Movie Review: Drive

As I mentioned in the previous post, yesterday I went to go see the movie Drive. It looked fairly interesting from the posters and brief synopsi I’ve seen, and given the only other viable suggestion I was given for what movie to see was The Lion King, it wasn’t too difficult a decision to make.

To put it simply, the movie was excellent. All of the characters were very believable, even the gangster characters (though what I find believable from a gangster character in a movie probably in no way correlates with real life, because if I have ever met a professional criminal, I wouldn’t know it). Ryan Gosling plays the main character, who according to IMDB is just called “Driver”, (and since I can’t recall any other name being used in the movie, that will have to do) and he does a particularly good job at demonstrating a really awkward loner type. And not just one of those typical Hollywood loners who is just waiting for the right person to blossom around. The guy barely speaks, smiles awkwardly, and avoids even talking to those he should be close to. I saw quite a lot of myself in Driver, which made it very easy to get into the movie, though I should note that my own brand of social awkwardness is both less severe that Driver’s and probably stems from a very different set of origins. I’m not really shy so much as aloof.

Identifying with Driver made the progression of the movie all the more shocking, however. Driver is not a nice guy once he is backed into a corner.  This is a very violent movie. I know the R Rating subtext mentioned it, but I think it still needs to be noted. I don’t feel that it was gratuitous in its violence, however; when it shows what is happening in gory detail it is making a point about the situation and the viciousness of the people within it, and there is at least one scene where the movie opts for the certain doom fade to black. Drive could have shown every death in horrid detail like some torture porn, but it doesn’t, and I have to respect it for that.

This movie also has some nudity, which I somehow failed to remember as I was buying the ticket. Again, this is also mentioned in the rating subtext. No sex though. I forget if I failed to mention those details in my Conan The Barbarian review (which had both nudity and a pointless sex scene), but hopefully no one who read the review went to see it anyways, so whatever.

Another thing I feel like I should mention is that despite the title of the movie and despite the main character being known only as Driver, this is not really a car movie. While cars obviously feature prominently in the film, there is only one real high-adrenaline chase scene. If you are expecting a more violent Fast and the Furious, you will be disappointed. This is a violent crime movie with cars, not a car movie with violent crimes.

If you aren’t put off by brutal violence, a scene that takes place in a strip club changing room, or a socially awkward Ryan Gosling, you should probably go see this movie. If those things do bother you, might I recommend seeing the Lion King instead? It’s in 3D for some reason!

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