Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive is the story of a Hollywood stunt driver of few words, who moonlights as a first-class getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld. He finds himself a target for some of LA’s most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbour, Irene. When the job goes dangerously wrong, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best, Drive.
First things first, this is probably the coolest movie I have ever seen. From start to finish this ultra-stylised film-noir thriller will grip you and never let go. What Nicolas Winding Refn, director of Valhalla Rising and Bronson, has done, is create a modern day classic with its impressive visuals, and driven by Cliff Martinez’s dark, yet atmospheric musical score based on a novel by James Sallis.
Despite being slightly slow paced at times, Drive remains intense throughout and its scenes of brutal ultra-violence are sure to catch you completely off guard and keep you on the edge of your seat. With genuine moments of simplistically beautiful cinematography including the soon to be iconic elevator and lighthouse scene, this movie is visually mind-blowing and shot to perfection. The film has numerous parallels with Taxi Driver (1976) and may seam very Tarantino in parts but that is all credit to the director who has really created something special.
Ryan Gosling as the nameless ‘Driver’ is fantastic at being caring, ruthless, cool and slightly deranged at the same time. He is able to steal the scene with a single look and uses his physical performance to fill the script that is thin on dialog. He is the epitome of cool with a toothpick in the corner of his mouth, wearing a sleek bomber jacket with a scorpion on the back and is sure to have both women and men in awe. There are also brilliant performances from Albert Brooks as the calculating and ruthless anti-hero, Bryan Cranston, the father figure and rising star Carey Mulligan as the love interest.
Drive combines stunning cinematography, a cool soundtrack and first class acting making it a modern day classic. It’s a film in love with both traditional film-noir mythology and ultra-modern violence. The feel of this film is very retro, refreshingly smart, intense and overwhelming cool.