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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

This is wham bang thank you mam!! Amazing fights!!

9/10
Author: Thomas Jolliffe (supertom-3) from Marlow, England
16 January 2003

Never mind the Matrix and the influx of Jackie Chan and Jet Li films. As far as martial arts films go this still has the best fight sequences outside of Hong Kong. The fights are amazing and capture the essence of Hong Kong chop socky flicks.

Merely having great fights wouldn't be enough, this has quality in terms of look and sound that a lot of Hong Kong films don't and it is minus the cheesy dubbing. What it also adds is a genuinely funny, if wafer thin script. It is of course just a series of events that give excuse for elaborate fight scenes.

Mark Dacascos stars in the lead and really shows his stuff. He moves like a cat, and really shines in the fights. The version you have to see of this film is the directors cut, the studio completely hacked away any sort of plot or character development. In the studio version we see Toby Wong (Dacascos) as merely a mercenary, but Wang's cut gives far more insight into his motives and gives the character an extra dimension. We get the chance to see Dacasco's acting abilities as well. He shows that he is an action star with more talent than most on all levels. You compare him to bigger money earners like Arnie, Van Damme and Seagal and he can out act them all as well as being even more impressive with the physical acting. Kadeem Hardison co-stars as Malik, who is initially Wang's hostage but they turn out to be best buds, cliché yes, but hey this is an action movie. Kadeem is hilarious, most of his lines are ad-libbed and you can see the other actors trying not to burst into laughter. Also Brittany Murphy is a scream as Deliverance a rather wacky motel owner, who is extremely randy and has the hots for Malik. The three of them together have amazing chemistry and it really adds to the humour. John Pyper Ferguson is also very funny as one of the bad guys. He comes out with some great lines, and also some hilariously cheesy lines such as `look its my favourite cheese eating, dick monkey' WHAT?!!

The film is pure mindless escapism, it's fast, it's funny, there's genuine chemistry there, and to hell with plot in a film like this, which features some jaw dropping fight scenes. Overall this is an action classic to savour. 8/10

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Direct-to-video success

8/10
Author: refinedsugar from Nova Scotia, Canada
13 June 2001

The straight to video action genre must be the fastest expanding percentage of the home video market I swear not. So these days with so much out there, it's hard to figure out what's worth your time, money and what's best left on the shelf for eternity. More times than not, most movies aren't worth either, but we're all suckers for something especially "us guys". Yes it may be a stereotype that guys like car crash movies, guns 'n babes flicks and any movie with the words "death" "kill" "gun" or "action" in it's title, but it rings sorta true. It's on this simple premise so many movies come out each year with titles that you expect to know what you're getting. The box naturally trying it's hardest to win you over too. Let's take a hypothetical situation. There's three movie boxes in front of you. All action titles.

(1) First one stars a familiar face or two, but nobody special. The movie's box is predominately pretty plain looking (cheap). Two guys on top of a car firing guns right at us. The title screams "boring". The kind of box you've seen a hundred times before on your local video shelves.

(2) A pair of sexy blonds (dillinger in stockings: optional) stand off to the side of the b-movie star holding a silenced handgun. In the background, an overlay of a building blowing up and a helicopter whistling through the air with a man hanging out. Title sounds action-like, the box is suggestive and the art sells it.

(3) Box displays a fallen Hollywood star now resigned to doing B-movie leads lying in the grass in full cameo fatigues with a sniper's rifle. A sexy brunette assassin in the background showing ample cleavage and a mighty sharp blade. Off to the side a cobra gunship firing from the air and all this is surrounding by one large red rifle sight.

The visual creatures we are, chances are you're thinking about (2) or (3) or maybe you're getting nothing from these choices. Alas in my deepest hopes of saving you from another disappointment, I recommend Drive.

An absolute gem for all of us action movies junkies - the kinda flick that makes up for the twenty or so dog piles you've gone through previously. It's quite the action experience for direct-to-video fare, the fight choreography is great, Dacascos is at the top of his form and is better than anyone I've seen in the kick-kick genre of late. The explosions work, the acting is surprisingly decent for this sort of nonsense and the start, middle and end are entertaining. Yeah the story is somewhat of a test pattern, but everyone involved make it work and god it's about time. Finally a buddy movie that's both action packed and funny too. Kadeem Hardison and Dacascos put together some fun stuff and if this is low budget it's not showing. The production values are crisp. All except maybe that fake, prosthetic arm.

