Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Goodness: Drive

Am I going to agree with the masses or differ in my opinion?  Today's film is Drive, the film that I had surprisingly not seen before.  I watch films when I feel like, not when I'm told that I have to.  For those who don't know or just forgot, let me give out some back-story here.  In 2011, the film really broke out at all of the usual places that Independent Cinema does- Cannes, etc.  It was not the first film by its Director- Nicolas Winding Refn- but it was certainly his break-out.  Its Star- Ryan Gosling- was also no newbie, but this one showed a range that alot of people didn't think that he had.  It tells the tale of an unnamed Driver/Criminal Driver- much like in The Transporter or in Layer Cake- who gets caught up in a scheme too big for him just when he thinks that his life is going to change.  The film also got a boost for its reputation as feeling like the closest thing yet to the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise becoming a film.  It is an easy comparison to see, especially if you know G.T.A.: Vice City.  So, cut to three years later, I'm sitting at home trying to watch a film with all of that build-up and hype.  Does it succeed?  To find out, read on...
We first meet The Driver picking up some 'gents' from a Pawn Shop Robbery.  I hope they didn't shoot 'Chumlee!'

He proves his worth by evading the Cops after several close calls.
He ends up getting close to his Neighbor, a nice young lady with a kid and a boyfriend fresh out of Prison.  I hear that he used to be a Folk Singer.
By way of his Manager (Bryan Cranston), the Driver is getting ready for a big gig as a Race Car Driver.  They are funded by a Jewish Gangster played by...Albert Brooks.

Kudos for playing against type, Albert.  Fun Fact: his real name is Albert Einstein.
The baby daddy gets out of Prison, but his past has followed him.  To help out the lady and her son, he agrees to do a job to help him pay off his debts.  One last job is always something that works out, right?
I won't SPOIL all that happens, but I will give you this mid-action shot since I'm such a nice guy.
Driver needs to settle this before my violence and death occurs.  His only solution: violence and death.

I feel like there is some sort of message here, but I don't get it.
The other villain here is Ron Perlman, playing a real asshole.  For reasons I won't SPOIL, he has to kill the Driver and anyone connected to the heist.

In another nice touch, you actually know why he is such an evil bastard.
Likewise, you actually see how upset Brooks is when he feels like he has to commit really violent acts.  He is an evil (relatable) bastard!
 I obviously won't SPOIL the Ending here either (for all of you who still haven't seen it).  Enjoy this creepy mask though.  The End.
I can't complain.  You weren't really expecting me to hate this movie, were you?  Where the film works is making a simple plot grow more complicated in a really-organic sort of way.  There's nothing like the 'Explain that to me again!' moments in films like Basic or blatant cheats like in Ocean's 12.  Another neat thing is how the Visual and Audio flourishes are not distracting.  They are used well to highlight moments and add interest to intentionally-low key moments.  I know they are just done to 'look cool,' but you don't mind if they actually work.  The only weak point to me was Carey Mulligan's character.  The Actress does a fine job, but her character just kind of looked sad and reacted the whole time.  I was expecting her to be a bit more assertive at some point, but nope.  I could also count the long seconds while I was waiting for Gosling to say his next line.  Again- not his fault, just the Writing.  When all is said and done, Drive is a really good movie.  This is, of course, all just set up for me to watch Only God Forgives sometime down the line.  I'm curious to see if my reaction is the same as most people's.  If I liked it, wouldn't it just blow your mind?
Next up, I finally celebrate July 4th with the film I've put off for a long time.  Zombie Uncle Sam is coming for you, Chicken Hawks!  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment