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Drive (2011/I)
385 out of 664 people found the following review useful:
painfully slow, unimaginative film blanketed by loud music and blood capsules, 18 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Welcome to the first edition of Movie Math. Beware, I spoil the entire movie in this review. My sincerest apologies.

First, I do not like to applaud mediocrity, even if it is well done mediocrity. I understand the underlying point of the movie, but it was really buried and I shouldn't be able to get to that point so quickly. The audience prefers to be led, not slapped into submission. It just stings less after you realize you paid $12 to be treated like an idiot. Second, I did love the neon pink script, the members only jacket and the 80's pop (which, alone, is awesome but seemed like a loud, annoying filler for scenes that had absolutely nothing going on). Combined, they seemed like an afterthought.

The movie consists of about 30 minutes of good solid plot line stuffed with about 1.5 hours worth of pointless fluff (ex. the river scene, all the staring, the shots of watching TV, the random garage & test driving scenes) all meant to build character and inspire (or something). This failed completely because I actually connected more with Albert Brooks' & Bryan Cranston's characters. Both of whom had less airtime than the main characters.

And plot line- wait, there isn't A plot line, there are several, terribly integrated plot lines. Think: The Notebook + Grindhouse + Steve Mcqueen + Tarantino. The narration was so cliché it made me wince. Never, EVER, should narration take the place of integral character development.

The love plot is absurd. She doesn't know Gosling, he's super creepy, says nothing and somehow she gets a warm/cozy vibe so she invites him over to hang out with her kid. And I thought the romance in Twilight was bad (-1 star simply because I was forced to write Twilight).

The violence was eh. I've seen gory horror flicks integrate gratuitous violence into the story line better, and in a less in-your-face manner, so that was unimpressive and unimaginative(-1). Especially because, unless you're sadistic, no one actually enjoys watching someone get stabbed in the eye.

As for the dialog, there isn't any, and the cars have fewer appearances than sentences. So this leads me to believe the title is meant to have more than one connotation. Warning: here is where I get all "artsy".

The title, Drive, can be interpreted in two different ways: one being the more literal sense: someone that drives a car; the second alluding perseverance. If it is the second, then the Refn/Amini duo are sorely lacking all around and Mulligan desperately wants her kid to die quietly at the hands of an insane mechanic. There's some perseverance for you.

That being said, I did not enjoy this movie. I do not require the Michael Bay effect to be entertained but please, do not treat me like a Teen wolf/Twilight moviegoer (-1 AGAIN). Long pauses do not develop character, especially when a blank affect is meant to be a representation of stoicism/wide-eyes and a mom-haircut represent vulnerability(-1 for being a giant stereotype). Even if those blank stares are backed up by a wicked soundtrack (hell yes, Chris Martinez, high five! +1)and excellent cinematography (it's already been done before but whatever: +1).

However, I was constantly reminded of other movies while watching(Collateral, anyone? -1) and I was left feeling like someone (Gosling and Refn/Aminihad) watched far too many Steve Mcqueen movies. And then they attempted, quite literally, to copy the dynamics. Unfortunately, the entire team (and some of the audience)failed to realize that Mr. Mcqueen's movies were written FOR him and Mr. Gosling has not quite reached that level. So -1 for not being original.

I was not impressed by Mr. Gosling's acting (What acting? It's so easy to stand around and chew a toothpick: -1) and I honestly do not understand all the hype regarding Ms. Mulligan. I've seen almost all her movies and she plays the doe-eyed victim with a giant heart in every. single. one.So -1 for typecasting. This also includes Christina Hendricks, by the way. She looked SO uncomfortable. Well, maybe that was the point, or maybe it was because her pants were too tight and she was robbing a pawn shop wearing 5" heels. I should -1 for it being unrealistic, but this movie would then have a negative rating.

Gosling and Mulligan attempt the profound "say something by not saying anything at all" (-1 for bad directing) but Mulligan appears dimwitted and Gosling goes from mimicking George Washington on the side of Mt. Rushmore to suddenly being a skilled fighter. I did not see that coming. Maybe that was yet another point?

The stunt driver should be commended, though, he/she had some pretty tricks done with effortless flair (+ 1 for talent). So I tip my hat to you, sir/ma'am. Mustangs are not easy to do donuts in.

I was bored an hour into the movie (-.5) and was squirming at the pretentiousness of the director by the second hour (-.5). That by itself says quite a bit seeing as I am an avid moviegoer and watch just about anything. May I reiterate that being reminded of others' work does not dredge feelings of nostalgia, it makes me want my $12 back.

So, unless I didn't do my math correctly, I gave this movie a 3/10.