December 27, 2011

Drive - Review

Truth be told, I’ve been growing pretty restless over new movies. It’s hard to get turned on by yet another prequel, sequel, reboot or remake (Straw Dogs, Total Recall, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, National Treasure 3, I-Robot 2  really? seriously?). It's all the endless supply of loud brassy unoriginal action made up of slicing and dicing old films and redoing them in 3-D.

Then came Drive, one of the coolest and most exciting movies that I’ve seen in a very long time. Drive’s strength lies in the fact that that it so different than any canned films made today. My friend described it perfectly as “new and true” because “They just don’t make movies like this right now!”...Lately, Hollywood seems void of new ideas, a recycling plant for known money-makers and empty celebrity driven features that will just break even.

Drive is a risk - a slow starter who’s second act comes like a swift punch in the gut, leaving you reeling and as confused as ever. The action and violence that’s alluded to in it’s trailer and posters that warn “There are no clean getaways” are only a preview of what’s to come. I should have known when the beat dropped for Kavinsky’s Nightcall that this was gonna be something different. But it’s better that I keep the details to a minimum and you’ll be thankful for my vagueness later.  

Drive is a perfect movie, mainly for the fact that when the movie does kick into gear it feels as if you’re watching a different film, which may turn off lots of people. But for me, it somehow works, thanks to its protagonist simply called Driver, played by Ryan Gosling. By the way, check Jim White's hot pink movie poster tribute he made, so awesome.

This film is captivating on several levels, I couldn't keep my eyes off of it, it's unpredictable, it doesn't hold back, and it's just plain COOL. It's rounded out by beautiful cinematography, a fantastic score, bold costume choices and strong performances by Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, and Carey Mulligan.

Not to mention the pace of this film is a beautiful thing to behold. This is no antic-frantic affair; instead, it's a cerebral game of stop-and-go, hide-and-seek, as the director behind the camera handles things exactly like the guy behind the wheel - with a stylish mixture of cold calculation and cool aplomb. There's not a single hand-held camera shot in the whole movie. It's a film that has its finger on the pulse of what's current and in style, and one that has solidified its place as the coolest film of 2011.

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