This is definitely one movie I could live with a sequel from. It deserves one because it overcame the odds. Do yourself a favor. Rent this. You heard me. If you're a fan of DTV action fare and you want it tight and refreshingly done then this is your meal ticket. Oh yeah and before I forget ... remember that hypothetical situation with the movie boxes? Drive was (1). The irony.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

What was wrong with the bullets?

8/10
Author: Streetwolf
17 January 2002

They sounded like someone was playing some shoot-em-up game! Toby is trying to get away from Hong Kong and with some sort of a turbo mechanism built in his chest making him quite invincible he manages to escape through a lot of plots in order to reach some buyers in USA wanting the turbo-drive machine. Some poor idiot named Malik is sitting in a bar thinking his life can NOT get any worse and then Toby just pops by to make him realize he thought wrong. Excellent action scenes, good comedy and I don't think I have seen Mark Dacascos ever been in so many great fight scenes before. Worth a watch 8 out of 10!

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Finally, a low budget action film that delivers the goods

10/10
Author: akargan from Lawrenceville, GA
8 December 1998

After years of watching the most blatantly stupid straight-to-video action films this turns up. Without a doubt the best U.S. produced martial arts movie I've seen. The stunt co-ordinator and stunt team are right up there with their Hong Kong counterparts. It's good to see that Dacascos is finally given a chance to shine; I always thought that he was better than the material that was given to him and here he is able to prove it. Woodbine also shines in what is basically an odd couple/buddy action flick. The rapport of the two actors rises the movie over the cliched screenplay. The action scenes were very kenetic and fluid Steve Wang did a kick-**s job. Go rent it now.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Not In Neutral

10/10
Author: David Kerr (d.kerr@virgin.net) from Wirral, England
14 February 2003

I saw drive after a friend recommended it to me. I blindly bought this film with lots of curiosity, and not much else. What I was presented with was quite a surprise. I was treated to a film that, in spite of its low budget, managed to shine and show the viewer some of the best action sequences I've ever seen. Kadeem Hardison shows his comic talents as a Chris Tucker type (without the effeminate voice) who's been kidnapped by enhanced assassin Toby (played by Mark Dacascos). This feels a lot like a more violent, foul-mouthed version of Rush Hour, but in a good way. In fact, it pre-dates Brett Ratner's Rush Hour. I guess the plot's reasonably important; super-soldier enhanced by implant in his chest escapes from Hong Kong to San Francisco, but bad guys chase him and want him back alive. Super-soldier is forced to kidnap bar fly/wise-cracker for a ride and the two soon form a friendship and make their way to LA where super-soldier will get loads of cash for implant. This film has heart, it has humour, it has action. It's probably director Steve Wang's best work and it's thoroughly enjoyable. The actors all work hard and it looks far more expensive than it actually cost. However, I will say this; avoid the version that was edited for TV, get yourself a copy of the Director's Cut. It's far superior and doesn't have it's heart and soul ripped out. If you love action, and you love humour then definitely see this film! Dave's Rating ***** out of *****

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

High energy, action, fun!

8/10
Author: markhorsburgh from United Kingdom
15 August 2007

Ah, now I saw this film whilst browsing as you do, and thought I'd make a comment as this is a favourite of mine.

Now it's no Oscar winner and the plot is ridiculous really, straight out of a comic book. But lets face it, this film is all about the action. The kung-fu sequences show you in this film what a wasted talent Mark Dacascus is. He never gets the credit he deserves, and whilst not a great actor, he is very likable and a talented martial artist. It's such a shame we don't see him in more enjoyable movies; If you only ever watch Mark in one movie, make it this one. There's a great cast, who seem to be having a lot of fun, the film pays homage to Jackie Chan movies at points plus the fight choreography is well thought out.

The fight sequences are filmed in a very unique way, with the camera moving at very sharp, precise angles, which gives it a unique style. You never miss a move and the fighting does go at a fast pace. At the end of the day, a kung-fu movie lives or dies on the strength of it's fight scenes. Although not the best scenes you will see, the combination of humour and good action direction, really show off the skills on offer here.

So if you're a martial arts movie fan, and not seen this, give this it a whirl! It might just pleasantly surprise you.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

I can't say anything bad about this film

8/10
Author: doc-mandel from Manchester, England
7 June 2005

I thought that this movie was excellent, I watched it after a recommendation from a friend.

After a slow first ten minutes when we get introduced to the main characters Toby Wong (an excellent Mark Dacascos)and Malik Brody (equally as good Kadeem Hardison) the action gets under way and doesn't stop until the closing credits.

