‘Drive’ gives audiences different take on action films

By Leslie Lange
September 28, 2011

Rev your engines, strap on your seat belt, adjust your mirrors and prepare for “Drive.”

Drive” is about a professional stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who is payed to be a get- away driver by night. However, he is not interested in the various crimes. “I don’t carry a gun. I drive,” he said.

Driver befriends his neighbor, Irene, (Carey Mulligan) and her son, Benicio, before Irene’s convicted felon ex-husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), comes home.  Standard and Driver are automatic friends once he is released from jail.

Standard is coaxed into performing a daytime robbery where Driver offers his services to help out his new friend.  Driver does this in an attempt to keep Standard from his ties to the criminal world and start a new life with his family. Things get a little hairy when the heist goes wrong and Driver barely makes it out by the skid of his tire. Returning alone, Driver learns the heist was a set-up. The money stolen actually was meant for New York crime boss, Nino, (Ron Perlman) and his partner, Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks).

Driver gets involved after Irene and her son are threatened. He then takes matters into his own hands to make sure they are safe while trying to keep the price on his head at bay.

This European style of filming puts the audience right in the action. Viewers actually feel the adrenaline pumping through their own veins as Driver tries to make his get away from the cops. It causes the audience to question whether hiding in plain sight is possible. The way the camera mimics Gosling’s every move is cinema magic.  This technique of the camera makes this film even more amazing.

This film is more artistic than similar genre movies such as as the “Fast and Furious” series. It is not just two hours of reckless driving and impossible tricks with vast explosions. It is a movie that focuses more on what the perfect angle for each scene is. Some viewers may find it “horrible,” because viewers may be expecting a high-budget movie with driving the entire time.

The story all goes to hell in a hand basket when Driver gets involved in a heist that goes completely wrong.

Things progress from bad to worse when the ex-con husband of Driver’s love interest gets killed. Meanwhile, Driver has to keep his emotions to himself because it is time to drive. Then, the movie takes a gory turn when Driver ends up being followed and Blanche’s  head gets blown off.

Everytime someone dies in the film, it is extremely gory. It is always a bloody mess and the audience loved every second of the unnecessary gore.  The gore is what puts this movie in the category of a “Grind House”-type film as well as the kick ass, in-your-face driving.

“The extreme and escalating violence will prove off-putting to some frankly, I’m surprised not to have been among them but for the rest, “Drive” is a needle-punch of adrenaline to the aorta,” critic  Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, said.

Nicolas Refin, the director, brings his European flare to the film with eye-popping gore and perfect execution of merging the present with the past is truly awesome. It brings a long forgotten sense of art to film. This movie is sure to please any taste, from Indie directors to Hollywood blockbuster.

From the opening chase scene to the final showdown in a Chinese restaurant parking lot, the cinematography is grind-house perfect. It has the feel of a retro car flick with the modernization of the machines that are used in the film. This makes it a film lover’s and gear head’s dream movie. This movie may not be understood very well by some, however, if you are a true film lover and can appreciate a left-from-center film, then viewers and audiences everywhere will love “Drive.”

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Leslie Lange

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