Drive review

Story by Sam Rosenberry

 

This movie was one of those rare cases where I was expecting it to be really good and it was. There is no part of this movie that I didn’t like. That’s not to say that it’s my favorite of all time, but I rarely have had no complaints about a movie, and this is one of those times.

 

Ryan Gosling plays the nameless lead, a Hollywood stuntman by day and a wheelman by night. You know, for robberies. Is there another kind of wheelman? I don’t know, I’ll look into it.

 

Anyway, he falls for a married woman played by Carey “Sam’s celebrity crush” Mulligan. However, her husband is in jail.

 

So, she starts to fall for him, but alas, her husband returns. But he brought some jail problems with him, and he needs to settle a debt with a robbery … Wheelman Gosling helps him out, and this is when everything starts going to hell, courtesy of some mobsters played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman.

 

Apparently, people in the mob aren’t the nicest. Who knew?

 

This sounds like a pretty basic plot, right? Well it is, but the way it’s executed is flawless. Especially by Mulligan and Gosling, who do some serious face acting. This movie isn’t heavy on dialogue, but words aren’t needed in many scenes. Both actors’ expressions say more than words.

 

It’s also very minimalistic despite it sort of being an action movie. You’re never treated like you’re an idiot, which is more than I can say for many movies *cough — Michael Bay — cough.* There are no explosions, the dialogue isn’t cheesy or forced — even the one car wreck seems plausible. I would put it in the same category of movie as “No Country For Old Men,” which is to say that it’s a stylized action movie.

 

And this movie is really stylish. It is aided by everything from the cinematography to the soundtrack. Each shot was impressive. Not just the car chases but also two people having a conversation. It’s also edited in a way that lets you take in an entire scene. Maybe some will find scenes to be too long, but I appreciated them.

 

The soundtrack is electronic with an ’80s feel that gives many scenes an interesting rhythm. I’m not saying “Drive” is a rave, but the music is noticeable. The blogosphere or Tumblrsphere or Rosenberrysphere cannot stop talking about that soundtrack.

 

Also, Gosling just looks cool in this movie, too, with his scorpion jacket and toothpick. He said on “Conan” that he always wanted people to dress like him for Halloween and he may succeed here.

 

Now, this coolness is complemented by the extreme violence in the second half of the movie. Now it can be argued that the violence is definitely stylized, but regardless of your opinion, the brutality is very jarring in comparison to the style of the movie.

 

You see every grisly detail, and it really shows that these are very violent people and there are reasons they do what they do. There’s only a few hard to watch scenes, but they carry resonance.

 

Despite some of these awful images, the movie maintains a certain coolness. It never seems cheesy or overwrought. The stakes are definitely high, and the violence brings this stylish movie back to reality in some cases.

 

This movie had it all, and I’m usually a terrible curmudgeon but only because I’m 65 years old. I usually find something to complain about, but “Drive” was a fun ride (Oh, God, I’m sorry! I’m not cool like this movie is).

 

There may be better movies this year, but it’s been a long time since I fully liked every aspect of a film this much.