The jokes come quick and fast throughout and the film only gets better with the introduction of the fantastic but pretty unstable motel worker Deliverance Bodine (Brittany Murphy).

Overall I give it 8/10

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The best Hong Kong film made somewhere else

Author: Dave Thomas from North of London, England
14 March 2002

American-born director and FX makeup man Steve Wang hooked up with Power Rangers stunt guru Koichi Sakamoto to make Guyver 2, a Japanese manga-inspired sci-fi movie with martial arts. Their next collaboration was Drive, a low-budget hi-tech action movie that has gained quite a following on DVD.

The movie stars Hawaiian martial arts genius Mark Dacascos as Toby, a guy on the run from the evil corporation that killed his girlfriend and implanted him with a 'Bio-engine', a device that gives Toby superhuman strength and speed. Arriving in America he enlists the reluctant help of Malik (Kadeem Hardison) and the two cross America in Malik's increasingly beat-up hot rod. Along the way there are a few laughs, a touch of romance, the occasional shootout and, oh yes, kung fu. Lots and lots of kung fu.

To be honest the plot is really just a way to get from one action scene to the next, but when the action is as good as this who cares? Wang, Sakamoto and Dacascos (is it me or does that sound like the world's weirdest legal firm?) have come up with some of the finest fight action you'll see in a film made outside Hong Kong. Dacascos proves he is every bit as flexible and forceful as Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan and the rest, while fight master Sakamoto is no less talented than Yuen Woo Ping or Cory Yuen Kuei. It's quite sickening that Dacascos is mostly confined to 10th-rate direct to video movies while overweight personal trainers and ballet dancers like Steven Seagull and Jean Claude Van Donut still manage to get cast in big-budget theatrical releases (well, maybe not Jean Claude anymore).

Fans of The Matrix will no doubt get a kick out of the lightning-fast moves and vaguely sci-fi setting (although it's worth noting that this film predates The Matrix by several years). Anyone looking for no-brainer popcorn entertainment that is actually good will also find much to enjoy.

Note: the US release of this film was cut by about 20 minutes and re-scored with a shockingly bad hip-hop soundtrack. The director's cut, available on UK DVD, is much better and worth seeking out.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Just relax...and Drive

7/10
Author: Jakethemuss from United Kingdom
16 September 2007

I stumbled upon this film about 7 or so years ago in the video store, and on a whim picked it out. I must admit to being fairly entertained with what I saw. The fight scenes are gloriously over the top and well choreographed, so much so I think I was laughing at several points during the film.

The plot is about as complex as a glass of water, but forget that for now, this is a film you watch for the action, for the cheesy comedy factor, for the hyper-kinetic, lighting quick scenes of martial arts mayhem. The fight scenes come frequent enough and do not disappoint. There are killer ninja robots, gun wielding assassins who burst through windows on stunt bikes, and a large supply of hapless henchmen who couldn't shoot a barn door at 3 paces.

Marc Dacascos shows of his talents in the lead role as Toby Wang, the hero and scene stealer of the film, Kadeem Hardison is on hand as Malik, the out of luck barfly who gets caught up in the ordeal, then there is Brittany Murphy in one pre-famous roles as a the ditsy daughter of a Motel owning couple.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

"Drive" drives

10/10
Author: dee.reid from United States
8 January 2005

Considering that "Drive" is a low-budget and fairly unknown action flick from 1996, it has surprisingly amassed a small cult following in the years it's been on the home video after-market.

Mark Dacascos, who was the main villain that was most recently seen duking it out with Jet Li in 2003's "Cradle 2 the Grave," has starred in a number of action movies throughout the '90s, but has yet to achieve any stardom.

His character, Toby Wong, in this 1996 action thriller (that's straight out of Hong Kong, as is Dacascos' "Wong" character) apparently swims all the way to the United States, where he's forced to take an innocent bystander, Malik Brody (Kadeem Hardison), hostage. Toby must make it to Los Angeles to meet a courier and Malik is along for the ride.

What Toby neglects to tell Malik in the haste of the moment when they first meet, is that he is an enhanced human, with a powerful bionic booster implant on his heart. This in turn opens up the door for many wild, frenetic action scenes, with Dacascos doing a number on the assorted villains hot on his trail.

The movie hurtles from action sequence to action sequence, with deft direction from Steve Wang, who has yet to achieve mainstream success. This is by far the best show of Mark Dacascos and his martial arts action.

10/10

P.S.: Also, be on the lookout for a rather humorous supporting performance from Brittany Murphy as a bored, easily-excited teenager who is also brought along for the ride.

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