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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Drive" is a story about a young man with no name who works as a
stuntman during the day and works as a getaway driver, at times, during
the night. A man with no attachments to his past, he wandered through
his days unnoticed with a determination to stay so. All of this changes
when he meets Irene creating a shift in his priorities leading to
situations and circumstances he would never before involve himself in.
We know nothing about his past and the motives of his present are as
mysterious. The perfect "Anti-Hero", he hits a strange balance of being
a combination of a Western Hero (personified by Gary Cooper, Clint
Eastwood) with a darkness close to that of Henry Fonda's "Frank" in
"Once Upon a Time in the West" and Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh in "No
Country For Old Men".
Nicholas Winding Refn directs this picture and it really shows how far he has come as a film-maker. His use of colours are brilliant as he shifts through darkness and light with an artistic manipulation that contributed to the great cinematography which was essential to create the varying moods. It was predominantly eerie and helped the transitions smoothly leaving a touch of suspense all the way through it's end. The screenplay, written by Hossein Amini, is sufficient in it's brevity adding to the enigma, which was the Driver, enhancing the mystery to his motives by sufficiently cloaking who he is.
The star of the show, except Refn, was Ryan Gosling who continues to build a reputation as one of the actors to look out for. His evolution, which was slowly in the works, hit a new height with his portrayal as "Driver". To be so convincing with such few words and relying only on expressions and mannerisms to be the basis of a great performance is an art which is almost lost today. He is loving, caring, generous and loyal to only a few people but at the same time he is also ruthless, fearless and unflinching in his determination, which sometimes led to "justified cruelty" on those who stood in his way. He is never over-the-top, however out of hand a situation might get, thus building a character who had enviable serenity in testing situations. Ryan Gosling will in all likelihood not be nominated for an Oscar for his best performance to date for what was undoubtedly one of the best performances of 2011 (personally this was my favourite). This, I fear, would be the first of many crimes the Academy will undoubtedly pull on this film in the year.
Gosling is supported more than capably by a great cast. It includes the rising star Carey Mulligan, the love interest, played her torn character with such simplicity and an under-tone of complexity that bringing out a sense of realism would have been very arduous. But, the talent she has, has helped her to find the balance and give one of the most under-rated performances (along with Gosling's) of the year. There is also the brilliant Bryan Cranston whose evolution is just extraordinary. This character actor tests another variation to provide a great supporting role of a man who with his desperation has lost all his dignity clinging on to the last straw of hope which is Gosling. Cranston played the anti-thesis of Walter White (Breaking Bad), with such guile that you forgot it was Mr. White. For a TV actor that is hard to shake off, ask James Gandolfini. Ron Perlman's screen time was small but his significance to the plot was not and he did justice to the role re-enacting his own persona of the "bad guy" he has done so successfully and predominantly in action films.Then, there is the rejuvenated Albert Brooks who gives the performance of his career (and seems the only likely nominee) as mob boss Bernie Ross, who is more like the anti-hero than we would like to admit. A man who is calculating in his ruthlessness and terribly frightening in it's deliverance is the perfect nemesis to the grey hero. They both fight for what they care about and none of them would hesitate to stand up against anyone who would try to destroy what was most important to them.
"Drive" is a must-see for all who want to something different in a year which has been all about recycling and few rare pieces of originality. If you can stomach the violence and the long periods without dialogue then make sure you watch it, otherwise just stay away, it won't be your cup of tea. Let's hope Nick Refn will be able to keep this form for the future
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once again critics let me down. I went to this movie after checking out
the rottentomatoes reviews, and at around 90+% I thought it's a must
see. Well, I was wrong.
Pace - kind of slow, it picks up occasionally
Ryan - cool, intense (he's always playing intense characters or he's rather playing himself), doesn't speak much, but we can guess there something going on in his head and if he didn't care for Carey's character he could have easily been a psychopath in the league with the bad guys. Good driver though. And once again he loves the girl with same obstinacy that we've seen in the other of his movies.
Carey - here I am lost because I am not too sure what was her role besides being cute as a pie (or button) and the object of Ryan's character's affection. Pretty much she didn't have a clue of what's going on. But her face must trigger some deep need to protect feelings in the men around her.
Bad guys - One thing that struck me are Ron Perlman's teeth. They are very long! OK, it's irrelevant. Other than that, the usual, nothing new, they are unnecessarily violent (or belligerent how a character put it) , they don't listen to logic, they like to slash people with objects they care about (which they clean and keep in nice boxes).
Naked girls - yes, there is a scene full of breast enhanced girls that didn't seem to care a guy was about to get his head smashed with a hammer. But hey, we would expect too much from them. Right?
