SideReel Review - Drive starring Ryan Gosling & Carey Mulligan - by SideReel's Yael Tygiel

Drive is a film about a Hollywood stunt car driver (Ryan Gosling) who provides another type of driving service in his free time until he gets tangled up with the wrong people. He then does everything in his power, which boils down to beating up a lot of people, to protect his single mom neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan). For me, this highly anticipated film was a letdown. Forgiving the lame 80’s style font for the credits, as well as the 80’s influenced soundtrack (including a surprising ballad from Julie Andrews?), the film didn’t seem to have focus.

I fear that director Nicolas Winding Refn's vision must be something special that I simply don't understand, because the romantic scenes were Ryan Gosling & Carey Mulligan staring silently, blank-faced into each other’s eyes. At times sudden gratuitous violence would interrupt their longing looks - that's not a complaint. The cinematographer's attempt at creating a dark mysterious feel fell short, and at inappropriate times the theater audience burst into laughter. 

The rest of the cast consists of the bad guys: two Jewish Gangsters, Bernie (Albert Brooks) & Nino (Ron Perlman), and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as the unlucky Shannon. Oh thats right, Mad Men star Christina Hendricks was also in the film… for a total of about 4 minutes! 

The heist and twists were obvious. The plot was thin. The dialogue was lacking. The romance was invisible, but the cars & driving, albeit minimal, wasn't bad. 

Drive is rated R.



-Yael Tygiel


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