Drive Movie Review
When will criminals learn? Stick to your guns, stick to your rules, and things will be fine. Deviate from your simple guidelines, mix in a love interest and let things get personal, and all things will go to hell. Then again, if you're the bad guys you know you should never mess with the quiet guy who's the protagonist in a movie, especially if he looks like Ryan Gosling and is featured in the movie Drive. Because he'll f**k them up, and the movie will blow audiences away.
As of September 16, 2011, Drive is the best movie of the year. Engaging, dramatic, romantic, exciting, violent, gory and yet oddly artistic, Drive is at once a moving drama and thrilling revenge flick, the best of both worlds.
From the director of Bronson, Drive features a great performance by Ryan Gosling. Quiet and reserved, kind and seemingly innocent, he plays a Hollywood stunt car driver who doubles as a getaway driver in the evenings. But when backed into a corner, he lashes out with determined violence that has to be seen to be believed.
Gosling is supported by several other great actors, including Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks. The chemistry between Gosling and Mulligan is spot on, their subtle, almost unspoken relationship believable and engaging. Brooks is excellent as the menacing gangster Bernie Rose.
As good as the acting is, director Nicolas Winding Refn deserves the most credit. Drive is pitch-perfect at every moment, highlighted by an immensely thrilling opening sequence where Gosling's nameless protagonist attempts to elude the Los Angeles police. He balances the quiet, touching moments with suspenseful sequences that at times contain unthinkable violence. The movie is exciting and dramatic, beautiful and intoxicating. Shocking, too, at times.
Drive is the best movie of 2011 so far. Not everyone will be able to handle it, but it is a masterpiece by every definition of the word.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.