Movie Review: Drive

The Driver(Ryan Gosling) lives in LA and works in a garage run by Shannon(Bryan Cranston). In addition to his work as a mechanic, he also does odd jobs on the side mostly dangerous ones. He is a stunt double for Hollywood movies mostly arranged through Shannon. At night, he also drives getaway cars for robbers. Being familiar with all the streets in LA, he is always successful in dodging the cops. Having implicit faith in the skills of the Driver, Shannon approaches a mobster Bernie Rose(Albert Brooks) to back him in car races. Bernie agrees after seeing the Driver in action.

Meanwhile, the Driver who is a loner bumps into his neighbor Irene(Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio. When their car breaks down at a local supermarket, he gives them a ride home. The Driver is attracted to Irene and she also likes the unemotional Driver. Very soon, the Driver, Irene and Benicio become good friends. But the Driver's happiness is short-lived as Standard Gabriel(Oscar Isaac) - Irene's husband and Benicio's father - returns from prison.As a result, the Driver tries to stay away from Irene. But when he finds out Standard is in trouble which might affect the lives of Irene and Benicio, the Driver agrees to be a part of a heist. The heist goes bad pulling the Driver, Irene, Shannon, Bernie and Nino(Ron Perlman) into conflicts.

Nicolas Winding Refn directs this lackluster action movie where he has amalgamated multiple styles into one movie. The photography & the background track with songs are influenced from Quentin Tarantino movies and bloodshed from Korean movies. On top of it, Nicolas builds his movie based on silence. The Driver speaks very few words. He either stares at people or smiles. The attraction between the Driver and Irene is build on silence with smiles and longing looks. This is the best part of the movie. All the best efforts from the director fall flat for multiple reasons which includes miscasting and selection of a wrong genre to try these. The movie evokes intentional laughter from the viewer at the predicament of the protagonists. But these are a few.

Ryan Gosling is miscast as The Driver. He is too young to carry a character who has to speak or express with limited movements. Carey Mulligan brings in freshness as Irene but that is because we have not seen her much on the screen before. Albert Brooks is the only one who rises above the script and amuses the viewer.

Barring the music and unseen footage of LA, there isn't much in this movie. Skip it. If you decide to go, leave the kids behind as there are a lot of gory scenes.

Language: English

Genre: Action


  1. another perspective
    - nishanth

  2. @Anonymous/Nishanth - Thanks for the link. This movie came highly recommended. There was a preview show last month in Paris which was completely sold out. But for me, it was a disappointment/over-hyped


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