‘Drive’ Review: An Exciting Thriller for the Patient Viewer

Ryan Gosling is one hell of a driver, but in a movie titled Drive he doesn’t spend much time behind the wheel in a full blown chase. In fact, there are only two big car chases in the whole movie, and one of them is the opening scene. But when they do occur they are some of the best car chases I have ever seen.

But no, the action in this film has very little to do with cars. There are far more moments where Gosling takes up a hammer or a curtain rod to defend himself. These scenes are incredibly exciting and shocking. This is partially because of how well paced the film is. There are long periods where very little is happening with many close-ups on Gosling’s face. The slow nature of the plot allows for the more action-y moments to stand out and feel like several tiny climaxes that continue the build to the bloody finale. A few more action sequences may be appreciated and parts of the film are definitely slow or boring but they don’t take away from the expert filmmaking.

But the action and style isn’t the only great thing about the film. The cast is excellent. Gosling shines here despite the fact that he has very few lines in the film. His blank stares and slow delivery make him a compelling hero to follow. Carey Mulligan’s role was typical although refreshing. She had great screen presence and was a good match for Gosling. Ron Perlman also chews the scenery and has a great time with his small role.

However, I must admit what makes Drive truly memorable is its music. Between the score and the song choices, there is such a somber mood set right from the beginning. Yet it also feels retro. This movie has 80s all over it and that is what makes the film as wonderful as it is. The 80s vibe adds an entire new level to how the film works in today’s world. It is easily the best aspect of the film and is an amazing feel to an already awesome movie.

My one issue is that very little about this movie will stick with you. Everything is well done in the film but it takes too few risks in the nature of movie making. A truly great film takes risks that make them stand above others. Drive doesn’t necessarily do that but trades it for doing everything extremely well.

As a whole Drive is a really great time at the movies. Film lovers will love all the throwback moments to action movies’ past and the appropriately slow pacing. Car lovers will love the chase sequences and looking at all the gorgeous cars. Whether your going for the stars or for the cars, you won’t be disappointed walking out of Drive. (*** out of 4)

photo credit: http://mattsmoviethoughts.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/the-office-the-incentive-review/

 

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