Friday, February 3, 2012

Drive

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Drive - 5 out of 5

Lately, I've seen Ryan Gosling in a couple films, The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love. and I've actually enjoyed him in them.  He was never an actor that I've actively sought out his work.  I'll admit it, I like The Notebook and with the risk of being shamed on the internet, I'll admit I cried like a baby at the end of the film.  When that movie came out, I thought Gosling was great in it and I even found myself wishing I was Allie (might as well admit it since I've already come out and said it made me cry) but after my tears were dried, I didn't think I would ever see a movie Gosling was in again because I believed he would spend the rest of his career being typecast as the handsome prince charming...well Drive has single-handedly destroyed any chance of that every happening!

More power to a guy who can both be a tough guy AND wear that jacket from the 80s.

Drive is about a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for hire.  After befriended his neighbor, he gets involved in her criminal husband's affairs and offers his services in order to get him out of the life for the sake of the wife and son.  What was suppose to be an easy job turns sideways and the wheelman finds himself in a life or death race for his life.

Christina Hendricks is in this, too...and I don't mind looking at her, despite the restraining order she's placed on me.
Movies don't count when it comes to 500 feet, Hendricks!

When I first seen Gosling in The Notebook, I didn't find myself saying, "Hey, that guy would make a great action star," but Drive has shown me that Gosling has the chops to be a legitimate bad-ass.  Even better is the fact he doesn't come off as the generic action star.  His character is quiet and soft-spoken...but this quality comes off as uber-intimidating when he's pitted against those who wish to see him leave this life and become a skid-mark on the asphalt.

Brooks potty mouth in this one has ruined me to his performance in Finding Nemo.

Joining Gosling on Drive is Heisenberg himself Bryan Cranston as the wheelman's mentor and business associate and Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman.  Cranston and Gosling's characters get involved with Brooks and Perlman in an effort to leave the world of stunts and crime behind by becoming a racing team but when the caper goes sour, they discover that the men they were going to work with, were the men that the wheelman accidentally stole from.

Arghhh!  Stone Cold Steve Austin is a creeper.

The movie opens with an interesting car chase and then settles down before the film slapped me in the face.  For a moment, as the characters and the relationship between Gosling's character and his neighbors were developed, I thought the film was going to start to drag but as the "one last run" went south, the film took a turn for the hardcore that I wasn't expecting.  Blood and intense action took the place of what I thought was going to be a character driven (no pun intended) drama about a getaway driver and, I'll say it, the change completely threw me off-guard but it was a pleasant surprise.

See how Bryan is not laughing or smile?  That's because he's watching Whitney.

Perlman's character owns a pizza joint and this is the look
he gives his customers when it's time to pay.
The customers ALWAYS pay.
The film's action gets intense and when the movie uses a soundtrack that sounds like it was ripped from a 70s horror film, the movie takes on a tone that is completely original.  The high-end production value shown in the film, the story and the incredible acting by an amazing cast makes for a film that is more than deserving of Best Picture.  With its story centered around a getaway driver and emphasis on action and muscle cars roaring on the road, the movie vaguely reminded me of The Transporter, the only difference is Drive is what The Transporter films would be if The Transporter films were actually good.

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