2011 was quite the year for Ryan Gosling. With three bonafide hit movies and three choice and diverse rolls. He worked along side some of Hollywoods hottest and best from comic favorite Steve Carell to what this blog considers the current king of Hollywood, George Clooney.
Drive is the beautifully directed story of a stunt car driver who moonlights as a driver for hire in the underworld of L.A. and soon gets wrapped up in the worst it has to offer. The main principle’s name is never uttered because it is almost unnecessary. When he meets his beautiful neighbor played by Carey Mulligan, he forms an attachment to her and her son whose father, and Mulligan’s husband is in jail. When released shortly after becoming involved in their lives he gets sucked into helping the man who is still unwittingly involved in organized crime. It is when he agrees to help him make his way out that things take a drastic turn for the worse.
It’s a very entertaining film but not because of a great elaborate story or superb acting although Albert Brooks does turn in one of his best performances. The film is romantically shot with every frame meticulously set up and top notch cinematography. While Gosling plays a man of very few words he is very exact in every motion he makes.
The movie has a very intended and well placed retro feel to it. It comes across as a 1980’s film noir that is a late night action movie. When I originally saw the trailer my first reaction was, “that looked good the first time I saw it when it was called “The Transporter” “. I could not have been more wrong. The flow that director Nicolas Winding Refn creates is that of a perfectly danced ballet.
Make no mistake, this is not a movie that should be vying for Oscar’s gold, but keeping it in perspective, it is a fantastic ride with a smooth crisp feel to every scene that makes the 100 minute run time feel like it flies by.
If you are in the market for a sharp, straight-up action/adventure movie and nothing more this movie could not come any higher recommended.