Music - I liked the music, I would give it a 9 or 10
Image - pretty nice in some cases.
To summarize - I didn't see anything new and unforgettable. I would save my money if I were you.
There are so many illogical things in this movie that very quickly I
just stopped caring about what's happening on the screen. There are big
gaps in plot, and there are totally unrealistic details. And if for the
plot holes you may somehow justify them saying that characters are
stupid or under stress, there is no justification for physically
impossible details: a light mattress is blocking the door, car's
headlights are working after several hard head-on crashes, and so on.
I can hardly imagine an intelligent and thinking person would appreciate this movie. Only if somebody stays in a state of trance mindlessly looking at the pretty pictures and listening to the nice music one can probably enjoy it.
I am very surprised by all the positive reviews. Boring and illogical movie, just awful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have watched many movies from a range of countries and decades. I
believe every good movie either has a good plot or a good story to
tell. Brilliant movies have both.
Drive has neither. It lacks a plot and the story is slow, disjointed and lacks believaility.
The first half of the movie establishes that the main character has a crush or is in love with a neighbour with a kid. Seriously, you do not need to spend half a movie establishing something so simple, not to mention the main character is a complete stalker / creep bordering on mentally disabled. The second half of the movie is the main character getting revenge for a robbery gone wrong. All the second half of the movie establishes is how truly dumb the main character is. Btw, it's not because of the unhappy ending (Mind you I prefer unhappy endings).
There are serious plot holes as well. One previous reviewer mentioned that it was never explained why there was a second car at the heist gone wrong, only to be told off by another reviewer who loved the movie. There IS no explanation - why would you rob money from people you have sent to rob it in the first place, especially when you aren't paying two of them, and the one you are paying is in on the second robbery?!?!?!
Further, many reviewers appear to suggest those who do not like the movie would rather see CGI nonsense. I do not like movies which substitute film making with CGI. However, this movie is not a good example of one.
I find it difficult to understand what people see in this movie. It is an attempt at a meaningful, character driven movie which falls flat.
If you want to see a movie with a good plot - watch Ghost Writer or Oldboy If you want to see a movie with a good story - watch Barry Lyndon, Shawshank Redemption, Goodfellas, Casino If you want to see a movie with good driving and limited CGI - watch Initial D, The Legend of Speed, Taxi (French movie) or Grand Prix If you want to see a good artsy action movie - watch A Clockwork Orange
With virtually no plot, interesting characters or intriguing dialogues, all this movie has to offer are a few brutally bloody scenes, but then again, if you're into that, you're still better of watching Kill Bill. Speaking of which, if you thought Kill Bill was an over-rated movie, you obviously still haven't seen Drive. This movie was obviously directed with one purpose and one purpose only - winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes. And, surprisingly, it even failed at that. Could it be that this wannabe-art movie was too fake even for Cannes standards? It's hard to tell. Could it be that the 21st century has already gotten its worst blockbuster? Only time will tell. Even though there are 89 more years to go, I think not a lot of movies will overtake this giant.
I have no idea how this movie has received such glowing reviews. Gosling appears to be heavily sedated throughout the movie, and the virtual lack of dialogue through the majority of the film just adds to the overall boring experience. Overall it's a movie about nothing with no message at all, and it ends by leaving you with no sense of closure or understanding of why you have been subjected to such a depressing experience. If there was any message at all, I would say it was that life sucks and then you die, or crime doesn't pay perhaps, but overall that's a little bit too Disney for my tastes, but perhaps this will appeal to the masses? Do yourself a favour, and spend your time watching something else, or at the very least take some Valium to get yourself in the correct frame of mind for this slow-paced, self-indulgent offering. No Stars.
The guy doesn't even have a name. He doesn't speak too much and when he speaks he doesn't make threats, he makes promises that the bad guys gonna get it! Just like in Dirty Harry... The movie has this 70's feeling but in a way that will make true cinema fans to look back with nostalgia. You almost expect Starsky and Hutch to start chasing the guy. And Ryan Gostling - he got the idea and played it perfectly. Really, the atmosphere is amazing and the soundtrack is adding to the amazingness of this masterpiece. The main theme, "A real hero" from College ft. Electric Youth - awesome piece. I rarely write about movies on IMDb.com, but this one - you should really see it. What are you waiting for? Go get some popcorn...
