"Drive"



Nicholas Winding Regn is a mystery to many North American audiences, yet he's made a name for himself in Europe with his killer visuals and well thought out soundtracks. Well guess what, he roars into our neighbourhood with Drive - a B movie fetish film with not much dialogue, Pop Art images, gory violence and a lack for linear narrative. People are ready to castrate Drive for its obvious artsy ambitions and the way it doesn't succumb to Hollywood formula. Well, screw them. This is my kind of movie. Filled with sexiness, violence and a great cast. Ryan Gosling is so calm, cool and collective as "The Driver" that you'd think he's Steve Mcqueen. Hell, this movie is semi-inspired by all those great Steve Mcqueen flicks of the 70s except it's set in the 80s.

Dig the killer soundtrack inspired by 80's synth pop formula and the way it blends seamlessly with the haunting images Refn gives us. Case in point College's A Real Hero, which ends up being more than just background music for a film about a Travis Bickle-like anti-hero. "The Driver" is dead set to save Carey Mulligan's Irene from the misery she has in her life ala Travis Bickle but if Drive doesn't necessarily have the substance of that said Scorsese Masterpiece it does however have incredibly tense scenes to electrify our nerves. Check out the killer opening as our anti-hero tries to evade the cops in a silently done cat and mouse game or check out a botched heist that leads to dire consequences. Did I mention the elevator scene that everybody seems to be talking about? Or a violent strip club attack that makes our man look possessed? These are the 4 scenes that stuck with me but there are plenty more and they're all tightly edited to get us hooked on its cinematic juices.

Of course Drive is not a perfect movie but it has all the traits and reasons that had us watch movies in the first place. Or at least the majority of us. It's a violently artsy action picture that doesn't meander to a particular audience. It has a way of being unique and uncompromising in its visionary dreaming. It knows what it wants to be from the get go and goes along with it. Its 100 minutes zip by like a bursting fuel drag-racing at night & Gosling -along with an incredibly villainous Albert Brooks and a heartbreaking Bryan Cranston- brings a kind of coolness that lacks in most pictures these days. By the time The Driver puts on his stunt mask and makes all hell breaks loose in the film's over the top but scattering finale, it is clear that Drive is a movie that can haunt your dreams.
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