Film 3, To the future! (Alright, slightly more recent past). It’s 2011’s Drive.
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Hossein Amini
Release Date: 2011
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan
A slick stylised movie, although I imagine watching it a week after seeing Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver may have taken away some of the individuality that set this film apart in 2011. I found that all of the action was sublimely executed although the level of gore shocked me at first, I came expecting a stylish thriller and was greeted by a mix of that and a grounded gritty crime movie.
Whilst I enjoyed the film I do have a few gripes with it, primarily my issue is with the female characters, considering there were only two of note, this will only be a brief complaint; through a lack of other options. Of the two female characters only one was a primary character, Carey Mulligan is saddled with a role that is quite literally the epitome of “damsel in distress” and gets to do little else than be a bystander in her own story. I would have been happier to see a stronger female role however unfortunately the female career criminal that we are introduced to becomes a crying emotional wreck when the film descends into violence before being swiftly executed.
Secondly, Whilst Ryan Gosling’s stoic silences helped to speed the movie along and allowed for a larger focus on the stunning visuals, half of the time “conversations” between him and his romantic interest seemed horribly awkward or just plain rude. This is a minor complaint but it irritated me all the same.
Overall, Drive is a stunningly visual, intense film but I feel just lacking in a narrative sense.
Whilst some adverts may proclaim Drive an Oscar nominated movie this is perhaps misleading statement, (It’s Oscar nom was for Sound Editing, not exactly a narrative driven category). Drive however was incredibly well received by critics and audiences like, gaining a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Empire gave Drive 4 stars and placed Drive at number 41 in their all time list, not quite as high as the previous films I’ve watched so maybe my lessened enjoyment is to be expected.