When I first saw the trailer to Drive, I instantly thought of Korean cinema. Whether it was the hammer carried by Gosling, or something else, i'm not sure. The influence of foreign film is clear in Drive. The story of Drive is a very simple and perhaps overused one. A silent and reserved getaway driver who doesn't normally get involved with people starts to form a relationship with a woman and her kid, causing everything to go downhill from there. Even though this story has been told before, the way it is told in Drive makes it seem fresh. Drive also has a very 80's feeling to it. The soundtrack is not only amazing but filled with 80's influenced music. It works so well with the movie and will stick out even to people who don't pay much attention to soundtracks. I had heard a lot of good things about Drive and in the end, it lived up to it. Also, I would kill for that scorpion jacket.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I recently saw Drive for a second time. I had seen it previously
opening day at a local multiplex and loved it. Though, I began to think
to myself "Maybe my hype got the better of me?" I was doubting myself.
Those doubts were cleared up as I watched Drive again. The Driver (Ryan
Gosling) is a cool, silent protagonist. He drives for movies by day and
performs getaways for heists by night. He's the best at what he does.
His skills behind the wheel are unparalleled. The Driver's stoic and
silent exterior may unsettle some viewers, and even get some laughs.
He's a badass driver but an awkward socialite. The contradictions
between Driver's work efficiency and lack of social skills make the
character all the more interesting. Though claims of the character
being empty are entirely unfounded.
When the Driver's neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio come into the Driver's life, we see a side of the Driver that we hadn't seen before. Sure he's still quiet but he smiles, he laughs. He is a human being. These moments of happiness displayed are what distinguishes the Driver from the soulless machine many have characterized him as.
One of my favorite things about the film is some great use of symbolism. Near the beginning of the film, we briefly see the Driver on the set of a film, working. I believe it was Shannon, (Bryan Cranston) the Driver's manager of sorts, who remarks something like "You ARE doubling for the star." The Driver dons a realistic-looking mask of the actor's face, gets in the car, crashes it, and that's a wrap. Later in the film, the Driver is well into the bloodbath. He's taking it to the top of foodchain, Nino (Ron Perlman). Before he goes to kill Nino, he dons the mask of the star once more. On the surface it can be seen as the Driver not wanting to be identified by Nino or his thugs before the kill. I saw it as the Driver becoming the star, the hero, in his own real story. His own real movie. He had transformed from a tough guy to a tough guy with a mission. Another use of symbolism. Throughout the film, the Driver and Benicio have these little staring contests. The Driver always wins, he doesn't blink. At the end of the film, when the camera focuses on the Driver's "corpse" for more than a minute, the Driver blinks. He blinks to show the audience he is alive. Truly alive. He's alive in the sense that he hasn't died from blood-loss, and he's alive in the sense that he is a human being.
Drive also has a stellar cast who all give some of their best performances. Gosling has broken out of his own stereotype. No longer will he be known as "the guy from The Notebook". Though he has had some great films and performances in the past, Drive is his masterpiece. He's Steve McQueen-cool, versatile in his action scenes and genuine in his softer, human scenes. Other standouts are Albert Brooks as a world-weary mobster. Bryan Cranston can do no wrong, and serves as a sort of comic relief. Ron Perlman is also fantastic, though he plays a more typical mobster character than Brooks. Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac do well as a couple strained by crime and violence.
Not only well-acted, Drive is a beautiful film to experience for its visuals. The streets and corners of Los Angeles haven't been so interesting since Michael Mann's "Heat". And when accompanied by Cliff Martinez's incredible synthesizer-driven score, the locale becomes downright mesmerizing. Director Nicolas Winding Refn has described his films as a sort of "heightened reality" and I would agree.
While we're talking about Refn, I think it's really interesting that he undertook this project. Based on a novella by James Sallis and adapted by Hossein Amini, the script was fairly standard stuff. The Driver had a lot more dialogue. You could see the studios turning it into more of a blockbuster kind of film. Yet Refn comes in and elevates a standard script to art. Similar to the Japanese director Seijun Suzuki, who adapted countless cookie-cutter yakuza scripts into bizarre visual dreams. Even though this is the first film of his Refn didn't also write, it's clear who's shaped the film we know as Drive. And I couldn't be any happier.
Drive has become a personal favorite of mine. It's sort of a modern "Bullitt", but with more violence, neon visuals, and longer silences; Ryan Gosling this era's King of Cool. Drive is a masterpiece, a meeting of mainstream action and art-house style. It is superb. I can only see this getting better as time passes.
This movie is so bad that I would rather do anything then to have to watch this movie again, yes I would rather die. There is this strange euphoric music playing in the background scene to scene that is just pointless but it's there for God only knows why. All the actors are talking like the have taken very large amounts of sedatives and almost every scenes cuts before the conclusion of each scene happens. As a viewer you can still put the pieces together but it's just retarded. Here's an idea: finish the scene! Oh and have the actors act like they are awake and talk to each other like they are normal people who talk like normal people do, not doped up mental patients. Wow, maybe I should become a director? I sure as he!! could have made something better than this pile of horse 5hit!
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