Drive (2011)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Great. Not perfect

It has been two years now since Drive was released. This whole time, I have heard a lot of good things about the movie, and bad, but mostly good. I stayed away from the movie just because of the title. If there is one type of movie that I stay away from, it’s movies about cars, about driving. I just have no care for them at all, mostly because the focus of the film is typically centered on how cool the cars look and perform. Honestly, Transformers was more of a car commercial than Drive ever was. That’s what you get for judging something before you even know what it is.

Ryan Gosling stars in this film as a driver-for-hire, but not like The Transporter. As the film begins, you realize that he accepts jobs as a professional wheelman, and by professional, I mean professional. He has a unique and specific system to get out of tight jams, and it’s quite honestly heart-racing to watch. After a heart-racing intro, we are introduced to who he really is, which is a stuntman for the movies, again driving cars (for hire). When he meets Irene (Carey Mulligan) he immediately begins to grow close to her and her son. So when Irene’s ex-husband shows back up in her life, he brings his criminal background with him, putting Irene and her son’s life in danger. After offering his service, Gosling’s character is thrown into a world of chaos with the wrong people. A jam he may not be able to escape.

So what I meant by the movie not really being a car movie, is that it was more about this developing relationship between his character and Irene. It is the heart of what fuels this film. There is a lot of driving around in fancy cars, yes, but fancy cars is just part of his style, and for once, I can actually believe that. Not once did this film feel like a car commercial. I really liked the wheelman personality, and I wished there was more scenes to show how talented he really is in that regards, but for what it offered, I won’t complain. It was pretty decent.

The acting was really well done. I liked Gosling’s portrayal of his character, and the rest of the cast also did quite a remarkable jobs with their roles as well. The only person I would have a problem with is Albert Brooks as Bernie. He did a phenomenal job, yes, but for some reason, all I could hear was Marlin from Finding Nemo. It is this movie that made me realize that for Finding Nemo, he didn’t even try to dress up his voice…that’s just what he sounds like. A raspy comedian. Also, there was one line that Brooks said in the film that I HAVE to point out. He said, “There’s a place on Sherman Way”…anyone else see “Sherman Wallaby Way Sydney” in there? So yes, he did a good job, I just saw a giant clown fish doing things that Marlin never would have done.

Whoever did the sound editing for this movie knew exactly what they were doing. This film sounds absolutely phenomenal, no question about it. From choosing mainstream music to adding ambient sounds to express the film’s tone…man they did it right. I can say the same thing about the cinematography and lighting usage…the movie just looks and sounds terrific. Half of the reason you should watch this is simply to experience it. A good story that makes sense just adds to that.

I, however, didn’t think the movie was perfect. A lot of critics would jump on the chance to argue with me on that one, but I’m telling you, a part of the movie still wasn’t really my forte. I appreciate the heck out of what it was trying to do, because it definitely succeeded. On a technical level, the movie was a smashing success. As a whole, I just don’t think it got everything necessary to make it perfect, and for that, it just gets a lower-than-perfect score. Nothing bad. I enjoyed it…just thought it could be better.

It will definitely differ on how everyone else feels about the movie. It’s one of those mixed-reviews types of films. It means something different to everyone. So for that reason alone, I am going to say to everyone, rent the movie. You may very well love it to death. Don’t risk missing out on something that is potentially perfect, which arguably, this film is. So the next time you come across Drive, check it out!


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