Friday, September 9, 2011


A part-time mechanic, part-time movie stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver becomes involved with a married mother whose husband is in prison. Upon his release, the driver offers to act as the wheelman in a robbery needed to pay off a prison protection debt. However, the job goes terribly wrong and the driver finds himself as well as the girl and her son the targets of a ruthless crime syndicate. The opening scenes remind us of "Diva" and "To Live and Die in L.A.", two 80s films with famous chase sequences, and thus we have a film with a distinct 80s feel containing two brilliantly executed chase sequences. "Drive" is a brutal neonoir from director Nicolas Winding Refn that features an icy cool performance from Ryan Gosling as he navigates the twisty terrain of the plot. Carey Mulligan is effective as the vulnerable love interest and we get really fine work from Bryan Cranston as Gosling's mechanic mentor and Ron Perlman as an uncouth and ruthless gangster. The scene stealer here though is Albert Brooks as Perlman's equally malevolent partner whom both Gosling and Cranston are into for a lot. I felt the triangle between Gosling, Mulligan, and Oscar Isaac who plays the ex-con husband didn't ring true, but that is besides the point as it is only the springboard for the sinister plot. "Drive" is a brilliantly directed film where you can never anticipate its sudden bursts of violence or what menacing lies around the next bend.