“Drive” – Full Review

Looking at the title or the cover for “Drive”, you might be tempted to think it’s an action movie in the vein of “Fast and the Furious”.

You would be dead wrong.

Ryan Gosling’s latest is far more art-house than Hollywood, with a sparse script that depends more on nuanced performances by Gosling and Carey Mulligan.  If you’re grabbing a copy for the car chases, you’re going to be disappointed.  Although there are a few, they are done in the traditional style of old Steve McQueen movies like “Bullit”.  It’s essentially a crime film about people caught up in something against their will, and using any desperate they can to get out of it.

The more I watched of “Drive”, the more I realized how much it was recalling the late sixties and early seventies, when maverick directors like Scorcese and Peckinpah absolutely turned Hollywood on its head.  The film has the burning intensity of “Taxi Driver” coupled with the explosive, visceral violence of the original “Straw Dogs”.

“Drive” teases viewers with the threads of what might be a cliché love story, but then rolls them up into a ball of knots.  The characters are fascinating, but hardly likeable.  And that’s what I liked about them.

There’s absolutely NOTHING tidy about this movie.  None of the usual Hollywood tricks are employed here, and it will probably leave a lot of people feeling like they want more resolution.  But I give the film full marks for breaking all the usual crutches that these movies depend on.  It may not be the most satisfying movie you’ve seen, but the images will stay with you after the credits roll.

I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, but I think Drive is one of the most interesting and stylish films of the past year.

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Full Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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