Get ready for Drive. The modern 80′s-esq, dramatic, action film about a driver who knows how to do one thing damn well. From the unique characters, to the stellar performances across the board, this risky film sets its unique tone from the start and carries it through to the bitter end. With its risky style of shooting, to the willfully strong perspective of the director, this film is one to see and one that will surely win awards in the coming months. There’s no doubt that this is your best pick for the weekend, possibly the year…

Video Review:

The Players:

The Plot:

A Hollywood stunt performer moonlights as a wheelman with a few simple rules. He attempts to live a simple life until a girl gets in the way, and sets him up for a heist gone wrong.

The Good:

  • Hand Acting: Many actors today act for the close up, they perform with their eyes and leave it at that. Ryan Gosling acts through his entire body. You can feel his sadness, happiness, rage, everywhere from his head to his toes, but most memorably, his hands. Despite the fact that Winding Refn told us in an interview that he intentionally played up the sound of Goslings gloves to help the effect, Gosling literally puts his emotions through his body which shows in his brilliant limb acting abilities,
  • Bryan Cranston: Though numerous members of the supporting cast deserve award nods (Ron Pearlson, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan), for me Bryan Cranston steals the show. He plays his character like the best of them and literally was able to manipulate the audience like they were putty in his hands. Majestic performance, truly.
  • The 80′s Are Back: Though it’s completely unrealistic and sometimes distracting (seeing as the film is set in present day), I absolutely loved that almost everything in this film had a sprinkle, dash, or was flat out drenched in 80′s. It bleeds the era from it’s hot pink title-card, to Goslings white jacket, to the soundtrack, you’ll be running out of the theaters to buy the music. It’s a brave choice and one I questioned, but in the end, it was a great move made by a brave director.

The Bad:

  • The Women: This is not a great film for women. They never really get a chance to stand up for themselves, they work mainly as reasons for the plot to progress. Though the performances were great, it would have been nice to see the ladies being given a little bit more to do.
  • Few Bad Connections: There are some scenes that don’t really add up, aren’t really needed, were obviously shot because they looked cool, action scenes that probably couldn’t happen — I can see the problems and have heard peoples complaints, but honestly, who really gives a fuck? I forgave the film or rather didn’t even care enough to give the faults the time of day to distract me from enjoying every moment. I can’t deny that these things were there, but chances are, that unless you’re a filmmaker, you’ll hardly notice anything and really won’t care.

Overall:

I can easily recommend this film to anyone who loves cars, 80′s music, an innovative story, fascinating characters and/or Ryan Gosling — which should cover a lot of ground. Though it’s a critic-favorite and getting a ton of buzz (and rightly so) there are some aspects to the film that people will have issues with. The film does have some holes and problems that don’t really add up — but what can I say, I had such a goddamn fun time getting from A-to B-both times I watched the film that I can’t fault it for the small things. It’s packed with great performances and is not like any other film you will see this year, or possibly this decade. Take a chance on this bad-boy, it’s more than worth your trip to the theater and even if you don’t like it, you won’t be bored.

Rating: 8.5/10

Drive hits theaters September 15, 2011.

Photo Gallery:

What did you think of the film?

Video review produced by Mali Elfman and Michael May and edited by Mike Small.