character lends his getaway driving skills. When a robbery goes wrong, Gosling’s character is left realizing he’s been setup. He shows no mercy when it comes to protecting Irene and her son and goes the distance to make sure they stay out of any danger.
The first scene of “Drive” sets the pace of the movie; slow but with flashes of action. The film has an eerie sense of real life to it. It’s not rushed like most action movies are today, so viewers feel time passing as slow as their own life. “Drive” is based on the novel by James Sallis, which I haven’t read so I don’t know if the book moves just as slow. The plot, meanwhile, was intriguing and what is worth watching for. Ryan Gosling’s character is flat and viewers don’t get to know much about him. He barely speaks and doesn’t show much emotion, but his motivations are clear. He will protect the ones he grows attached to.
The trailer gives the whole movie away and is misleading. It leads viewers to believe it’s fast paced and has lots of action when it’s just the opposite. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad film because it’s worth watching once. It might be more of an acquired taste to fully enjoy it, like Refn’s previous films; the style is somewhat similar to “Bronson”, slow electro-music completes the soundtrack and a character that may be hard to like. Have caffeine at hand before sitting down to watch “Drive” and it may not be so hard to sit through.