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Drive; an unexpected surprise
Drive came out early October here in Finland. I didn't even look twice at the poster. Look rather boring actually. Just some cr*ppy American gangster film again. Looking back, I could say, oh boy I was wrong.
It received an R-rating, but in Finland, they use age limits, according to ones age. Drive was classified as a K-18 movie. This means, you will not show the trailer during the adverts, before films that got limits such as K-15 or less. So, it wasn't until recently, I actually got to watch the trailer. I logged into IMDb and typed in "Drive". First thing I notice, the rating of 8,1 and around 70,000 users had voted for it. I was rather impressed. Then I watched the trailer. I was now extremely willing to see this movie.
In short, the film is about the "Driver" (Ryan Gosling). He works as a Hollywood stuntman, surprisingly, driving cars. Driver also moonlights as a wheel man. He meets Irene (Carey Mulligan), a rather sweet woman and her child, Benicio (Kaden Leos). While he movie moves on, he seems to fall in love with Irene. Irene tells him, that her husband and the boys father, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is in jail. He is also about the be released. Family and friends arrange a little "welcome"-party for Standard and everything seems fine. One day, Driver finds Standard beaten up, because he owes money to the "bad guys". They want Standard to do a job, but he refuses. Driver tells them, that he will do the job, if they leave Standard and his family alone. The rest, you shall find out, by actually watching the movie.
I have been reading many comments and little reviews on this film, and I noticed, that many people were either saying how "weird" the film was, due to its difference from other Hollywood action films or that you will not understand this film if you have not seen many films, especially ones made in the 70's and 80's. Luckily, I have seen many films and also films from the 70's and 80's. The film did seem rather peculiar, but I believe that the soundtrack had a major effect on that. Also the fact, that actual violence, has not a major theme in the film. In my opinion, there was rather little proper action in this film. Do not attempt to read between the lines, Drive is still one hell of an action film!
I really enjoyed Ryan Gosling's performance in this movie. I had never seen a film with him in it, so the standard it quite high for him now. His rather quiet character, who can literally explode into sudden violence, amazed me, mostly because of how realistic it actually it. How many people in real life act out like the Hollywood action heroes? Not too many. There is not too many people identical to Gosling's character either, but that little something, just makes it all seem so real. The scene, where the Driver goes down to the strip club to confront Cook, shocked me. Just that moment where Gosling slides the hammer out, you just know, that sh*t is really going down! Had scene, had and still has some serious action and thrill in it!
Irene, played by Carey Mulligan was also a nice, sweet character. The second you lay eyes on her, you think "okay, that's the good girl and i was rather obvious that compulsory "love" connection would be between Drive and Irene. There is one scene, the lift scene. I thought that was going to ruin the whole movie. But actually, that sweet long kiss with the mellow music combined with the brutal assault on the man in the lift, was something, I again was not expecting. Nice touch have to say.
I have nothing special to say about the other characters or the actors behind them. The whole cast performed marvelously in my opinion, splendid choice.
As for the action parts, I have to say I really enjoyed them. The scene in the motel, was a lot more violent that I was expecting for this film. Then again, my expectations on this film were all f*cked up, and almost everything was against my expectations! With also those fancy car chase scenes, I was really surprised when I saw the estimated budget for this film. "Only" $15 million. To me, of course that is a crazy amount of money, but this film has a much lower budget, than many many other action films, that in my opinion, have much less intense and realistic special effects.
Drive surely deserves its place on IMDb's "Top 250" and its nomination for the Golden Globe award. As I pointed out a few times, I really enjoyed this film and I recommend to anyone, who is interested in films in general or to someone who wants a good action film, without all the cliché bullshit.
I rated it a solid 8/10. My review is also available in my blog (slightly modified): Criticberg. I would appreciate some comments :) thank you